Innovation, Science & Economic Development Canada (ISED) has released the Spectrum Outlook 2023 to 2027, outlining the government’s plans to use spectrum to deliver affordable and high-quality telecom services, support faster deployment of 5G, improve rural connectivity, promote the use of wireless technologies that will help address climate change, and advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. The Spectrum Outlook 2023 to 2027 lays out the government’s spectrum release plans for the coming years, aiming to ensure that enough spectrum is available for services Canadians depend on. Building on a number of accomplishments since the release of Spectrum Outlook 2018 to 2022, the government will also continue to advance its ‘use it or lose it’ approach to spectrum so that it is put to use promptly.

The upcoming 3800MHz band spectrum auction is scheduled to begin on 24 October 2023, and will be the third major auction to make spectrum available for 5G, following the 600MHz auction in 2019 and the 3500MHz auction in 2021. The publication of the final list of qualified bidders for the 3800MHz auction is scheduled for 16 August 2023. Furthermore, ISED will make more 5G spectrum available in the future, including through non-competitive local licensing and an upcoming auction for millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum.

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