Last time I reported on the Wireless spectrum auction was waaaaay back in round 70 on June 16th. Now, as of bidding round 123 it looks like the federal government will receive about $4 Billion dollars from the auction and most of the bidding companies have reached their spending limits.
The bidding on the Grande Prairie licences seems to have stopped in round 90. Since that time there have been no new bids on any of the four licences up for grabs and it stands like this in round 123:
Section A - Rogers, $3,620,000
(up by $1,660,000 since round 70)
Section D - Eastlink, $239,000
(up by $27,844 since round 70)
Section E - Eastlink, $1,590,000
(up by $871,000 since round 70)
Section F - Telus, $3,580,00
(up by $1,390,000 since round 70)
From the looks of it Eastlink might just be successful at gaining a toe-hold in the northern Alberta market by winning the two licences that were coveted by Shaw and Bell respectively. At the very least Eastlink has definitely not made it easy for the big three (Telus, Bell & Rogers) to maintain their dominance of our market.
In fact Eastlink have actually withdrawn bids on licences in their home turf of Atlantic Canada. Doing that probably enabled them to use that money to fund the bidding war here and, interestingly, in northern Ontario. It remains to be seen if one of the players still has a big push left in them but Eastlink seems pretty committed to holding on.
A CBC story suggests that "...by next summer consumers are going to have more choice and more choice tends to mean more flexible price plans." It will be interesting to see how it all ends and what sort of difference (if any) it makes for the service and rates available to us here.