Canada’s Wireless Telecom Industry Calls For An Open Spectrum Auction

Government Must Ensure A ‘Level Playing Field’ For All Wireless Carriers

OTTAWA, June 11, 2007 – The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) today called on the Government of Canada to ensure that the 2008 Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum auction is open and free of artificial measures.

“To continue stimulating innovation and investment, the federal government must create a level playing field for all companies seeking to acquire AWS spectrum,” said Peter Barnes, President and Chief Executive Officer of the CWTA. “Canadians deserve an open, innovative and competitive wireless industry. They deserve an industry that is really competitive and really Canadian.”

Ottawa has announced that it will auction off AWS spectrum in 2008. Canada’s wireless industry needs spectrum to continue delivering the competitive mobile communications, information and entertainment that Canadians enjoy and rely on.

Over the past 22 years, wireless companies have invested more than $20 billion to build one of the most innovative wireless industries in the world. Wireless infrastructure now connects more than 98% of Canada’s population. The AWS spectrum will give Canadians increased access to high speed internet services such as TV shows and movies on demand over new wireless devices. It will also integrate wireless networks and the internet, providing Canadians with access to entertainment and information – anywhere at anytime.

“Canada has one of the most innovative wireless industries in the world,” said Mr. Barnes. “Strong investments have allowed Canada to pioneer mobile technologies such as the BlackBerry®.”

The overwhelming majority of CWTA members are concerned that companies unwilling to persevere in the early days of Canada’s wireless industry are now lobbying for taxpayer subsidies and demanding that the federal government give them spectrum and force the industry to share their networks at a regulated discount.

“Government shouldn’t subsidize well-financed companies,” said Mr. Barnes. “Measures such as setting aside spectrum for some auction participants hurts real competition. That’s not free enterprise.”

Mr. Barnes added that subsidizing large corporations through spectrum set-asides, or other special considerations, could cost Canadian taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenues from the auction.

The CWTA has established a new Web site that contains detailed information about Canada’s wireless industry and the 2008 AWS spectrum auction. It is also running a series of newspaper advertisements. Please visit: www.wirelesscompetition.ca

About CWTA
CWTA is the authority on wireless issues, developments and trends in Canada. It represents cellular, PCS, messaging, mobile radio, fixed wireless and mobile satellite carriers as well as companies that develop and produce products and services for the industry. (www.cwta.ca)

To arrange an interview with a representative of the CWTA, please contact:

Marc Choma
Director of Communications
Phone: 613-233-4888 ext. 207
E-mail: mchoma@cwta.ca

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