UPDATE 1-No major U.S. telecoms in Canada auction; private equity firms are
OTTAWA, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Major U.S. telecommunications companies have not registered for a Canadian wireless spectrum auction, raising doubts about the government's plans to introduce more competition into the mobile telephone sector.
However, a unit of Canadian private equity firm Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc, tipped earlier as a possible bidder for small companies Wind Mobile and Mobilicity, appeared on the list of registered bidders. The government published the list on Monday.
Sources familiar with Birch Hill's plans said in August that the company had sought financial help from market leader Rogers Communications Inc. The plans involved Wind Mobile's sharing its network with Rogers.
The lack of major foreign entrants is good news for the three dominant Canadian companies - Rogers, BCE Inc and Telus Corp.
The three companies' shares took a beating in June on reports that Verizon Communications Inc was looking to enter the Canadian telecommunications market. Verizon later said it would not do so.
Mobilicity Chairman John Bitove is listed as a bidder through a company called Feenix Wireless Inc. Separately, private equity firm Catalyst Capital Group Inc, which owns Mobilicity debt, also signed up.