At the Canadian Telecom Summit on June 5, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced changes to the 3500 MHz spectrum band, as well as a planned consultation for a 2020 auction. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) plans to make over 7 GHz of millimetre wave spectrum available for licence-exempt use this year, before allocating another 4.85GHz for licensed use in 2021, and potentially staging a 3800MHz auction in 2022. Next year’s 3500MHz auction will be pivotal for Canadian 5G networks, with Canada’s Big Three carriers set to be major players. ISED has also proposed applying “pro-competitive” set-aside or spectrum cap limits to the 2020 auction, which would favour regional players and new entrants. The Department made its announcement prior to issuing a new proposed directive to the CRTC, which could change the policy basis for telecommunications regulation in Canada.
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