Plans for an auction for a stake in the 5G spectrum in Canada have been delayed. The auction was originally scheduled for December 20, but due to coronavirus concerns has been pushed back to June 2021, reports GlobalNews.ca. The 3500-megahertz wireless spectrum was to be the chief focus of the auction.
Canada’s Industry Minister, Navdeep Bains, made the announcement rescheduling the auction. He stated that the decision was made “to allow the telecommunications industry to maintain its focus on providing essential services to Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
While telecoms will have to wait, they are continuing to move ahead with 5G rollout plans. Rogers Communications, a heavy bidder in the last auction, spent $1.72 billion and is expected to bid big again when the 3500-megahertz spectrum opens up. An official statement from Rogers reads, “Our networks are the backbone of so much of our economy and as we continue to roll out Canada’s first 5G network, driving innovation and productivity, we look forward to accessing 3,500 MHz spectrum as soon as it is available.”
Telus also expressed its eagerness to access the 3500-megahertz wireless spectrum. A spokesman for Telus noted, “While we would like to see the auction proceed as soon as possible, we appreciate the government’s recognition of facilities-based carriers for keeping Canadians connected at all times, even during the pandemic.” Carriers Shaw and Bell Canada are expected to participate in the auction as well as all contenders are looking to advance their 5G capabilities.