TORONTO – U.S telecom giant AT&T decided against expanding north of the border citing “not enough room for four players in Canada”, according to a report aired Tuesday by BNN anchor Howard Green.
In a confidential memo obtained by BNN, a highly-placed telecom industry source wrote that AT&T had looked at Wind Mobile and Mobilicity “in detail” and passed. BNN also reported that AT&T, Vodafone and Norway’s Telenor have all considered bidding for wireless spectrum in Canada. Telenor is a 33% owner (with 43% voting rights) in Vimpelcom, the company that owns Wind Mobile. Both AT&T and Telenor declined to comment on the BNN report.
The report added that a third person knowledgeable about the matter says an overseas foreign telco inquired about the upcoming spectrum auction, but was counseled not to bother. That source declined to identify the company.
U.S. carrier Verizon was believed to be interested in bidding for wireless spectrum in Canada in the 700 MHz auction which is scheduled for January, but its CEO put an end to those rumours earlier this month after the company announced it was purchasing Vodafone’s stake in Verizon Wireless for US$130 billion.
The deadline to register for the 700 MHz spectrum auction was yesterday, September 17.