Canada says wireless spectrum auction to go ahead as planned

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will go ahead with a planned auction of wireless spectrum despite Verizon Communications Inc's lack of interest in entering the Canadian market, a government official said on Tuesday.

Firms wishing to take part in the January 2014 auction have to register their interest by September 17. The government wants a strong fourth player in every part of the Canadian telecommunications market and at one stage it appeared Verizon might be a candidate.

The firm made clear on Monday it would stay out of Canada for now. Asked whether the government might therefore push back the auction timetable, a spokeswoman for Industry Minister James Moore said: "We are moving forward with the spectrum auction as planned."

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by James Dalgleish)