Online advocacy group OpenMedia.ca launched a new campaign Wednesday encouraging Canadians to petition the federal government to include set-asides for small wireless providers during the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction. The group’s new “Stop the Cell Phone Squeeze” campaign urges Canadians “to speak out against the Big Three providers’ near-oligopoly on the cell phone market” by joining an online petition available on the organization’s website. Marked to the attention of the prime minister and the minister of industry, the petition calls on the government “to stop big telecom companies from squeezing the options out of the cell phone market, and price-gouging Canadians.” It adds: “Please stand up for choice by setting aside key wireless spectrum for independent providers.” Absent any set-asides, OpenMedia says Rogers Communications Inc., and Telus Communications Co., will “gobble up” all of the spectrum available in the upcoming auction, which is anticipated to take place either this year or next. “This would kill the few independent mobile options we have,” Steve Anderson, OpenMedia’s executive director, said in the release. The result, the group said, would be higher mobile prices, more restrictive wireless contracts, and “more disrespectful customer service.” “Canadians need to come together to stand against this,” Anderson said in the release. The anticipated spectrum auction will see the sale of the 700 MHz spectrum bands freed up by last year’s digital over-the-air television conversion. Further-reaching and more robust than much of the spectrum currently used to transmit wireless signals, the 700 MHz frequencies have been specifically earmarked for use by wireless carriers. It was previously expected that Minister of Industry Christian Paradis would announce the auction rules during an appearance at an annual communications conference in Ottawa last November. Instead, he announced that he would wait until early 2012 to announce the auction rules.