Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Well, that is a bit of a shock....

I tend to view any news that comes out on this day of duplicity, but CBC wouldn't pull anything on us, would they?

In a recent story, they dropped two bombshells:

Paul Allen is backing Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc's proposal


Niagara Networks has dropped out of the race.

Niagara, if you remember, is the company that everyone suspected might be backed by AT&T or T-Mobile. They had the largest bid in, and were poised to take on the role of fourth major carrier.

What does this all mean?

It means that when bidding starts on May 27, things will be interesting, but not as interesting as it might have been. The largest bidder still left in the auction (after Rogers) is a numbered company: 1380057 Alberta Ltd., with a $400 million deposit.

The company is 100% owned by Shaw Cable, who have already warned us not to get too excited, as they might not be bidding on the spectrum to set up cellular service. Instead, they might sit on the spectrum or partner up with another company (can you say Rogers?).

Of course, they could turn around and partner with a T-Mobile, allowing the latter to do the heavy lifting of building the network, but my money is on them sitting on the bandwidth for at least a few years. Meaning that we'll see nothing happen.

There are still some major bidders in the auction (Quebecor, MTS Allstream), so here's hoping....

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