Industry Minister says “Canadians should receive the same services wherever they live”, still no 700Mhz auction decision

Ian Hardy

November 29, 2011 4:45pm


The upcoming 700Mhz spectrum is closely watched by all interested parties – many carriers have been lobbying for months to Industry Canada about how the structure should be positioned. Some, namely Rogers, Bell and TELUS want it completely “fair and open”, while the newer wireless players such as WIND, Mobilicity and even Videotron all unanimously want another set-aside like there was in 2008.

Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, took the stage at the International Institute of Communications (IIC) Canada Conference in Ottawa today. He presented “an update on measures taken to support the digital economy in Canada”, specifically stating that “Our government believes that Canadians should receive the same services wherever they live”, signalling that he might announce auction plans – but unfortunately not.

The Globe was quick to grab a copy of the speech, saying that Paradis and his government will most likely make a decision about the possible changes in foreign investment and the upcoming 700MHz auction in 2012, but does expect cellphone service rates to continue to drop.

“Now I know there has been a lot of interest and speculation about what I may have to say to you today… Over the last couple of weeks I have noticed a lot of market and media excitement about the spectrum file… Some of you may be looking for an early Christmas present today … but I am afraid I am going to be a bit of Grinch. Given the importance and the serious impact this will have on the lives of Canadians for years to come, this is not a decision that I nor this government will be taking lightly. When we make those decisions, we will announce them – clearly and directly”.

The 700MHz is the “beachfront property” or “Cadillac” of spectrum, it’s much cheaper for carriers to roll out into urban areas – which makes Paradis comment above about “Canadians should receive the same services wherever they live” very interesting. In addition, the 700Mhz spectrum can easily penetrate through thick walls and reduce dead spots.

Source: Globe

  • John

    Competition,what is that since we don’t have that here in Canada.

    • Bhell

      Compeeteeion? Is that a lifetime phone contract?

    • no3yrcontract

      How about NO more 3 yr contracts! Following USA in this case would be good for the economy and for subscribers. 2 yrs maximum.

  • Mark

    @John it’s not better in the United-States lol

    • blahblahblah

      i mean compare that to europe.i have family in france and uk and for about $80 CDN, they get cable TV, home phone, internet and cellphone. And that with unlimited usage. Is that too much to ask? Or should we keep feeding the greedy corporations? Canada is the only country where a 3 year contract for cellphone service is legal! We need to catch up!

  • bob

    So, according to Paradis, if I live in Nunavut I should get the same wireless services than in Toronto?
    They better sell the spectrum as quick as possible if they want canadians to have access to technology.

  • Nobel

    It is clear that if the auction is open, then the BIG 3 will hoard more spectrum. The rich will get richer and poor will get poorer!!!

  • John

    @Mark at least Americans don’t have 3 year contracts and domestic long distance and zones. It’s pathetic what we have here.And please don’t say wind because not everyone has wind coverage where they live.

  • JustAnotherDan

    Ugh. The whole bit about “Our government believes that Canadians should receive the same services wherever they live,” is just a shallow attempt to say exactly what Rogers has been pushing for.

    In other words, only the incumbents can offer service to all Canadians within the next few years, so an open auction will enable them to buy up all the spectrum and delay the roll-out.

    Pitiful.

    • Ron Mexico

      Totally agreed, Paradis got a fat check from the incumbents and the auction will be open, goodbye low prices and and any chance at REAL competition in Canada.

  • phoneguy

    OK how about PM then there phones work everywhere in canada ur beloved Bell does? and what? GO PM!!!

  • Bob

    @phoneguy, that would be called roaming in every area outside of Toronto and Montreal. Who in there right mind would want to pay roaming charges on EVERY single call????

    • phoneguy

      @ bob….and if Im with robellus and I have a durham number DURHAM is my tiny lil calling zone….who in there right mind would wanna pay .35 cents per min plus there mins and pay double monthly…OH u do oh ok then enjoy that huge bill lol

  • Geoff

    This SHOULD mean that new entrants should get first crack at the spectrum so that they can expand their services to more and more Canadians. Giving it to the Big 3 just means that the new entrants won’t have much of a chance to expand.

    Unfortunately, I fear that isn’t how they are looking at it.

  • Big 3

    even from the last spectrum auction and with a small set aside, does it look like Canadians living anywhere are getting the LTE from the Big 3 since they own most of the spectrum licenses?Gov’t should set a-side more for the New Entrants so they can bid into rural areas and only let New Entrants get 100% foreign backing so they are able to grow and expand as big as the Big 3. Currently, any advantage given to the Big 3 will hinder competition.

