Ottawa speeds up wireless auction plans to help out smaller carriers

The Feds are speeding up a wireless spectrum auction to help new carriers expand their networks -- and better compete against incumbents Rogers, Bell and Telus. Getty Images

Industry Minister James Moore said Monday Ottawa will set aside new spectrum exclusively for smaller cellphone carriers in a new wireless auction that’s been fast-tracked to some time early next year.

The move is designed to bolster competition in the $21-billion wireless market by allowing firms like Wind Mobile, Mobilicity to buy up the set-aside spectrum at lower prices, which can then be used to bulk up their networks to give subscribers better service.

The move, the latest in a series, is aimed at fostering more meaningful competition against industry giants Rogers, Bell and Telus, the government said.

READ MORE: Spectrum 101, what consumers need to know about 

“Canada’s wireless consumers have been clear that they want their government to make decisions that will lead to more choice, lower prices and better wireless service,” Industry Canada said in a statement.

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MORE HERE: 5 things to know about Ottawa’s latest wireless announcement


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