Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants wireless competition in Canada, ‘loopholes’ will stay

Ian Hardy

August 9, 2013 8:40 pm

Rogers, Bell and TELUS were all calling for a “level playing field’ over the past couple weeks, directly taking aim at ‘policy loopholes’ that would allow foreign investors to enter the wireless market, and specifically give ‘giant American corporations an advantage in the wireless spectrum bidding process.’ Without directly stating Verizon Wireless in their advertising, the Big 3 were pulling out all the strings and informing the government of the ‘massive consequences for Canadians.”

The message was heard loud and clear. However, Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared today that he’s not budging or making any changes to the current policy framework. “Our government has pursued this very consistently… a policy of fostering greater competition in this industry for the benefit of Canadian consumers over the past few years,” said Harper in a report in the Globe. “While I appreciate some companies have interests that are very important, our government’s first priority is the wider Canadian public and Canadian consumers and we are convinced this is where they want to see us go.”

Of course, there’s still time and politicians have been known to quickly shift their viewpoint. If any changes were to be made they would need to in place by September 17th – this is the final day for interested parties to submit a deposit to participate in the upcoming 700Mhz spectrum auction in January 2014.

Bernard Lord, president of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), stated “If the government wants to open the borders, they must close the loopholes first.”

WIND Mobile and Mobilicity are currently for sale and it’s rumoured that Verizon is interested in acquiring their assets, subscriber base, and spectrum. However, no formal agreement has been made public.

Source: Globe
(Thanks Hamza!)

  • HelloCDN

    Lol, no wonder. Just out of nothing, he’ll probably get +10% in votes.

    • Jason

      Free S4 on a $30 unlimited talk, text and data plan. 90% LTE Coverage. C’mon Verizon!

    • Plazmic Flame

      Are you on drugs? Lol

      They aren’t coming here to be another Wind Mobile or Mobilicity, but damn they just need to do better than $130/month…. J**********t! Big 3 are ridiculous, these mafia tactics can’t be legal. They aren’t trying to compete at all. One release a plan, all the others follow suit. WTF…

    • ABCONMan

      If you’re willing to pay $130 a month, I’ll sell telecom services to you.

      Sucker!

    • OldEnough to know better

      You’re dreaming in Technicolor, my friend. . . .

    • TouchMyBox

      Bell: $199 Galaxy S 4 (2 year contract) $105/month unlimited talk, 3GB data, $50/GB overage fee.

      Verizon: $199 Galaxy S 4 (2 year contract) $70/month unlimited talk, 4GB data, $15/GB overage fee.

      Verizon is expensive, but Robellus is highway robbery.

      I would expect this to be similar in pricing if verizon makes a move here.

    • jb

      You forgot the line access fee, which is $40 per phone…so using that s4 would cost you $110 on Verizon

    • Me Ted

      He’s right. The difference though is that Verizon is the big fish in that pond; not so much in Canada.

    • Thomas Levesque

      Haha Robellus , I like that !

    • Detroit Velvet Smooth

      Population:

      Canada 34+ million

      America 300+ million

      it makes a difference. Don’t expect Verizon to price that much different then Robellus.

      Much rather have T Mobile if i could pick any of the US brands anyways.

    • Francois Roy

      Bernard Lord: worst phoney ever.

      A friggin shame.

  • silver_arrow

    Good. The carriers are ticked that they might have real competition. Verizon is known for having a massive LTE network that covers the middle of no where. I doubt the big 3 can do that but their all “Verizon will only be urban” They have proven that they aren’t.

    • motivotto

      It’s already been reported Verizon doesn’t care to cover more than the urban areas in Quebec and Ontario. WTF are you talking about?

    • silver_arrow

      Frankly it is obvious they would focus on urban, first. If you build your entire network in the middle of nowhere no one will use it but if it is in the metro area people will. But once you get the metro areas covered you move out. That is what verizon did with their LTE network and now it is massive.

    • motivotto

      Oh yeah no doubt. The business case, the 100 million customers and similar profit margins they are privileged to in the State’s would definitely mean they cover rural. Just like any of our own incumbents currently do. So what you’re saying is, you can’t wait to get the same price, coverage and service at a much later date rather than now. got ya.

    • Gurtej Aujla

      To anyone saying that ‘oh they won’t build the network’, that is not likely true. First of all, this is not the early 2000′s so they won’t be building out 2G and 3G network. If they plan on coming to Canada, Verizon will only build the LTE network, which is what they should be doing. Since WIND and Mobilicity do not have the funds to compete with the Big 3, Verizon will be able to take on the incumbents during the auction. This could be good for consumers.

