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ROW Update

News | 10/09/2001 4:00 am EDT

Industry Canada under gun to license Ka-band
It appears Industry Canada is running out of time to license particular satellite spectrum as it has launched a process to "expeditiously" license bandwidth in question. The department has initiated a call for applications to license the Ka-band spectrum in the 107.3 West orbital slot, spectrum that was recently returned to Industry Canada by Star Choice Communications Inc. Companies interested in the spectrum have until the end of this month to file applications.
Brad Shaw, senior VP of operations at Star Choice, tells Report on Wireless that Star Choice is looking at other Ka-band options. He added that it would have been expensive to build and launch its own satellite – over $500 million – money that would have been difficult to raise in the depressed economy.
The Canadian satellite market has limited players, so it seems likely that the usual suspects will throw their hats into the ring. Telesat Canada and Richard Stursberg’s Bird Satellite Communications Inc are the two most likely candidates, since the two battled it out for spectrum in the 118.7 West orbital position earlier this year.
Canada has until April 25, 2005 to use or loose access to the Ka-band spectrum in the 107.3 slot. That same year Canada will also loose access to the Ka-band in the 118.7 slot. Industry Canada is hoping that more than one company will express interest in the spectrum so that it can proceed to license bandwidth in both orbital slots at the same time. More details:

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