Canada’s top three mobile phone carriers—Rogers Communications, Telus Communications and Bell Mobility— emerged as the top winners of advanced wireless service (AWS) spectrum in an auction that was intended to create a fourth major player in the Canadian wireless sector. On Monday, Industry Canada, the nation’s telecom regulator, wrapped up bidding for 105 MHz of AWS spectrum in the 1710-2200 MHz band. Twenty-seven bidders competed in the auction event that commenced on May 27 and that also included a 40 MHz set-aside for a new market entrant. After 331 rounds, the auction ended with 15 companies winning at least one license. Total bids exceeded C$4.25 billion, with Rogers Communications—Canada’s largest wireless carrier—claiming first place among all participants with $999.4 million in high bids for 59 licenses. Telus Communications came in second, posting $879.9 million for 59 licenses, and was followed by Bell Mobility, which paid $740.9 million for 54 licenses. Although the auction failed to produce a new national competitor, several entities, including Montreal-based Quebecor (the parent of cable operator Videotron), Globalive Wireless, and Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Wireless, Inc. (owned partly by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen), garnered enough spectrum to compete against national incumbents on a regional basis. Declaring that, “the auction exceeded our expectations in terms of the level of competitive bidding activity,” Industry Canada minister Jim Prentice voiced hope that “the industry keeps this competitive spirit alive as it enhances and expands its services.”