Wireless spectrum needs to be used, Ottawa warns telecoms
Industry Canada says telecom companies that have been sitting on wireless spectrum for years will have to use it or lose it starting next March.
In a news release Thursday, Industry Minister James Moore said wireless companies will lose the right to use wireless spectrum they already paid for if it's not being used to offer services to Canadians by March 2014.
The spectrum is in the 2,300- and 3,500-MHz band and unrelated to the upcoming auction of new, more powerful 700-MHz spectrum.
'It's somewhat stranded spectrum.'- Telecom analyst Troy Crandall
"Beginning in March 2014, 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz spectrum licences will be subject to renewal," Moore said in a release. "These spectrum licences contained conditions requiring that the spectrum be used for fixed wireless access, which represents the most affordable high-speed internet access for many rural Canadians."
"Our government will only renew spectrum licences for those holders that have met all conditions of licence. Those that have not used the spectrum will lose it," Moore said.
Those bands of spectrum are already being used to transmit wireless signals in various parts of the country. But some portions of that spectrum are not currently being used, despite having been paid for by telecom firms several years ago.
They're typically in remote, rural communities, telecom analyst Troy Crandall of MacDougall, MacDougall & Mactier in Toronto said in an interview Thursday.
"It was for broadband wireless for communities where DSL did not make sense," he said. "The hope was to stick up a tower and connect using wireless broadband. Bell and Rogers's intention was right [but] the technology wasn’t quite there."
"It's somewhat stranded spectrum," he said.
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- 15 Nov 2013 22:59
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