Telus Says Canada Should Not Recycle Europe’s Failed Policies, but Learn from Them

by Istvan Fekete on October 3, 2014

Competition stimulated artificially could harm Canadian wireless subscribers rather than benefiting them, Telus’ CEO Joe Natalie hinted to the CRTC during the company’s presentation on Tuesday. His position was backed by the former head of Austria’s telecom regulator, Georg Serentschy.

Canada should learn from the mistakes the European telecoms industry made and should avoid repeating them, he said. Europeans are suffering the unintended consequences of stimulating increased competition to keep consumers happy: they have the slowest and least reliable wireless network in the industrialized world, Serentschy said.

“Europe’s telecoms industry — and its entire digital ecosystem — is suffering because over the last two decades European telecom regulators have created rules intended to keep wireless prices low by stimulating increased competition,” said Serentschy.

“I encourage Canada’s regulator not to recycle Europe’s failed policies, but rather to learn from them,” he added.

Telus’ CEO pointed to the quality of Canadian wireless networks, where users experience speeds more than twice those typical of Germany and Italy, three times the average recorded in the US and France, and nine times faster than in the UK.

This is the direct result of a regulatory framework that stimulated the telcos’ investment strategy, Natalie says.

Serentschy also questioned the outcome of the presence of a fourth national player, something the government has been pushing for over the past few years. He pointed to the German case, emphasizing that the country hadn’t been able to support four carriers, despite having a population of 81 million. So, how about Canada, which has a population of roughly 35 million people?

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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