600 MHz Spectrum Auction – Process and Results


Bidding in the 600 MHz band auction began on March 12, 2019, and ended on April 4, 2019. 

The low-frequency 600 MHz spectrum carries signals well over long distances and penetrates structures better than higher frequency bands. This makes it well suited to deliver next-generation wireless services in both urban and rural settings. The auction was designed to promote more competition by setting aside 43% of the spectrum for regional providers.

Twelve companies participated in the auction, and 104 of 112 licences were awarded to 9 of those participants. The auction raised $3.47 billion, which will be remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, administered by the Receiver General of Canada.

The new spectrum acquired by these providers will further strengthen the country’s robust networks, improve wireless coverage and foster a competitive wireless market in support of lower prices. Through the auction, regional providers more than doubled their share of low-band spectrum, strengthening their ability to offer competitive services to Canadians. In addition to improving competition, the results of this auction will support the deployment of current and next-generation technologies.

This auction used the Combinatorial Clock Auction (CCA) format.  This format was previously used for the 700 MHz and 2500 MHz auctions.  

The CCA is a common format for spectrum auctions internationally. Like any other auction, the CCA format uses supply and demand to arrive at the final price.  However, bidders express interest in a package of licences instead of on an individual basis.  This eliminates the risk that bidders would win some, but not all, of the licenses they require to support their business case.

In this auction, there were 54 rounds of bidding that took place over 18 business days.

Winning bidders have until April 26, 2019, to submit 20 percent of their total final payment. The remaining 80 percent is due May 27, 2019.

For more information, see the 600 MHz auction home page.

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