TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian government said on Tuesday it had raised C$755.4 million ($627.77 million) in a 2500-megahertz spectrum auction set to boost telecom coverage in rural areas across the vast country.
Telus Corp, one of Canada's three biggest telecom companies, emerged as the big winner from the auction. It paid C$478.8 million for 122 licenses across the country, snagging over 40 percent of the licenses sold through the auction.
Larger rivals Rogers Communications Inc and BCE Inc's Bell unit also captured some airwaves but were largely constrained by bidding rules due to the spectrum they already own.
Details of the auction results were posted on the Internet. (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf11030.html)
The government said leading rural broadband provider Xplornet Communications Inc was the big winner among the smaller regional companies, taking 42 licenses across the nation and boosting its holdings by more than 60 percent.
Quebecor Inc's Videotron, which has been mulling expansion, picked up licenses in major cities outside its home market of Quebec, including Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.
Others that snagged valuable spectrum in the auction include regional telecom companies like Tbaytel, Eastlink and Manitoba Telecom Services.
(Reporting by Euan Rocha and Alastair Sharp, Editing by W Simon and Lisa Von Ahn)