    • Sraf

      And don’t forget that the upcoming auction covers the 700MHz band, which is perfect for rural coverage as you need far fewer towers to cover a much larger area and as the rural area is low population, you don’t need to worry too much about band saturation

    • softturbo

      The government can probably put a rural coverage requirement as a condition for the approval of the buyout.
      Plus I don’t think Verizon would have a cash problem with just buying all the spectrum they can grab now and deploy them later.

    • Prashanna Kandiah

      VERIZON HAS A GAME PLAN we will know it on Tuesday when they there meeting

      a lot us are holding OFF Upgrading, Renewing contract ,and planing Terminate contract until they get here

      there was POLL in TORONTO SUN

      Do you think it’s a good idea for Verizon to enter the Canadian market?

      85% CANADIAN SUPPORT VERIZON COMING IN
      15% SUPPORT THE BIG 3 AND THERE 150 C.E.O UNIONS

      WORLD BIGGEST MOBILE PLAYER

      VODAFONE Controls (Europe Market, Australia, India, South Africa) ROAMING FREE

      AMERICA MOVIL Controls (Mexico and Whole Lanita South American Market) ROAMING FREE

      VERIZON WIRELESS will be first time to Controls North American Market (USA, CANADA 2013) ROAMING FREE SOON

      VERIZON has largest and fastest 4G LTE network in the US.the BIG 3 IN CANADA WORST 4G LTE EVER

      VERIZON JUST COMPLETED ROLL OUT 98% THERE 3G/4G LTE ACROSS U.S THAT INCLUDE THE SMALL CITIES COVERAGE URBAN CITES
      THEY WILL DO THE SAME FOR CANADIAN URBAN CITES ALSO

    • jellmoo

      If urban Quebec is one of their goals, they’ll need more than just Wind and Moblicity…

    • motivotto

      Well our government is making it as inviting as possible, but we still have yet to hear from Verizon. I hope soon. We’ll see. I can’t wait to see how they clean up the mess left from the first 5 year competitive project. Except videotron, they seem to be doing well.

    • hoo dat

      All Verizon has to do is make lip service to national coverage and they win. You can bet your bottom dollar that the Big3 won’t make it easy, but the public mood won’t care. Whatever good will the incumbents have built up they will surely lose in the ensuing fight. Bell, Rogers and Telus really don’t have a leg to stand on.

    • Chrome262

      fine by me, As long as they put pressure on the big 3 thats all that matters. Besides, I live in Toronto

    • hoo dat

      There are hundreds of reports out there, some suggestion Verizon is a saint others suggesting they’re sinners. The issue is Verizon hasn’t confirmed or denied a single thing making all predictions moot. Even the report that they’re considering making Canada and the US one big local zone is based on rumour and conjecture. Simply put, Verizon competes or they don’t but either way they have to survive, after that what ever we think is just speculation.

  • Collin Lewis

    Yes cus canadians love bending over and taking it up our Loopholes from the big 3 currently.

  • Avi

    I love how they’re all scared shitless because they know the end is nearing. bring on more competition!!

  • Mr. Everything

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but good for Harper.

    • Merags

      I can’t believe I’m saying it either!

    • Ren596

      I Know It Scares ME Agreeing with Haper :-/

    • smiley

      He will probably call in early election next year (when Verizon comes) and secure an even bigger majority.

    • ProjectReality_

      Most of the new ridings would in theory give him more seats! Harper Government Majority FTW

    • JTon

      Sir please tone your intelligence down. It’s intimidating the rest of us

  • ns.dev

    That won’t happen, Wind/Public/Mobilicity networks aren’t compatible with Verizon’s CDMA network.

    • 173

      They have an LTE network that will be compatible if they get the 700mhz, so there’s that.

    • ns.dev

      I thought aws was in the 1000s.

    • tyresmoke

      AWS is 1700/2100, but Verizon has 700 down south, and there’s an upcoming 700 auction in Canada.

    • Josh Brown

      Verizon also bought up a ton of AWS down south. So both networks will run on 700 and 1700/2100 mhz LTE . The roll out of AWS down south has already started but will be complete by 2018/2020.

    • deltatux

      They don’t have to extend the CDMA network for them to be in our market. They can just keep existing GSM networks. In all honesty, GSM would be better for them in terms of roaming and such than CDMA. GSM is used in most countries around the world anyways.

    • Josh Brown

      Verizon is already shutting down the CDMA network it will be down by 2020. They already sell phones that are compatible with VOLTE in the states.

    • kkritsilas

      Verizon’s CDMA network is toast as of 2014. Verizon has publicly stated that they will be LTE only by 2014. Verizon also owns AWS spectrum in the US, along with 700MHz spectrum. Verizon, if they do get here, will deploy 700MHz first, then gradually move the existing AWS spectrum owned by Wind/Mobilicity over to LTE as well. Expect Verizon to outbid anybody else for the 700MHz block that is common to their US spectrum, even within Quebec. Also expect to see Verizon not even bid for spectrum that is NOT common to their US spectrum. Verizon will then be able to leverage their massive buying power in handsets and base station equipment.

