Wireless spectrum auction critical for 5G kicks off this week – National

This week marks the beginning of a key event for Canada’s telecom industry as up to 23 bidders compete for federal licences used in 5G wireless networks.

But a major player will be absent from this auction, as Freedom Mobile sits on the sidelines while its rivals bid for 3,500 megahertz licences starting on Tuesday.

Freedom is Canada’s fourth-largest wireless carrier, and competes with Rogers, Bell and Telus in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

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Bell Mobility adds Hamilton to its 5G network

Shaw, which has accepted a takeover offer from Rogers, will not participate in the auction.

The Rogers-Shaw deal still needs regulator approval and likely won’t close until 2022 but Freedom’s absence from this auction will likely weaken its ability to compete against the Big Three carriers.

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The 3,500 megahertz spectrum works well in dense urban areas and spacious rural markets, which makes it a sweet spot for 5G networks.


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