An update to Industry Canada’s website yesterday (4 December 2013) showed that there are eleven remaining qualified bidders for Canada’s January auction of 700MHz 4G mobile broadband licences, after the Catalyst Capital Group was listed as ‘withdrawn’, despite reportedly having paid a full pre-auction deposit. Catalyst Capital Group is a private equity firm which owns roughly 30% of struggling cellco Mobilicity’s senior secured debt. The eleven remaining bidders include nine companies already active in the cellular network operating market: Bell, Rogers, Telus, MTS, SaskTel, Videotron, Globalive Wireless (Wind Mobile), Bragg Communications (Eastlink) and TBayTel. The other two are Feenix Wireless (a 100%-owned company of Mobilicity chairman John Bitove, whose Obelysk investment firm owns a majority voting share and minority equity share in the financially stricken cellco) and Novus Wireless (which TeleGeography notes was a winner in the 2008 auction of 1700MHz ‘I Band’/1900MHz ‘G-band’ spectrum sold alongside Canada’s 2100MHz AWS spectrum). Novus is associated with Novus Entertainment, a provider of fibre internet, TV and digital phone services in Vancouver and surrounding areas of British Columbia.
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