  • aamd11

    just about the only thing ol Harper and I can agree on…ruining the robelus monopoly

  • SC

    Here come the corporate trolls saying this is bad

    • skullan

      Maybe, but they are irrelevant now.

  • motivotto

    I’m surprised after all this, there isn’t one more interested party other than Verizon? Is that really the only option to celebrate?

    • Chrome262

      Because of how badly the Big 3 have treated others, there are not many takers to the opportunity. Hell you have Canadian companies going to the states because there they will rent you towers and frequencies. Plus its a chunk of change, T-Mobile might of been better, but they are expanding their network state side.

    • MisterChew

      Not to mention, I don’t think T-Mobile is in financial shape to takeover WIND and expand its operation.

  • Rich

    I knew the Conservatives would let this go through.
    Admittedly, I’m not sure any of the other parties would have (this doesn’t mean I’m pro conservative).

    • southerndinner

      As much as a bleeding heart as I am, I couldn’t agree more. Protectionism is the name of the game for the NDP even if I’d vote them over Cons any day.

    • MisterChew

      Maybe Liberals will. Trudeau seems to be more open to reforms.

  • southerndinner

    This is literally the only Conservative policy I’m totally in favor of. I hate you for everything else, SH, but you’re alright for today.

    • Ren596

      Same Here

  • Ken

    I couldn’t care who buys Mobi or Wind all I know that I’ve been with Mobi for over 2 years and for $44.80 a month I get all the bells and whistles that i need at my age, something I didn’t get with Telus for 6 years. My bill every month was like $70 to $80 dollars and only getting a third of what I get now and of course I had signed onto a 3 year contract, dumb on my part. Anyways we do need more competition and hearing Robelus cry just gives great satisfaction. A happy Mobilicity senior citizen.

  • canuck07

    To CWTA: kiss my big fat a*s

  • Brandin Chiu

    Competition is a great concept, but are people not seeing that Verizon’s prices are no different than ours?

    The “example” price Verizon gives on their site for a single phone is 100.00 for unlimited talk/text and 2 GB of Data. That’s the same price as Telus on a 2 year plan. Not quite sure how simply adding another player charging the same thing will drive prices down; hasn’t worked so far.

    That being said, would love to see it happen, since you know, 2 years ago you could get 6GB of data for 65.00 : /

    • tyresmoke

      Well for one, Verizon would have the money for a robust and fast network rollout like Robellus, not like the hobo job done by Windicity thus far.
      And also, Verizon would NEED to put price pressure on Robellus to gain a decently sized customer base, at least in the beginning.

    • Brandin Chiu

      if verizon isn’t willing to do it in their home country, why would they do it here?

    • Josh Brown

      Its not that they are unwilling it is that they are a corporation as well and there is not much competition down south. None of the other companies have the same coverage in USA. They are worst off in the states than we are. That is why they blocked the T-mobile/att deal

    • smiley

      What josh said. Verizon network is really big, hence people are willing to pay. Plus, the $40 fees is like per family. So if you put your children along with your line, you do pay 70×3 but only 1×40.

    • Josh Brown

      other way around. You pay 1 X $70 and 3 X $40

    • Bhudda Rayes

      Do you think the big 3 are competition for Verizon when AT&T (which is larger than every division of each major telco in Canada combined) are their direct competitor in the US? If you allow to pour that ridiculous wealth into the Canadian wireless ecosystem, it will cause a short term consumer benefit with longterm ramifications. Next, their prices are already on par with the new plans from the big 3… or did everyone take into account that those are American prices, do you think the market is as rich here as it is there? I wouldn’t take anything they offer currently as a representation as to what we would get if they did come here. How would they be regulated? Verizon Canada? A watered down late to market afterthought? Like most American services that slowly crawl across the border? What’s the turnaround time for profit for them anyways? How much do they want to lose in order to make back a profit of 700mil? After the debt and obvious restructuring, how long do they expect to wait until they see that money back in the green? California has more people using wireless than Canada has people! Where’s the enticement for shareholders? Plus, if this pans out, what’s to stop AT&T from coming into Canada through a loophole and acquiring Public or Mobi? What do we want? Our major Canadian telco’s going under and having just a dominant 2 instead of fair equal 5? Because as long as there’s an option, they’ll allow it, even if it’s 2 American companies at the end of the day, doing as little as legally possible to gain as much capital per consumer. Good bye Canadian wireless economy.

    • Josh Brown

      Which one of the Big 3 do you work for?

      A fair 5? What Planet are you on? I am on a planet where the biggest 3 Telco own 90% of the spectrum. I agree with you that Verizon is not a savier for Canada. But I also think that they won’t make it any worst. The government has blocked and us entrant from buying up Rogers or Bell so that is not going to happen.