    Or have 2 completely separate bids(not likely to happen): Big 3 will bid amongst themselves for spectrum rights across the country. New Entrants will big amongst themselves for spectrum rights across the country regardless of what Big 3 will own.

  • Mac

    We seriously need a use it or lose it policy. Cough cough Rogers, Bell, Telus. They seriously need to go on that hoarding show and get some help.

  • John

    @bob please disregard Phoneguy, he clearly has a lot invested in public and can’t rationally think.

  • vuvanthanhvnmn

    give it to those who actually invest to build a decent network. dont give spectrum to wind/mobilicity

    • Wes

      “Globalive paid C$442 million ($451 million) for wireless airwaves in a 2008 government auction. The auction rules set side some of the spectrum for new entrants to the sector, long dominated by Rogers Communications , BCE Inc’s Bell Canada and Telus.

      The legal victory could boost Globalive’s position ahead of another spectrum auction due late next year.

      Lacavera said earlier this month that the legal uncertainty around Wind Mobile had scared off investors.

      Mobilicity, another new entrant that acquired airwaves in the 2008 auction, raised C$215 million in debt financing in April.”

      I guess 600 million is nothing to you….

    • RoccoStiffReddi

      Wes what investors? there are none just Orascom. the legal issues started after they came to market not before. now since the owner says he wants a deal and from what the minister is saying its not looking too good. LTE where we live well that locks wind out.. ask justin imbicel 2014 is when wind plans if ever to have LTE and yet the big 3 have it now.. today.. so add the 700 to that and its game over.

      jabronied outsourced contracted and still for sale!

    • T1MB1T

      Go back to your cave! Wind is the best and you know it! They will crush you all and then you will beg for cellular service from them! over 500,000 subs and 5 billion in cash!

    • Bhell

      I want our WiMax spectrum back.

  • Bob

    @vuvanthanhvnmn, how was work at Roger’s today?

  • math

    Hey Bob, funny how each time someone who has a ‘positive’ opinion on the big three, people start saying that they work for those compagnies dont you think? It’s dumb right?

  • Bob

    @math, no I don’t think it is dumb but I think your comment is. Maybe you should stick to math.

  • Bob

    @phoneguy, who has just a durham calling zone? Maybe in your little fantasy world you make up these tiny calling zone but realistically, Public Mobile has a VERY small calling zone so go back to your store and close early because no one wants to use PM.

  • raynz

    Too many losers getting red in the face over the big 3. Sure its not perfect yet but its always improving (prices and network). You can see the vast changes that have happened in 3 years. Do some actual research on cost to invest and build a network in Canada and how many subscriber that will possibly net you and then come back and talk. Until then, stop making stupid rude comments to strangers on a forum to cure your short man syndrome.

    • Slype

      @raynz

      “Too many losers getting red in the face over the big 3. Sure its not perfect yet but its always improving (prices and network).”

      People can only be treated like dirt for so long before they rebel. The big three had plenty of opportunity to act like decent and responsible corporations but yet they continue to collude on their plans and prices to keep the prices artificially high.

      If you think they are improving in prices, it is only because they know the new entrants are offering decent plans to those who can get it. Their prices have been *marginally* better.

      I have converted 6 of my friends to Wind and I tell more people about it every day. Why pay triple the price for half the services? If you have the option in your area, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be with a new entrant.

    • T1MB1T

      slype you are doing your part spread the word!!! wind is the best!

  • GaryIT

    Wes, you absolutely sound like a jerk and have no clue, judging by Mobilicity’s poor network and failing service I would say they are hoarding their funds for the Spectrum Auction or already blew the money wastefully…they only want the 700 to sell at a profit later and don’t care about anyone besides their shareholders. Mobilcity is the worse provider going and should not be given anything since they haven proven themselves.

  • A. Carmine

    I want WIND/Mobilicity/Videotron to get access to the 700 Mhz because that means they’ll finally get the iPhone that comes out in 2013. Yeah, you heard it here first, take a screenshot.

    • Bhell

      iPhones won’t exist in 2013. Apple will come up with something that replaces it all together.

      You heard it here first, take a screenshot.

    • aka

      WIND won’t survive past 2013.

      True story, you heard it here first, take a screen shot.

  • Robber$

    I h8 Rogers Bell Telus they’ve been robbing us since the Cantel days and their network is slower than Wind. Fat inefficient phone companies like Robbers will only steal more from the consumer if an open auction takes place and they win it.

  • aka

    I wonder how many supporters of the new entrants actually subscribe to their service to support them, or are they just hypocrites using big3 service while complaining about them?

    • Bhell

      thank god we have democracy.

      we also can vote on the ballot, not just with our wallets.

  • iDonkey

    Cut the bullcrap! Are you with the taxpayers or are you pro Robellus? Answer the question doorknob!

