Mobilicity has disclosed that its Executive Chairman John Bitove sent Ottawa a letter in support of a ‘Spectrum Screen’ similar to that used in the US to successfully limit carrier holdings and prevent hoarding and monopolies. South of the border, the Federal Communications Commission recently applied a Spectrum Screen to help block the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger out of fear that one carrier would hold too much spectrum.
In his letter last week to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Industry/Minister of State Christian Paradis, Bitove attributed Canada’s Big 3 carriers’ excessive spectrum ownership (more than twice the amount of the highest holders in the US) to “decades of lack of competition and the free spectrum that were gifted to the incumbent carriers back in the 1980s.”
Bitove added that “this problem could have been easily avoided if the government had implemented a stringent ‘Spectrum Screen’ in the first place.”
The letter also draws a stark comparison between a Spectrum Screen, which ensures a carrier’s holdings do not exceed a predefined threshold, and an auction “cap”, which specifies how much spectrum a carrier can purchase in a single auction.
In addition to calling for a Spectrum Screen in time for the upcoming government auction, Bitove urged the government to proactively regulate all used and unused spectrum holdings. “Fostering a healthy, competitive wireless industry is in all of our best interests,” he concluded.