    • kkritsilas

      If Verizon does take over/buy WInd and /or Mobilicity, they will initially, at least, offer better plan prices than the Big 3 currently do. They may not offer, or even continue the $40 all inclusive Wind plan, but they might do it for $60-75/month. In Canada, they are not the 800 lb. gorilla; they are more like the 98 lb weaking, Tthey will have the smallest, most limited network (even if they buy both Wind and Mobilicity). and will need to offer some sort of incentive to attract customers. I think this will be a better monthly plan structure than the Big 3. Inevitably, the Big 3 will respond. They may do it kicking and screaming every step along the way, but they will respond, or face customers moving to Verizon en masse. This is called competition. Longer term, it is possible that the plan prices will creep up, but I sort of doubt it. The other things that Verizon will force is network improvements, as they roll out the network wider and wider. Again, this will force the Big 3 to respond.

      Had a call from Rogers customer support this week. They wanted to ask if I was considering a move to another carrier within the next 12 months. I said it was 50-50. Then the rep went into a spiel about how Rogers had the best, and fastest network. I told him that where I was, that was NOT true. On the eastern edge of Calgary, there is no LTE service on Rogers, and their signal strength is lower than Telus or Bell (I know Telus and Bell are the same network). I told him straight out that their network may or may not be the best/fastest overall, but where I live and work they are a distant third, and that if I didn’t see any improvement within the next 6 months, they will have lost me as a customer. Point being, for any cell customer, it is what is available in your particular area is what is important. If Verizon builds out as comprehensive a network in Canada as they did in the US, they will eventually have the best network in Canada.

    • Ming

      I am not sure where you are getting this information from. I see the unlimited talk/text plan and 2 gb of data on the Verizon site for $60. So if they port over pricing, we’d be saving 40%.

    • Brandin Chiu

      gotta read, friend.

      60.00 for just the data. You still need to add a smartphone for 40.00. Where do you think we stole our new plan styles from? Lol.

    • Ming

      My bad… appears you are right.

      I wonder why Robelus is opposed to Verizon coming to Canada. If they charge the same rate, the market would essentially be the same and it would be business as usual.

    • Brandin Chiu

      because when Verizon comes here they won’t be affected by the same rules than limit spectrum purchases by the 3

    • kroms

      Simple. People are fed up taken up the doo doo from the big 3 and told to shut up and smile. I’ll pay Verizon my $ any day so long as ROBELUS does not get a cent !

      This is the only Language company’s like Robelus speak. They will understand pretty quickly why people are leaving!

    • Xelstyle

      Verizon could easily gain a boatload of subscribers with some sort of North America plan. Lots of people regularly cross the border and if Verizon does come through with this, even keeping the same price plans would gain them a decent base.

    • Brandin Chiu

      oh I’m sure people are gonna switch just because its something new. I’ve had the pleasure of having contracts under all 3 carriers, in a relatively short amount of time.

      I just don’t think that Verizon coming here is gonna be the whole “save our prices” that a lot of people think its going to be. I honestly don’t think anything ground breaking is going to happen.

    • smiley

      I think it’d be great even if Verizon comes in and gives free 25 minutes and 100mb data for US per month. People don’t go South for months. USually just a day, buy groceries, gas and then come back. If someone wants unlimited, one can pay X amount but I think people would be fine with 100mb. Verizon will be happy because people will fall for it even though most will not end up using it and some using slightly..

    • Mobile Phones Fan

      Whatever else I might say (and however uncomplimentary I might sound) about Verizon Wireless, even I must admit their position as the top US mobile operator is no accident.

      Yes, they offer far superior network coverage — but that’s more ‘effect’ than ’cause’. Nobody gave them the #1 network. They built it via a long series of mergers, acquisitions, etc.

      The reason they’re now on top is because they like making money and they are cutthroats in their business dealings. Further, they have a habit of only rarely doing stupid things.

      If VZW enters the Canadian telecoms market, you can bet on two things happening.: (1) they will do so in a very big way and (2) likely start off by competing aggressively on price.
      .

    • Chrome262

      They will have to offer something more form the big 3, lower prices more data something. Or whats the point, they won’t get any new customers or market share.

    • Brandin Chiu

      It doesn’t matter if they get more market share. people will switch regardless because of the terrible track record of Canadian telecom support. What Verizon will get, is valuable 700MHz spectrum, and without restrictions afflicting national carriers.

    • kroms

      100% Correct!

    • thedosbox

      Why let realism get in the way of some peoples delusion (see free S4 + $30 unlimited)?

    • kroms

      Id rather PAY my $ to Verizon then ROBELUS, This is the ONLY way ROBELUS will ever learn. They need to see customers leave in droves to understand that you are only successful because of you Customers. Right now the couldn’t care less.