  • smitty

    I wonder how much Rogers, Telus, and Bell will pay this minister of industry to bribe him to make a decision to help the big 3. if he decides on a open auction then you know he was bribed with lots of money from big 3 and you will see the corruption in this Government. But if you see him set a side the auction for just the new entrants then you will see this minister is educated enough to know what is right for Canadians.

  • Perpugilliam Brown

    The Industry Minister can kiss my a*s. His dithering is making Canada fall behind the rest of the world.

    No company should be allowed to buy spectrum. Cell signal delivery should be run by a single public corporation (like Hydro One) which would sell large data buckets to competing companies that would resell the data in personal sized packages to consumers. The companies would also handle customer service, device sales and billing. Then we wouldn’t need 5 towers in the same place for 5 different providers.

  • mattprime86

    Hi guys!

    You heard it here first, take a screenshot.

  • hugh

    @Bhell do you actually believe that Canada has democracy, lol. don’t you think when you vote it doesn’t really matter actually, cause before you even vote the decision has already been made for who will be in Government power. Its who ever has the most Corporation money and power that gets into Government. All these Politicians are already super rich and they only go into Politics to change rules and laws so the corporations can profit even more and so does the politicians get even fatter with money. These politicians aren’t in power for Canadians, their in power for Corporations and for themselves. Do you actually believe this Ministry will make a decision for the auction to only be set a side for the new entrants, thats a joke. Who do you think got the Minister into power, who do you think got the Prime minister into power, lots of money and power of the big 3 paid the prime ministers campaign. The Government will not turn a blind eye against the big 3. Ever hear of the term to never bite the hand that feeds you. The big 3 feeds the Government so which means the Government will not, not now not ever bite the big 3 that fed them.

    • iDonkey

      The Truth Is, the Truth Hurts. I’m with you bro.

    • tbr

      The government overturned the crtc so if they were in the big three’s pocket this would not have happened.

  • Andy A

    Caption for our industry minister “I had a sandwich it was this big!”

  • Wau

    Caption for our industry minister ” I swear I caught a fish this big”

  • Big 3

    If Industry Minister doesn’t help New Entrants, then I’ll know Canada has a plutonomy system

    • tbr

      You are implying that the new blokes are poor :) sure they are. I just heard the swasiman and jabroni are on welfare. Then again Corporate welfare is the same thing right?

      The reform party supports plutocracy’s and cleptocrates.

  • Steve Z

    Caption should be: Robellus’ c@$k is this big, and I have to suck it every night to pay for my political career.

  • tbr

    Steve, take it easy it’s just a phone.

  • Rocco StiffReddi

    now now paytrolls we all know that Wind is fighting for its life! just look at what uncle swarie said.. no deal no bidding. This is pretty much the exit I expected. I said the call center was closing and all the jabronis said noooo never… well welcome to never.. I said contracts on the way… jabronies said noooooo not a chance.. well welcome to not a chance.. wind for sale.. nope yes.. the owner crying over spilled milk.. and where is little tony jabroni? uncle swarie has no money.. you see his assets were seized in Egypt because of the shady deals he did with the government there.. so now his deal is shot.. no money to bid with.. and worse off he is outed.. much like mj and the steamed veg. do not forget justin imbecile.. he has been fired by all the carriers and now he is with wind. Rogers Telus and Bell all have LTE up and running and Wind well 2014 is the plan.. also the last minister was a crook for wind.. so the new one.. well we will see. seems to me even if wind did bid they are sunk.. but all is not lost.. te big 3 will gladly give you all phones that work everywhere.. yes I know.. what an interesting idea..

    outsourced jabronied contracted and still for sale..

  • Domingo

    Instead of whining, we could all just choose to go to the smaller companies right now, for most people these smaller companies are good enough for what we do. The big 3 are obviously colluding at some level. A little harder to do if the government gives the new companies first crack.

  • slapnuts

    So when the new entrants has as many SUBS as the Big 3 then they can then start Effin you all over?

    I can’t wait. Then it will be looking for the next new entrant.. you guys are all a joke. I hope you complain to the government this much over hydro and utility bills.

  • tbr

    It really is that simple isn’t it slapnuts. I kind of hope the new kids stay where they are.If they succeed we lose and if they fail we lose. If they fail the big three will jack prices to make up for lost time. If they succeed they will just have the same higher pricing as the rest.

    You are right about the utility bills, they don’t complain about what the gov is doing to the wheat board nor do they complain about cuts to education and medical. That is why governments keep f*****g the 99% because they don’t complain about the important things and they select to watch tv rather than vote.

  • Pablo Moses

    C R A P = Conservative Reform Alliance Party