Canada's Federal Court has this week rejected nationwide operator Telus Communications' attempt to block Quebec-based rival Videotron's rights to 3500MHz 5G mobile licences in western provinces won at auction last year. The ruling follows the same court's refusal of a stay request from Telus and fellow nationwide player Bell Canada in October 2021, while Bell withdrew its objections before this week's decision according to an official at Videotron's parent Quebecor. Telus had argued that Videotron did not meet government conditions to qualify for the 'set-aside' spectrum (reserved for companies other than Bell, Telus or mobile market leader Rogers Communications) requiring it to have existing commercial facilities-based telecoms services in the auction regions, but as reported by the Financial Post, Federal Court Justice Alan Diner found the set-aside eligibility assessment process and the Minister of Industry's decision on the awards to have been 'fair and reasonable'. Videotron had indicated in its application that it qualified for the set-aside in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba through an affiliate, Fibrenoire, which had customers in each of these provinces.
Thanks to TeleGeography for this industry update.