Quebecor sells seven spectrum licenses to Shaw Communications in $430 million deal

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Quebecor is once again selling parts of its spectrum.

The Quebec-based media company announced the sale of seven spectrum licences to Alberta-based wireless provider Shaw, in a $430 million CAD deal.

Shaw is set to acquire three 700MHz licenses for Southern Ontario, as well as both provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. 700MHz is a high-quality wireless frequency that Rogers uses for LTE service.

Shaw is also set to acquire four 2500MHz licenses covering the “major urban centres” of Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver.

All seven licenses were held by Videotron — a Quebec-based wireless service provider with a network that also serves parts of New Brunswick and Eastern Ontario.

“We believe this incremental in our wireless business, particularly with the addition of the 700MHz spectrum, will materially improve our long-term wireless customer experience, and will further enable our ability to offer converged network solutions,” said Brad Shaw, CEO of Shaw Communications, in a media release.

Both Quebecor and Shaw have clarified that the deal is still subject to government approval, but Shaw expects the deal to close later this year, in Summer 2017.

At the same time, Shaw announced it had sold its cloud business ViaWest for $2.3 billion CAD and expects $900 million cash proceeds when all is settled, more than covering the cost of the spectrum purchase.

This is the second time Quebecor has sold off a portion of its spectrum. Last week, the company sold its Toronto AWS-1 spectrum to Rogers, in a $184 million deal.

According to a Quebecor media release, the most recent spectrum sale more favourably positions the company to pursue its expansion of its Videotron 4G network as well as the eventual rollout of a 5G network. The transaction also seems to spell the end for its national expansion ambitions.

MobileSyrup has reached out to both Quebecor and Shaw for comment, and this article will be updated to reflect the companys’ responses.

Source: Canada Newswire, Shaw