A RIM BlackBerry smartphone handset is reflected in the logo of an Apple iPhone.
Credits: REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud/Files
Spectrum is a limited resource but necessary for wireless communications on devices like mobile phones, smartphones and tablet computers. Demand for high-speed mobile services and gadgets has boomed - with a global 10-fold growth expected in data traffic in the next four years alone.
Industry Minister Christian Paradis announced Tuesday the government will launch consultations into the use of spectrum for backhaul services, which will help meet expanding broadband networks.
"We know additional spectrum will be required to meet the demands of the wireless sector. We are already looking beyond the upcoming spectrum auctions at future demand for mobile broadband capacity and which bands might be used to meet it," he said.
They are also opening up unused spectrum between TV channels -- so-called "white space" - for certain applications, Paradis told delegates at the International Institute of Communications conference in Ottawa.
"This will provide significant new options for low-cost Internet in rural areas, helping to bridge the digital divide. Over the longer term, it could mean improved home Wi-Fi and increased capacity of mobile phone networks," he said.
Paradis said the government was still fleshing out the timelines for opening up the new spectrum options but will soon be setting up consultations with industry stakeholders.