  • Squint

    I’m all for this new competition, especially since the big 3 are shaking in the booties about it.

    What I’m super curious about is if Verizon is in fact the one that comes in, what would that mean for roaming for people that jump onto the Verizon train? If they go and make it more reasonable to roam in the US where they have Verizon, they’ll win a hell of a lot people over. Guess we’ll see!

  • Jeff

    I love paying $80+ for a plan with a decent amount of data on these new 2 years plans…….

    Crooks

    • montrealheat

      Hate to spoil your party there however that’s what Verizon charges now to there ~100 million subscribers. $100 for Unlimited Nationwide + only 2Gbs of data. So what makes you think they would be any cheaper north of the boarder for about 5% of the subscriber base…?

    • Mobile Phones Fan

      …maybe because (a) ACPU (costs) will be lower in Canada, plus (b) they’ll have to compete on price to attract new customers?

      Believe me — I’m no great fan of VZW. But so what? Surely, the concept of low, low introductory pricing isn’t news in Canada, is it?
      .

  • Sweet

    “Verizon is one of the telecommunications companies whose data is being used in a government surveillance program…”

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned this. It definitely concerns me.

    • skullan

      Meh, if they want to see my porn habits.. I don’t care.

    • skullan

      Additionally, we don’t know whether or not they will be allowed to store data out of country.

    • hoo dat

      The others involved are AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, and anyone that uses their networks. I think that pretty much covers everyone.
      Don’t think your safe here in sunny Canada, either. Most mobile lines and nearly all data lines get routed through the US giving the NSA carte blanche on your activities.

    • Mobile Phones Fan

      Don’t be fooled by any assurances that they don’t have an eye in Canada.

      And rest assured NSA also have a willing ear in Canada, too. You do know Canadian intelligence services have happily accepted and utilized NSA’s help for their own domestic investigations, right?

      To date, every nation revealed as having assisted NSA in collecting their citizens’ communications has also been exposed as a happy customer for same. The list includes France, Germany and the UK.

      After all, what foreign agency could turn down access to such a treasure trove? And it’s free…just help NSA with some new info. Forget questions of legality or ethics — this is an offer they can’t refuse.
      .

    • Grant Jeffrey

      I’m pretty sure the NSA was originally meant to spy outside the US. The whole issue started when people discovered they were spying on Americans.

  • Omis

    Let me predict what is going to happen. Verizon will swallow up the market and robellus will become the discount carriers. End result: we will have one carrier doing the price gouging instead of 3.

    • smiley

      Will be long time. 9 million with Rogers, 7+7 with Telus and Bell. Plus TV, Internet, deals with corporates etc.

    • kroms

      Fat chance but what a nice dream ! :) That would be KARMA at it’s best.

  • aznlgcy

    Everyone is wishing the gov’t do this and then that, but the reality is carriers are here not to provide with cheap services to consumers, but to maximize its share prices. If higher price plans will help increase share price, they will up their price.
    Everyone wanted two year contracts and when CRTC forced it upon the carriers and the carriers found a way around it, it will be the same this time around. Verizon may be cheaper for the first year or two, but when they build up their network it will become the Big 4 gouging all the Canadian consumers. No one will be cheaper then the next, its just cause the companies know consumers can afford it that’s why they up their prices.
    This day and age a cellphone is a must especially a smartphone, so carriers make us the consumers pay for it.
    When and if Verizon enters and the prices aren’t any cheaper, everyone will curse at the gov’t all over again and asking for something else. End of story

    • William

      I love your Canadian defeatist attitude

  • kevin c

    I’m not convinced that Verizon will make a huge impact on mobile rates in Canada, largely because I’ve heard (from independent analysts) that Verizon’s primary goal is capture roaming on both sides of the border. So to that end, they would focus on dense urban areas across the country.

    But changing the rules, as Robellus asks, would basically cement Robellus’ cozy oligopoly for decades to come.

    If Verizon buys Wind and/or Mobilicity, what I imagine happening is:
    - Verizon participates in the 700 mhz auction, buys two blocks in each region (those regions that interest it),
    - then offers to trade some of it’s 700 mhz spectrum with Robellus in exchange for 1900 Mhz spectrum (which Verizon does currently use).

    Now with 1900, 700, and 1700, they’d have enough spectrum to make most phones on either side of the border handle roaming nicely. Now it would be possible to have seamless coverage in the most populated parts of all of North America.

    Just my devalued $0.02

    • smiley

      The gov’t won’t allow the swap, at least for some time. Telus couldn’t purchase moblicity because the specterum is reserved for new incumbents.

