WIND and Rogers on 700 MHz Spectrum Auction

From WIND’s Tony, “The 700 MHZ Spectrum Auction: What it means for you

The upcoming 700 MHZ auction will continue to shape the future of wireless competition in Canada. Every stakeholder wants to influence how the auction will be held and on Monday, all parties were invited to file submissions with Industry Canada outlining how they felt the spectrum should be divided.

In our case, we argued that all of the 700MHZ spectrum should be set aside for only new entrants to bid on (like last time). Why? Because the Big Three don’t need it, and we do, and they will do anything, and pay anything, to keep us from getting it. The Big Three are among the most spectrum-rich operators in the entire world and are already sitting on vast amounts of unused spectrum (we call it warehousing). The Big Three acquiring and sitting on all this spectrum doesn’t do you, the consumers, any good. In fact, it hurts because it is yet another way they seek to limit competition.

The spectrum they are sitting on, by the way, includes all of the spectrum they bought in the 2008 auction. Good thing there was spectrum set aside in that auction and good for the Government for resisting the Big Three’s arguments (they are making the same arguments this time around, of course).

We want to see this spectrum benefit consumers. Spectrum in the hands of new entrants like WIND Mobile will help take Canada (finally!) out of the dark ages of wireless. Competition is the #1 key to better wireless choice and value in Canada, but new entrants like us need spectrum. Oh, and we’ll use it!

Industry Canada is expected to set the auction rules later this year so we will keep you posted.”

According to G&M, Apr. 27, 2011 “Rogers to launch LTE wireless by end of year

“Rogers and other major phone companies are concerned the 700 MHz spectrum will be reserved for new entrants in the market as part of the federal government’s efforts to open the market to greater competition.

“It would be a shame if our nine million wireless customers were denied the benefit of this low-band spectrum,” Mr. Mohamed told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting. “Put simply, we need rules that apply equally to everyone.””

For the record.

G&M, Apr. 27, 2011 “Rogers to launch LTE wireless by end of year

Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI.B-T35.260.521.50%) will launch the next generation of wireless technology in four major Canadian cities by the end of the year, promising high-speed Internet access on mobile devices will be as fast as is currently available on home and office computers.

Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed said he is convinced Long Term Evolution (LTE) network technology is the future of the mobile industry, and will “fuel Canada’s digital economy” in this century.

“We’re putting a stake in the ground – LTE is going to be the gold standard going forward, that’s where the world is going. I don’t think there’s any debate the future is LTE,” Mr. Mohamed told reporters following Rogers’ annual shareholder meeting in Toronto.

Canada’s major telecommunications companies have been laying the groundwork for LTE service in Canada, and Telus Corp. (T-T49.73-0.22-0.44%) announced this month it will launch LTE service in 2012. Rogers appears to have leapfrogged ahead of its rivals with its announcement Wednesday that LTE will be available by the end of 2011.

Rogers said LTE access will be available in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa by the end of this year, and will be operational in Canada’s 25 biggest markets by the end of 2012. The LTE network will be three to four times faster than the advanced version of the existing high-speed mobile network known as High Speed Packet Access or HSPA+.

The technology will allow gamers to play graphics-heavy, multiplayer games on their mobile devices without any lag time or delay, will allow users to make video phone calls that are “virtually seamless,” and will allow customers to stream live television or movies in high definition to smart phones, laptops or tablets with no buffering or lag time, Rogers said in its announcement Wednesday.

Users will need new phones or mobile devices that can operate on the LTE network. Mr. Mohamed would not reveal when the devices will be available for sale, saying he didn’t want to tip his hand about competitive information.

But he noted LTE is already being deployed by Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ-N38.250.621.65%) and AT&T Inc. (T-N31.440.501.60%) in the United States, so the device technology is already being developed.

Mr. Mohamed also made a pitch Wednesday for Rogers to be granted access to the new 700 megahertz radio frequency spectrum, which is expected to be auctioned by the federal government in late 2012.

While LTE will launch initially on the radio spectrum currently used by Rogers, Mr. Mohamed said big U.S. companies are building their LTE network on the 700 MHz spectrum, which offers better coverage in remote and rural areas.

Rogers and other major phone companies are concerned the 700 MHz spectrum will be reserved for new entrants in the market as part of the federal government’s efforts to open the market to greater competition.

“It would be a shame if our nine million wireless customers were denied the benefit of this low-band spectrum,” Mr. Mohamed told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting. “Put simply, we need rules that apply equally to everyone.”

2 Responses to WIND and Rogers on 700 MHz Spectrum Auction

  1. hevangel says:

    The performance of AT&T’s LTE is actually worse than 3G. If Rogers use AT&T’s LTE technology instead of Verizon’s, that’s no point of switching to LTE.

  2. kempton says:

    If this is the case, it is no good ! – “The performance of AT&T’s LTE is actually worse than 3G.” Does it depend on the city/area ?

%d bloggers like this: