The cellular service climate in Canada could be in for some rather major changes in the next year or so, largely because of the spectrum auction set to take place in a couple of months. We have already heard that T-Mobile wants to be a national carrier in Canada, but now another major firm has thrown its name in the hat.
Quebecor Inc. is a subsidiary of Videotron and it will be participating in the spectrum auction that starts on May 27. The Montreal-based company submitted a deposit of $317 million to Industry Canada, taking advantage of these “exceptionally favourable conditions for new entrants, which may never occur again,” said Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau (pictured). They already do the regional thing, so this would be a major expansion across the country.
Competing directly with MTS Allstream (who might be teaming up with T-Mobile), Quebecor will be one of the firms allowed to bid on 40% of the new spectrum. The existing big three — Rogers (which also owns Fido), Bell, and Telus — cannot bid on this portion, but they can bid on the remaining 60%.