    • kevin c

      Ah, but there’s a difference here. Telus wanted to BUY all of Mobilicity and it’s spectrum. The government nixed it on the basis that it would cause concentration of spectrum. This would be an exchange of spectrum (you give me x Hz of spectrum in the 1900 band, in exchange, I give you x Hz of spectrum in the 700 band… or something like that).

    • d a

      LOL, thanks for the word “oligopoly”. It usually would take me 10 minutes to explain what I can now use one word to explain. Usually when talking about most big corporations in Canada.

    • Thr1ve

      “But changing the rules, as Robellus asks”

      They don’t want to change any rules, they want to close a loophole that allows Verizon to be considered as a start up, even though they already have more subscribers, more revenue and more profits than Rogers, Bell and Telus combined (and then some)… They want Verizon to be treated as equals to the Big 3, not give them handouts and preferential treatment, and rightfully so considering they can afford to roll out a Canada wide network quite easily, which Wind and Mobilicity couldn’t…

  • montrealheat

    Now we need more competition in the airline industries, insurance, banking, liquor, deregulate MLS listings, why don’t we just open the door for all outsiders to buy up our businesses. Yeah, that will certainly workout for the best right…

    • montrealheat

      Oh, oh, and hydro, oil, how about the auto industry. All those blasted companies trying to make a profit how dare they. I want to have it all and not pay for anything damn it!

    • smiley

      Auto insurance in BC. Airline is fine. You can go through any airline pretty much.

      Basically, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Reverb

    Good. New entrants to the market will need extremely competitive prices to gain the chunk they need for sustainability. $70 for an upper cap of 1GB is a slap in the face!

    It would be even better if O2, Orange, NTT, SoftBank and Telefônica got in on the action! The Canadian mobile market is ripe for disruption.

    In the long term, more competition is always beneficial.

    • ToniCipriani

      Softbank’s busy with Sprint right now.

  • wildspin

    Bravo, Mr. Harper!

    To Robellus executives … why don’t you save the money blown on this stupid campaigns for your year end bonuses? ;-)

    • anjew

      hopefully term end bonuses.

  • glenn cumberbatch

    Amazing I really don’t like those conservative but hey as the saying goes the enemy of my enemy is my friend: all hail galactus ruler of empires… I mean all hail Verizon our new overlords lol hey who cares if they’re that much cheaper than robellus anyway

  • ABCONMan

    Verizon isn’t coming up here to give anyone a gift. If anything, the prices will be the same, you’ll see.

    Kiss your welfare prices goodbye on WIND and Mobilicity.

    • Josh Brown

      Wind and Mobilicity were bleeding money they couldn’t maintain it anyways it was just to cheap they just wanted to make them selves an attractive purchase, which they did.

    • Carl Hall

      not true, their ARPU is higher than most carriers in Europe, the reason they lost money was that RoBelLus had their unfair advantages and charged rates which were double or triple what they charge each other for tower sharing or site access

    • Ryan

      True. In a CRTC report, WIND complained to the CRTC about Robelus roaming rates being “not commercially feasible.” But yet they are SO open to competition, right?

    • Josh Brown

      All that does not change the fact that they were losing a lot of money. Either you pay to share or you build your own both costs a lot of money. Europe is denser than USA and Canada. Europe has about 2.7 times more people per sq mile than the USA. Even Canada is 1.38 times the people per sq mile in urban centers. Which means more users and less towers to build and maintain.

    • skullan

      The fact that Bell, Rogers and Telus are vocally upset about it, is pretty much a gift for anyone who reads MobileSyrup. Its been great watching it.

    • Thr1ve

      They’re only upset because of the loopholes Verizon will be able to use to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to spectrum auctions and other things… You can’t honestly tell me that you think Verizon should be considered a start up, rather than the huge corporation it is (they have more subscribers, revenue and profits than Rogers, Bell and Telus combined by a long shot). Verizon should be treated equally to Rogers, Bell and Telus, and that’s all Robelus is asking for.

    • skullan

      Does Verizon have a foothold in Canada right now? No, therefore as a Canadian company it is a startup.

      Do I care the Verizon is a fair larger Telecom company than Rogers, Telus and Bell? Absolutely, it makes me happy.

      Bell, Rogers and Telus have had their time to create their networks.

      Bell, Rogers and Telus will be extremely large compared to Verizon inside of Canada.

      Show me where it says “startup” in the wireless auction rules. All I see is “new entrant” which is defined as:

      “An entity, including affiliates and associated
      entities, which holds less than
      10 percent of the national wireless market based on revenue.”

      This is NOT a loop-hole, this is the spirit and the intent of the original rules.

  • EvanKrosney

    Same here, first was Baird’s lobbying against Russia’s anti-LGBT policies, and now Harper’s push for more wireless competition. The Conservatives have surprised me this week.

