Tag: spectrum

New carrier coming to Canada?



The excessively long Canadian spectrum auction has finally wound up, and the results not only netted the government a healthy $4.2 billion (about three times more than they were expecting), but also brought some newcomers out to play. As expected, incumbents Rogers, Bell and Telus grabbed bits of the wireless spectrum available for sale, but Globalive, owner of the Yak brand, also picked up $442 million-worth of airwaves. Canadian anti-monopoly laws which force existing carriers to rent out their towers to other providers could favour Globalive in their upcoming service, due as early as next Easter. It sounds like they also understand the current situation with Canadian wireless rates: “Canadians are unhappy about the costs, the complexity of the billing. I can speak for myself as a consumer. I’m confused by my bill.” said CEO Anthony Lacavera. Hopefully these guys will be offering some BlackBerrys when they’re ready to go.

(CBC via Engadget)


Companies battle for Canadian spectrum, bidding hits 2 billion


Spectrum VotingCN is reporting that after two weeks of bidding, the auction for Canada’s newly available wireless spectrum has reached CA$2 billion, far surpassing previous estimates of 1.5 billion with several weeks of bidding still to come. Importantly, 40% of the available radio capacity has been reserved for new entrants, and it’s widely expected that a new national carrier will emerge from the process.

For now, Shaw Communications is leading the way, with Quebecor in second and MTS third. Telus is the top bidder amongst current carriers. Hopefully a new Canadian carrier will provide the competition needed to lower data prices to US levels. We’ll keep you informed as this story develops.


Weekly Contest: What does open access mean for BlackBerry?


FCCWe haven’t talked much about the whole open access frequency thing since the implications on BlackBerrys and RIM in particular haven’t been made completely clear yet. Regulations on the bidding process are still being finalized, but what’s been established so far can be found here. Suppose Block C, which will have to remain publicly available by the winning bidder, gets bought up. RIM already manages to offer some services, like BlackBerry Maps and BlackBerry Messenger of their own accord. This week’s contest asks you, BBCool readers: what would you like to see RIM do with its share of open spectrum? It’s not much, and there’s bound to be plenty of limitations on what can be used over the frequency, but let’s say there’s just a little bit of network that BlackBerrys would be able to use regardless of carrier. That opens up some very interesting possibilities not only for RIM, but for third-party developers too. Google and Skype are both pushing hard for the open access; Google and RIM are already pretty tight… what can we hope to see from The Big G? The one to leave the most compelling application for Block C on BlackBerrys will get 3 free themes from Bplay.

The extra-long contest we mentioned earlier is going to be postponed until next week. Sit tight!

Check behind the jump for last week’s winner!