John Bitove, executive chairman of startup wireless carrier Mobilicity, has sent a letter to Ottawa expressing the company’s support of a “Spectrum Screen” solution to the upcoming wireless auction. A spectrum screen would essentially ensure that no one carrier’s holdings exceed a predefined threshold. It would also create an auction cap, limiting the amount of auction that each telco can acquire in a single auction.
The concept of a spectrum screen is not new. Mobilicity’s proposed idea was recently executed successfully in the U.S. to block the AT&T merger with T-Mobile that would have created a near-monopolistic telecommunications industry.
John’s letter to Stephen Harper stated that the current oligpoly of Telus, Rogers, and Bell ruling over Canada “could have been easily avoided if the government had implemented a stringent ‘Spectrum Screen’ in the first place.” He also said there has been “decades” without competition in the space in Canada and that free spectrum has long been “gifted” to the incumbent carriers since the 1980s.
Photo: The Globe and Mail