  • Thomas C. Riddell

    Nice who ever buys Wind I’ll be Grandfathered in and Happy as Clam

    • Sweet

      Are you sure your plan will be grandfathered ? I’m not. I’m not saying it won’t be. Check the terms and conditions of your plan. I’m on a month-to-month plan with Mobilicity at $35/month for life (*), but I’m not sure it will be grandfathered. Unfortunately, I don’t have the terms and conditions in front of me, since I switched to that plan from another Mobilicity plan over the phone, so I can’t confirm that the plan will be grandfathered should they get bought out.

      (*) in this case “life” was intended to mean “customer’s life”, but IMO, it realistically means “Mobilicity’s life”. :-)

  • Yo Yo Ma

    I love how people are saying that if Verizon just added unlimited North American to their plans, they’d jump on it right away. That is until people start complaining that they don’t actually visit/ call the US that much and they are being forced to pay extra per month.

    Lets see how fast one of the Big 3 realizes that its not worth their time or money to stay in the wireless carrier business anymore and sells it off to Verizon. If Rogers or Bell pulls that trigger, than they will look very smart for having done some vertical integration beforehand, aka, buying up content and media companies.

    • smiley

      I smell merger between big three. Like At and t and T-Mobile.

    • Sweet

      Yep. Most likely Bell and Telus, IMO.

    • smiley

      What I thought so too but I wouldn’t bet on it as both are major players. But i would say there is greater chance of the two combining since they have partnered up before. They share the towers. Telus controls west and Bell controls east. Rogers will become the minor player and that’s just sad considering how it ranked #1 for quite some time. Bell+Telus, Verizon (It has long days ahead to grow if there is merger since competition will be greater) and finally Rogers. No one wants moblicity. When it dies, subs will switch over to Verizon as they’ll be looking for new network anyway.

    • Sweet

      “Lets see how fast one of the Big 3 realizes that its not worth their time or money to stay in the wireless carrier business anymore and sells it off to Verizon.”

      Foreign companies are not allowed to buy Canadian telecomm companies that have more than 10% market share (based on annual revenue.) Besides, Rogers and Bell just reported profit margins of 49% and 45% respectively, so they have a long way to slide before they pull that trigger.

    • anjew

      i’m glad you are here represent everyone in Canada in terms of calling to the US/US roaming.

  • smiley

    It is not certain that Verizon will buy Wind since this shows the gov’t will 99% approve. Now what the big three will do is increase the amounts until Verizon comes in and then lower prices to compete. This would allow them to lock in people for two years minimum. They would also form one force to fight off Verizon since it’s bigger than big three combined.

  • Jonavin

    It’s not a loophole if this is what they intended in the first place. And nobody complained until there was certainty that Verizon would have interests. Big 3 is OK with the rules as long as they have weak competition, the moment a formidable one comes along they cry to mommy.

    They are not for strong competition. At every opportunity they have shown to be NOT consumer friendly. Jobs have been outsource for years, with new the new 2 year contract rules, they took the excuse to raise rates over 40% even though the economic impact of a 2 yr vs 3 yr subsidy is less than $10/month. I am happy that WIND decided to switch to 2 years without changing the plan price or even their phone prices.

    Who are they fooling when a BYOP plan goes up $40/month after the switch to 2 years. How is this Fair For Canada?

    • Thr1ve

      “nobody complained until there was certainty that Verizon would have
      interests. Big 3 is OK with the rules as long as they have weak
      competition, the moment a formidable one comes along they cry to mommy.”

      Do you even know what the loophole is? Verizon comes into Canada, it already has more money and revenue than the Big 3 COMBINED, yet the loophole allows them to be considered as a start up and therefore they’d be given preferential treatment when it comes to spectrum auctions (among other things), allowing them to bid on, and own more than a single block per area (which is what Robelus is limited to)… If Wind and Mobilicity weren’t failures and continued to exist, it would be fine, because they were both REAL start ups who needed such an advantage/handouts because they couldn’t afford to roll out their networks throughout Canada… Verizon is a HUGE corporation (bigger than the Big 3 combined), it doesn’t need the same advantage that start ups would need to succeed, they can easily afford to buy the spectrum they need and roll out their own infrastructure throughout Canada… THAT is what Robelus is complaining about, Verizon being treated as a start up and given handouts, they want Verizon to be treated as the huge corporation it really is.

    • anjew

      you speak as if Verizon is getting the spectrum for free… get real.

      no handouts is happening. get your BS straight

    • anjew

      its funny listening to robellus ad’s about losing Canadian jobs when they themselves have been outsourcing Canadian jobs oversea’s for years. Sometimes it feels like telus isnt even in canada based on all the non canadians i talk to over the phone when i call them for support/sales/etc

  • David Miko

    It’s shocking how many people take the sticker shock of Canadian telecom pricing and assume that it’s nothing more than price gouging. Economies of scale and population density are concepts that people seem to think are irrelevant. Somehow Canadian companies are just “more greedy” than American companies.

