Increasing competition to promote affordability of cell phone services

News release

Government of Canada increases quality and coverage and lowers price of cell phone services for millions of Canadians

March 28, 2018, Ottawa ON

Now more than ever, Canadians are demanding high-quality, affordable cell phone services to watch videos, listen to music and participate in the digital economy. That is why the Government of Canada is taking concrete action to support more vigorous competition in the marketplace, better pricing and improved quality of coverage in numerous urban and rural regions across Canada.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, published a framework for the auction of 600 MHz spectrum that will improve the cell phone service landscape for Canadians by supporting competition in the marketplace and taking action on the three elements of telecom service that matter most to middle-class families: quality, coverage and price.

The auction will set aside 43 percent of the spectrum for regional competitors and potential new market entrants. More competition will lead to better quality services and lower prices for Canadians.

The airwaves in the 600 MHz frequency carry signals over long distances (good for rural wireless coverage) and penetrate buildings (good for urban wireless quality), which makes it possible for Canadians to take greater advantage of next-generation wireless services.


“Competition is a key driver of innovative and affordable telecommunications services. This is an important step toward more choices, lower prices and higher quality cell phone services for Canadians. Auctioning 600 MHz spectrum will encourage competition, support new and emerging technologies, and enable Canadians to benefit from high-quality services at a better price.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • The auction is scheduled to take place in March 2019.

  • Canada’s networks rank second among G7 countries for average wireless connection speeds.

  • Regions with strong competition are the least expensive mobile wireless markets in Canada.

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Karl W. Sasseville
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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