TORONTO Feb 18 The Canadian government has
completed an auction of prized wireless spectrum and is poised
to reveal the results within days, several sources with
knowledge of the process said on Tuesday.
The 700 megahertz spectrum, which is valued for its ability
to carry a signal over long distances and to penetrate
buildings, will be used by Canada's big wireless companies and
some smaller ones to build more powerful networks.
An announcement is expected as early as Wednesday afternoon
and no later than Thursday, one of the sources said.
A second source familiar with the one-month auction said the
process was very nearly complete at of the end of last week. A
third source also said the main thrust of the auction had been
finished at least a week ago.
The three sources spoke on the condition of anonymity
because of the sensitivity of the process. Government rules bar
discussion of details of the auction by participants.
A spokesman for Canadian Industry Minister James Moore,
whose department ran the auction, declined to comment on what he
The airwaves auction could bring in between C$1.5 billion
and C$1.8 billion ($1.4 billion to $1.6 billion) for the
government, telecom analysts have estimated.
Industry Canada is conducting last-minute checks to verify
that the results are legitimate, a necessary step since the
auction used a complicated methodology to avoid collusion or
unnatural bidding, two of the sources said.
The bidders included dominant national wireless providers
Rogers Communications Inc, Telus Corp and BCE
Inc's Bell as well as regional operators focused on the
provinces of Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and elsewhere.