Wind Mobile Applauds CRTC Cap on Incumbents’ Wholesale Roaming Rates

by Istvan Fekete on May 7, 2015

After seven months of debate, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced that it will apply a cap on the wholesale rates that incumbents Rogers, Bell and Telus can charge their smaller competitors.

These rates are considered key to increasing competition in the wireless sector, since they allow smaller players to pay to give their customers temporary access to the Big 3’s networks until they finish building their own (if applicable).

“With more than 28 million subscribers, the wireless sector is of tremendous importance to Canada’s economy. Innovation that leverages the use of wireless networks now forms part of our daily life and the important role of wireless technology increases each and every day. With microcomputers that fit in our palm, pocket or purses, we can do our banking, check up on our kids or elderly parents, apply for jobs, register for Government services or stay in contact with our friends, co-workers or clients. The measures that we are putting in place today in the wireless market will ensure that Canadians continue to have more choice as well as innovative high-quality services,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC.

The Tuesday ruling is great news for smaller wireless carriers such as SaskTel in Saskatchewan, MTS in Manitoba, Videotron in Québec, and Wind Mobile. Videotron and SaskTel complained to the CRTC that the wholesale roaming cap – the interim solution currently in force – was hurting their business, as it gave an unfair advantage to the incumbents when using the incumbents’ networks in areas where their own coverage was absent or spotty.

Shortly after the ruling went public, Wind Mobile issued a press release applauding the regulator’s move to fine tune the wholesale roaming cap law.

“Once again, the federal government is taking steps to expand on its promise to support sustainable wireless competition in Canada,” added Bob Boron, Chief Regulatory Officer of WIND Mobile. “The first phase of changes to wholesale roaming rates allowed WIND Mobile to reduce roaming charges for its customers by up to 90%. We urge the CRTC to push ahead quickly with the cost-analysis phase, so we can bring even more choice and better pricing to Canadians.”

Alongside the ruling, the CRTC has defined new, interim wholesale roaming rates applicable to incumbents, and expects them to submit their preferred rates by November 4, 2015.

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

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