Industry Minister Moore to announced winners of 700-NHz wireless acution

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OTTAWA – The much-awaited results of Canada’s latest wireless spectrum auction are about to be announced.

Industry Minister James Moore says winners of the 700-megahertz auction will be disclosed during a media lockup in Ottawa on Wednesday.

Ten bidders, including Canada’s big three telecom companies: Bell (TSX:BCE), Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) and Telus (TSX:T), participated.

The airwaves up for grabs are considered particularly valuable because they allow signals to travel further and penetrate buildings and tunnels where calls are often dropped.

The previous auction in 2008 raised $4.3 billion for federal coffers and saw the addition of several new wireless companies.

Another auction for wireless licences for the 2,500 megahertz band is set for April 2015.

The government has put rules in place for that auction that caps on how much 2,500 megahertz spectrum companies can own, a move Ottawa says will largely shut out Rogers and Bell because they already own large chunks of it.

Moore has also said legislation is coming on roaming rates that big telecom companies charge their small rivals for using their cellphone networks.

An announcement is also in the works on forcing telecom companies to use the spectrum they haven’t deployed, or face losing it.

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