14 telecom firms apply to participate in Canada's broadband auction

Sept. 23, 2013 at 1:42 PM
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OTTAWA, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Fourteen firms have submitted applications to bid on licenses for mobile broadband services in the 700-MHz band, Industry Canada said Monday.

No non-Canadian carriers are among the companies, including big-three telecoms Rogers Communications Inc., BCE Inc. and Telus Corp., whose bids were received, The (Toronto) Globe and Mail reported.

Two private-equity firms, Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc. and the Catalyst Capital Group Inc., also applied to bid for the licenses.

"Well before this summer's public debate on wireless policy, our government introduced a number of measures to create more choice in Canada's wireless market and to defend consumers," Industry Minister James Moore said in a statement. "As a result, prices have come down, the number of jobs in the wireless sector has increased and consumers have more choices."

Applicants faced a Sept. 17 deadline to file application papers and submit a 5-percent deposit, The Globe and Mail said. The down payment is refundable if an applicant opts out of participation in the auction when bidding begins Jan. 14.

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