CRTC to study wireless affordability, stops short of mandating new business mode - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 2018-03-22, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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CRTC to study wireless affordability, stops short of mandating new business mode

Canada's telecom regulator says it will consult on new ways to make cellular services more affordable, but stopped short of mandating a model that would have forced large wireless companies to resell network access to startup carriers that don't build their own networks.


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Rogers Communications Inc., Telus Corp. and BCE Inc. – have been unwilling to negotiate wireless reselling agreements on any broad basis. They argue being forced to open up their networks to players who don't build their own would discourage investment in communications infrastructure.
Back in the late '90s, when the "PCS" cell networks started up, there was a company called Microcell, which owned the GSM network in Canada. In addition to their own Fido brand, they also allowed other companies, resellers (MVNO), to offer cell service over the Microcell network. Rogers inherited those resellers, when it bought Microcell & FIDO. I believe some of them are still around, such as Petro Canada. I guess Rogers, while still carrying those companies it inherited, does not want any others to start up. IIRC, Bell & Telus carry PC Mobile (Loblaws).

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 2018-03-23, 11:56 AM
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...stopped short of mandating a model that would have forced large wireless companies to resell network access to startup carriers that don't build their own networks.
It's more like cannot build their own networks and make a profit due to lack of bandwidth, high costs, lack of cooperation from large companies that own communications infrastructure and regulatory hurdles. Despite directives to the contrary, large players have been allowed to buy up competitors and assume their frequencies which were supposed to be reserved for small competitors. Those frequencies should have been forfeited. In addition, the high cost of obtaining frequencies and long waits between frequency auctions are a severe impediment for small startups. The owner of Wind described Canada as the worst place in the world to operate a wireless phone company. He's probably right.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 2018-03-23, 01:43 PM
 
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I think this was a horrible decision on the CRTC's part and even worse for competition in the Canadian cell phone market. The Big 3 claim that forcing MVNO's access to the incumbent markets will deter network investment.... This is pure bluff as they did the same thing in the home internet market and yet Bell and Telus and Shaw continue to invest in fiber optic networks, etc. Look over to the USA and you see that they have several MVNO's that offer great competition to the big 4 over there and yet Verizon, AT&T, Spring and T Mobile all continue to invest in their networks. I am tired of hearing the CRTC state that they will investigate and look into allowing greater competition further.... enough already, it's time to act and legislate so that these smaller companies can get their services off the ground. As to the Minister, Mr. Bains stating this is a great day for competition, what a policital statement. It looks horrible on him and his ministry as he made the CRTC take another look at this, only for them to say no to Wifi first MVNO's yet again! I have a great corporate plan that affords me unlimited data but I'd love to see every Canadian have that opportunity! We shall see what happens in the next CRTC hearing.........
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 2018-03-23, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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^^^^
As I mentioned, there already are MVNOs in Canada. Microcell started with the idea they'd sell to MVNOs. There were several brands they carried, including Sears, Cityphone and more. However, it appears Bell, Rogers & Telus are trying to block others from starting up. As for not building the networks, those MVNOs are major customers, buying large blocks of network capacity and reselling it under their own name, just like all the companies that used Microcell.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 2018-03-23, 06:32 PM
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They argue being forced to open up their networks to players who don't build their own would discourage investment in communications infrastructure.
Already disproven in the internet sector. The biggest impediment to investment in networks has been shown to be lack of competition. Where competition becomes (or threatens to become) available, incumbents magically build networks where none existed before.

What open networks do is reduce gouging since incumbent retail divisions must compete on price. If anything, competition will increase investment since smaller MVNOs will have access to a wider customer base and will be able to raise money to build their own networks. There are already examples of smaller MVNOs offering huge savings on data and other services where they have already built their own new networks. They can thrive in all areas when they have access to other networks where they don't have the resources to extend their own networks.

Even the big three use network sharing with each other to extend their networks. What they want to do is keep out new competition so they can keep prices high. This is yet another example of policy being written by large industry players, being communicated by industry lobbyists and being implemented by regulators.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 2018-05-02, 11:50 AM
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The CRTC mandated the big wireless players offer data only plans. And as predicted, they're a total joke: Big telco's lower-cost, wireless data-only plans are 'embarrassing,' critics say | CBC News

$30/month for 500MB is really funny when you realize that 1GB of pay as you go data on Koodo is $30. And that's ignoring a few months ago when 10GB for $60 was on offer.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 2018-05-02, 09:28 PM
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Can't say I agree with the CRTC decision to prevent MVNOs from accessing wireless infrastructure. On the one hand, they let the incumbents buy up smaller carriers and the wireless frequencies they owned. That basically defeats earlier decisions that reserved those frequencies for competitors and restricts MVNOs from obtaining their own networks. Then they prevent MVNOs from gaining access to those frequencies and infrastructure that were reserved for smaller competitors in earlier decisions. The whole process just makes sure they Canadians will continue to be overcharged for wireless services.

I have a PAYGO plan from an MVNO. While the talk and text costs are a fraction of the cost from the incumbents, the data portion of plan is ridiculously expensive at $100/GB. Even worse is that it is so slow it's almost useless. Even so, it's still cheaper since 99.9% of my data use is on wifi. One time, I forgot to turn the data off and wifi back on. I got hit with a ridiculous charge for some app updates done in the background. It would be nice if the CRTC stepped up and gave MVNOs easy access to data at reasonable rates to prevent such abuses.
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