Supporting ISED Canada’s Successful 5G Wireless Spectrum Auction


On November 23, 2023, Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED) Canada concluded its auction of spectrum licenses in the 3800 MHz band, which is an important band for 5G wireless service. The auction used a clock auction format with intra-round bidding to allocate thousands of spectrum licenses. The design followed a two-stage process in which generic licenses were allocated in the first stage, and then specific frequencies were assigned in a subsequent assignment stage.

Our Role

The Secretariat team of Allan Ingraham, Shreyas Ravi, and William Schwartz supported the Canadian government as independent verifiers of the 3800 MHz auction. In this role, the Secretariat team independently verified the software that ISED used to conduct the 3800 MHz auction. We then verified the accuracy of the results from the assignment stage of the auction.


The 3800 MHz auction lasted 21 bidding days. It began on October 24, 2023, and it successfully concluded on November 24, 2023. The auction raised $2.158 billion Canadian for the allocation of 4,099 licenses via competitive bidding.

The auction licensing framework and the provisional results are both available on ISED’s website: auction licensing framework, provisional results

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