Spectrum on the 3,500GHz band will go up for auction in 2020 and will form a key part of Canada’s 5G architecture

The Canadian government has announced that it will begin auctioning key 5G spectrum in 2020, according to reports in the Canadian press.

“We believe this puts us in a relatively strong position relative to our international peers,” Bains said prior to his speech at the Canadian Telecom Summit in Toronto. We will still be ahead of Australia and Germany and will be (among) the top five countries when it comes to making spectrum available for 5G,” said Canada’s Innovation Minister, Navdeep Bains, at the opening of the Canadian Telecoms Summit in Toronto last week.

Bains’ comments come after a number of the industry’s key players had urged the Canadian government to begin the auctioning spectrum in the 3,500GHz bracket in 2019 or risk being left behind in the race to roll out next generation mobile networks.

The Canadian government has recently stated that it will reserve 43 per cent of its 600Mhz 5G spectrum for smaller players, effectively limiting the country’s big 3 players (Rogers Communications Inc, BCE Inc and Telus Corp) to just 57 per cent of the spectrum on offer.

This ruling will sharpen interest in other available spectrum from the big three, as telcos look to get their 5G plans up and running as soon as possible.