Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) has announced a consultation for repurposing portions of the 3800 Mhz band for 5G services. A two-month window for submissions will be followed by a 30-day period for replies.

The announcement comes after a decision to postpone Canada’s 3500 MHz auction until June 2021. For 3500 MHz, ISED implemented a flexible-use auction framework, which will make the spectrum available for fixed and mobile services.

Both 3500 MHz and 3800 MHz are key to 5G network building, with many countries now repurposing 3650-4000 MHz for commercial mobile uses in order to meet rising demand for wireless connectivity.

Looking ahead to a 3800 MHz auction in Canada, the government believes a flexible-use licensing model, similar to its 3.5 GHz framework, would “foster more efficient and intensive use of mid-band spectrum to facilitate and incentivize investment in next generation wireless services.”

ISED has also committed to licensing 3800 MHz in a manner that will ensure the effective deployment of 5G, as well as the provision of high-quality services for urban and rural areas alike.

“Having the right spectrum available and ensuring the effective deployment of 5G technology will be key tools in making sure all Canadians benefit from these new technologies,” said Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, “regardless of where they live.”

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