Every week in Canada, it seems that spectrum is being transferred/sold between the carriers. The Government sometimes mandates the sale and other times it is a common sale among companies. MTS announced that it paid $45 million to WIND Mobile for valuable 15MHz of paired AWS-1 spectrum in their home area of Manitoba. MTS has been working on ways to increase speed and overall better customer service and they believe that between this purchase and what MTS acquired in the Federal government auction earlier this year that they can do just that. MTS has 500,000 wireless subscribers and it recently purchased two licences in the 2500 MHz spectrum auction for $2,242,000. MTS Allstream CEO Jay Forbes, “We are appreciative of the concrete steps that the government has been taking to create more choice, lower prices and better wireless service for Canadians and their families. This deal is great news for our Manitoban customers as the use of mobile video increases. We are excited to be taking a big step to improve the wireless experience for our fellow Manitobans and to focus our resources right here at home.”
Not all the excitement was from MTS, as WIND Mobile will also benefit with the additional cash. As WIND Mobile CEO Alek Krstajic said, “This deal is exciting for WIND customers and for Canadians as we will be able to focus our resources on providing strong competition in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. These sale proceeds, including our recent spectrum acquisitions from Rogers as well as the AWS-3 spectrum auction, will be used towards network expansion and quality improvements including the LTE rollout. The increased range of services and choices being made available to Canadians through wireless providers like MTS and WIND Mobile are further evidence of the benefits of greater competition that has resulted from the federal government’s continued efforts to create a more level playing field, and we thank them for that.”
The Federal government has a lot of control over the wireless industry in Canada, and as you can see from the smaller carriers, MTS and WIND Mobile, they are grateful for the government’s input in trying to level the playing field. Industry Minister, James Moore, is trying to make Canadian wireless the model which others will follow. He knows that a strong foundation is needed for existing businesses to thrive and to attract new businesses to their market.