Rogers to boost video with big swath of prime 700MHz spectrum

Michelle Clancy | 20-02-2014

Canada's Rogers Communications has secured 20- year licences for two 12MHz blocks of contiguous, paired lower 700MHz band spectrum in Canada's major geographic markets, for around $2.97 billion (C$3.29 billion). It plans to use the spectrum to supercharge its video proposition.

"We went into this auction with our customers' needs front and centre," said Guy Laurence, president and CEO at the carrier. "We believe they want the ultimate video experience and this spectrum will allow us to deliver just that. Not all 700MHz spectrum in the auction was the same; we secured the beachfront property we wanted. You either want your customers to have the best for the next 20 years or you don't. As Minister Moore said today, the 700MHz spectrum is the highest quality wireless frequency ever auctioned in Canada. This was a clear strategy for the long-term, and our customers won."

The 700MHz spectrum will carry wireless signals across longer distances. It will also benefit enterprise customers with faster mobile broadband compared to existing LTE coverage. 700MHz spectrum has the added advantage of providing better in-building reception in densely populated cities, allowing customers to enjoy the speed and consistency of LTE inside buildings.

Rogers' new blocks cover 99.7% of the Canadian population. Specifically, Rogers has acquired the A and B 12MHz blocks in Southern Ontario, Eastern Ontario, Southern Quebec, Eastern Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Rogers has also acquired 12MHz of C block spectrum in Northern Quebec, Northern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.