Bell Canada completed its acquisition of MTS in March 2017 several months after Shaw acquired Wind Mobile, butdespite this, BMI believes that an emergence of a strong fourth operator is unlikely. Shaw is boosting its telecoms presence withrecent deals and focusing on its footprint, as is Quebecor. We expect they are more likely to follow the MTS route, where they areeventually acquired by one of the three major operators in the market. While there are limited M&A opportunities, the marketremains fragmented based on legacy regional operating concession footprints which may demand further deals. The dominance ofthe 'Big Three' will be hard to break, but there is scope for new entrants to make an impact at the local level, especially as 43% offrequencies available in the March 2019 auction of 600MHz spectrum will be reserved for new entrants and/or smaller players. InJune 2018 the government announced that it will auction 5G-suitable spectrum at 3.5GHz in late 2020 or in 2021; some operatorsare concerned that Canada will fall behind other markets in 5G development if the auction does not take place sooner.
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