Ottawa delays 5G spectrum auction because of COVID-19


The federal government says it is delaying a planned auction of 3500 MHz wireless spectrum for six months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bidding on the next batch of wireless spectrum — electromagnetic waves over which data gets transmitted on wireless cellular networks — was supposed to start at the end of 2020, but the auction will now be postponed until next summer.

Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, made the announcement on Friday, saying the delay will “allow the telecommunications industry to maintain its focus on providing essential services to Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Consultations about the auction of another band of spectrum, 3800 MHz, will begin in August.

Both bands will be critical for 5G, the next generation of wireless networks that can move much more data, much faster than current networks can.

Conspiracy theorists have claimed 5G technology helped caused the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is no scientific basis for those claims.



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