Bell has decided not to acquire 600 MHz low band wireless spectrum in the recently concluded spectrum auction by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).
Bell has spectrum assets in the low, mid and high frequency bands in both urban and rural locations. Given the supply of other low-band spectrum that Bell already possesses, 600 MHz is not required for Bell to deliver broadband 4G and 5G services. Similar to Bell, the company’s main U.S. peers chose not to own any 600 MHz spectrum in their markets.
Bell’s existing low-band spectrum, combined with network enhancements like cell splitting, enables the company to deliver mobile broadband service for significantly less capital than buying 600 MHz spectrum.
Bell holds spectrum in the 700, 850, 1900, AWS-1, AWS-3, 2500, 3500 MHz and 24 GHz bands. The previously announced shutdown of its CDMA network on April 30 also enables Bell to “re-farm” additional low band spectrum in the 850 MHz band for 5G services.
“Bell leverages each new generation of wireless network technology to drive renewed innovation and productivity growth, and with 5G we’ll take connectivity further than ever before with smart cities, connected vehicles and other revolutionary service advancements for both consumers and business users,” said Bell’s Chief Technology Officer Stephen Howe. “Bell looks forward to participating in upcoming federal auctions of the mid band 3500 MHz and high band millimetre wave spectrum that will be required to drive the Fifth Generation of wireless.”
Bell is Canada’s largest communications company, providing advanced broadband wireless, TV, Internet and business communication services. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading broadcasting and content-creation assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca or BCE.ca.