Canada’s auction of 5G wireless spectrum to telecom firms delayed due to coronavirus

The federal government is delaying its auction of wireless spectrum that will be critical to the future of fifth-generation network services.

The auction was to take place later this year, but Industry Minister Navdeep Bains says the delay to June 2021 will allow the telecom industry to focus on providing essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Bell, Telus reveal 5G deals with European firms in major blow to Huawei

Wireless carriers use the spectrum to carry voice, video and data across their networks and between smartphones or other devices.

Rogers, Bell, Telus and Canada’s regional wireless companies such as Shaw’s Freedom and Quebecor’s Videotron collectively spend billions of dollars at auction to obtain licences for the spectrum they require.

1:10Big 3 telecom firms will get 2 years to cut rates or face consequences: Bains

Big 3 telecom firms will get 2 years to cut rates or face consequences: Bains

The 3,500-megahertz band of spectrum will be important because carriers are using it as a building block for their 5G networks.

Mid-range bands like 3,500 MHz are useful in both urban and rural areas because they have the ability to travel considerable distances and pass through buildings.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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