UPDATE 1-Canada to reveal wireless spectrum auction results on Wednesday

Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:18pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp and Euan Rocha

TORONTO Feb 18 (Reuters) - The Canadian government confirmed on Tuesday that it has completed an auction of prized wireless spectrum and will reveal those results on Wednesday.

The 700 megahertz spectrum, which is valued for its ability to carry a signal over long distances and to penetrate buildings, will be used by Canada's big wireless companies and some smaller ones to build more powerful mobile networks.

Canada's Industry Minister James Moore, in a brief statement late on Tuesday, said the results would be announced in Ottawa at 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT) on Wednesday, confirming an earlier Reuters report that the auction had ended and results were imminent.

When the auction kicked off last month, the withdrawal of one smaller player led to expectations that bidding would be subdued.

But Dvai Ghose, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity, said on Tuesday he expects the auction to bring in more than C$2.5 billion ($2.3 billion) for Ottawa.

Ghose said he understood that leading wireless company Rogers Communications Inc had to pay more than initially expected to secure the airwaves it desired and that Quebecor Inc's Videotron had bid on airwaves outside of its French-speaking home base of Quebec.

Ghose's assumptions, based on his own industry checks, were echoed by one other equity analyst and an industry source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the process.   Continued...