The battle for 700MHz spectrum remains a race in Canada – in a recent 700MHz spectrum auction held by the Canadian Government they raised a total of $5.27 billion. The Big Three are all were there – Rogers spent the most money at $3.3 billion for 22 licenses. Bell spent less money at $565 million, but got 31 licenses, and TELUS was last, spending over $1.1 billion for 30 licenses. This higher sought after 700MHz spectrum is cheaper for carriers to deploy and they can reach very remote areas with fewer towers. The 700MHz signal travels farther and is able to penetrate the thick walls found in many buildings and that creates less ‘dead spots,’ making everybody much happier.
Bell was actually the first wireless carrier to deploy the 700MHz spectrum in Canada’s Hamilton area. Rogers then deployed some in parts of Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. TELUS said that they will be launching their 700MHz in the near future. Bell Canada will soon make an announcement about the start of their two-year roll out that will bring wireless service to hundreds of rural and remote Canadian markets that are so geographically challenging to reach. Despite those obstacles, it is estimated that by the end of 2015, almost 97-percent of Canadians will have access to the wireless spectrum.
CEO George Cope said Monday, “We’ve already begun to roll out, but we’re actually going to announce over the coming month or so all the different markets…right across the country.” In a speech he gave to the Canadian Club of Montreal, Cope explained that Bell Canada has already invested $16 billion over the last five years and plans on spending another $175 billion over the next five years to improving its network – even bringing fiber connections directly into customer’s homes. He continued:
“I think outside maybe some of the oilsands companies in Alberta we (will have) the largest capital expenditure program over the next number of years in Canada â€” all of this focusing on meeting business and consumers’ incredible demand for broadband wireless and wireline services.”
Cope explained how BCE is a totally different company that it was a few years ago – less than 7-percent of their revenues now come from the tradition land-line phone services, while wireless accounts for a third of its revenues, followed by the internet and its 25-percent and lastly, 12-percent from television service. He also said that Canadian’s wireless industry compares favorably with the rest of the world as they continue to invest large sums of money and make improvements.
Please let us know on our Google+ Page what you think of Canada’s wireless industry – too little too late, or do you think it is growing as fast as it possible can…as always, we would love to hear from you.