Quebecor Media is pleased to be among the successful bidders in the Industry Canada 700 MHz spectrum auction held over the past several weeks. Quebecor Media’s Videotron subsidiary acquired seven operating licences in Canada’s four most populous provinces for $233 million. The licences cover the entirety of the provinces of Québec, Ontario (except Northern Ontario), Alberta and British Columbia, home to more than 28 million people or approximately 80% of Canada’s population.
The wireless network Videotron launched in the fall of 2010 already has more than 500,000 customers. With the high-quality frequencies acquired in this auction, Videotron is now well-equipped to develop its network in the years to come and to continue offering its customers the best in wireless technology.
The 700 MHz band is distinguished by its ability to penetrate walls, an important advantage in urban areas, and its long range in remote regions, making it the ideal band for the development of next-generation networks, including LTE.
The spectrum package obtained by Quebecor Media consists of a paired 5+5 MHz block in the upper 700 MHz band in each of the following service areas: Eastern Québec, Southern Québec, Eastern Ontario & Outaouais, Northern Québec, Southern Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. The $0.83/MHz POP price paid for this spectrum compares favourably with prices paid elsewhere in the world for similar spectrum.
Given the way the auction unfolded, Quebecor Media could not pass up the opportunity to invest in licences of such great intrinsic value in the rest of Canada, said Mr. Dépatie.
We now have a number of options available to us to maximize the value of our investment.
Issuance of the operating licences is subject to certain formalities. The successful bidders must make payment for the licencesand submit documentsdemonstrating compliance.