In the next move towards the deployment of 5G networks, the Canadian federal government recently announced the next steps it will be taking to facilitate the auctioning of prime 5G spectrums.
As announced by Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, at the 2019 Canadian Telecom Conference, those steps include:
-a decision paper outlining changes to the 3500 MHz band supporting an auction in 2020
-a public consultation on the 3500 MHz auction design with measures to support competition and lower prices
-a decision on releasing higher frequency millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum in 2021
-a new proposal to release 3800 MHz spectrum in 2022
“What I was communicating to the sector today is that we understand the deployment of 5G is important and the critical part of that success going forward is making sure that we have the right spectrum available at the right time to make sure that Canada continues to deploy and roll out spectrum to be a global leader,” explained Bains. “And that’s exactly what these timelines reflect.”
Bains acknowledged that the need for connectivity has never been more important for Canadians in their every day lives.
“Canadians and Canadian families that are using, are more implicated in the digital world today than they ever have been. For kids using the internet to study and to do their homework online, for individuals, for entertainment purposes or downloading a movie or for individuals that want to start up their business,” said Bains. “The digital world is such a critical part of our day to day lives.”
And with that sentiment in mind, Bains said that a main focus of these initiatives is the continued push for cheaper and more reliable connectivity for Canadians, no matter if they live in rural or urban areas. These steps will help in achieving that goal.
“Our government has made progress on the three priorities I laid out at this summit two years ago: higher quality services and better coverage at more affordable prices. However, Canadians are still paying too much,” said Bains. “The next steps in our plan will continue to improve rural internet access and allow for the timely deployment of 5G connectivity while increasing the level of competition to lower prices for Canadians.”
Competition in the telecom space is seen as a key need to drive down prices for Canadians, and Bains said they have incorporated such a strategy into the auctions.
“From my perspective, if we want to bring down prices, we have to look at competition, which we’re deploying in a very thoughtful way through the spectrum auctions. We have to look at technology in a thoughtful way to bring down prices as well. So both are very important because the desired outcome is consumer should pay less for their cellphone bills and for their internet bills.”