Limited disclosure – who is bidding for Canada’s 700 MHz spectrum

Industry Minister James Moore told Reuters that the government’s wireless policy was focused on the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction.

Moore said the government was concentrating on an intensely watched auction of wireless spectrum, where it is encouraging new entrants to challenge the Big Three. “Our policy is the auction and we’ll see what happens through the auction,” he responded.

The Minister declined to provide any information about whether any new foreign companies had submitted bidding papers and preliminary deposits yesterday, saying that the list will be released next Monday.

According to the current auction list of key dates, Monday September 23 is when Industry Canada will publish a list of applicants, their “beneficial ownership and associated entities information”.

We will not get any information about the number of bidding points being sought by each company. That information would provide some insight into the company’s bidding strategy. Pre-auction bid points require $130,000 each; 1221 bid points ($158,730,000) are needed to bid on one paired block across the country. A minimum of 2 bid points are needed to participate in the auction for a prime paired block, or just one point for bidding on an unpaired block – that would let you play in the game for the three territories.

The applications needed to be accompanied by a down payment of only 5% of the bid deposit.

Keep this in mind when the list gets published next week. To appear on the list, companies may have only submitted a check for about $7000.

The balance is due October 29, a week after Industry Canada publishes the list of provisionally qualified bidders. To move from “provisionally qualified” to fully qualified simply requires physically delivering the 95% outstanding balance owed on the bid point deposit. The qualified bidders list will be released November 8, indicating only who has a seat at the table, with no disclosure of the size of their stack of chips.

Applicants can decrease the number of bid points between now and October 29, but they may not increase them.

Not a lot of money was needed to make the preliminary list that will be published next Monday, the provisional list on October 22 and the final list on November 8. Because Industry Canada elected to use anonymous bidding, there will be no information released about activity by each company during the auction.

Once the auction has concluded we will hear who the winners are and how much money was spent. We may not know much about what is happening for the next 6 months.

2 thoughts on “Limited disclosure – who is bidding for Canada’s 700 MHz spectrum”

  1. Pingback: No U.S. carriers taking part in 700Mhz spectrum auction: report |

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