    Some point at how smaller leaner companies are able to offer cellular services at reduced price. Of course they are. We’re not talking about the same product. A company offering an LTE network incurs costs to offer that LTE network that a 3G provider does not. Carriers offering differing service areas, differing phone options, differing plan options, tab systems versus determinate contracts: All of these are different services offered at different prices. Steak costs more than hamburger. I’ve heard way too many people scream “I don’t want LTE so I shouldn’t have to pay what Telus charges. If you don’t want Steak, BUY A HAMBURGER.

    People who glaze over the differences in services point to the big three’s pricing, and jump to the conclusion that they must collude in order to get identical pricing for similarly advertised services. Why the hell WOULDN’T the other two drop a price when one does? I used to work on the retail side of Cellular managing a store selling each of the carriers, and I’ve gotta say; the promotions and pricing don’t roll out in ANY way similar to collusion. A Carrier would drop a price at 10:00am on a random weekday, and within a few hours, we’d get must-read emails from our other reps with updated pricing tables, and the promise that the updates would be in the system as soon as possible. The pricinig similarities are symptomatic of reactionary price models. Its competition, the exact thing every Big-3 bashing sycophant seems to be screaming for. The roll-out of the 2 year agreements really effectively demonstrated that each carrier tailors their offerings to be as competitive as possible; they change included features, lower prices, and offer promotions to match their competitors because otherwise, how can they expect to meet your vigorous demands for the best priced product? When you aren’t building a physical product, but offering a service, price point being competitive is a huge buying factor.

    Is Verizon a Guardian Angel for our wallets? Why the hell would they be? If anything, the bias Canadians seem to hold against Canadian Carriers are going to send floods of customers into Verizon contracts before they’ve even got infrastructure comparable to the Big-3. People want a change because they think they’re getting ripped off, but I doubt Verizon is going to be better five years from now.

    Verizon will be highly competitive for two or three years. The entire Canadian market is about one sixth the size of Verizon’s current customer base. They can absorb losses here, and they will. They’ll undercut the Big-3, offer services below cost because the Big-3 bashers have convinced everyone that the Big-3 are just plain greedy. Jumping on that bandwagon is the easiest way to get a contract in the hands of every Canadian. Then, 3 years down the road, Verizon has more market share than any of them, have bled the Big-3 dry beyond an ability to recover, and can slowly ween prices back to the proper levels of profitability.

    5 years from now, prices will be the same (adjusted for inflation), but the only difference is that instead of three Canadian companies who are legitimately competitive, we’re going to have a single, strong, US company who will have us by the short and curlies.

    I’m all for competition, and I think they should totally be allowed into our market. The Big-3′s campaign is childish, and fear-mongering. But they do not fear losing profits; they fear losing everything. There’s an element of truth to what they’re saying, and I think we should cut Canadian carriers a little slack regarding pricing, try to be reasonably educated adults about the different prices incurred in totally different economies/regions, and be a little more skeptical of any “Guardian Angels”.

    • skullan

      Verizon won’t be anyone’s guardian Angel. At the same time, they are not part of the Old Canadian Telecom Club and finally, it is just fun to watch our incumbents pee themselves after the years of outrageous lessening of value.

    • HolmesIV

      It’s shocking how many people take the sticker shock of Canadian telecom pricing and assume that it’s nothing more than price gouging. Economies of scale and population density are concepts that people seem to think are irrelevant. Somehow Canadian companies are just “more greedy” than American companies.

      Could be. Let’s take a look at return on equity, which is a pretty decent first order indication of high profitability. Let’s also look at debt to equity so we can get a feel for whether or not RoE is high simply because of high debt relative to shareholder’s equity.

      Numbers from YCharts dot com, as of 9 August 2013, rounded by me.

      Rogers has a staggering 48% RoE (Granted 2.9 Debt to equity, so highly leveraged).
      Bell, 26% RoE (1.2 D/E).
      Telus, 17% RoE (0.8 D/E)

      Verizon, 4.5% RoE (1.5 D/E).

      ATT 8% RoE (0.9 D/E)
      T-Mobile 12% (2.4 D/E)

      So Verizon has a minute fraction of the return on equity of Rogers (less than a tenth!) and less than a fifth of Bell’s, roughly a quarter of Telus, yet substantially higher debt to equity than Bell or Telus. Indeed close to double Telus’! Even highly leveraged T-Mobile has less than a quarter Rogers RoE and less than half of Bell’s.

      Glancing at the numbers, it certainly looks as though the Big 3 Canadian carriers are doing substantially better profit-wise than their US counterparts. Whether this represents wireless profit-gouging, one can’t instantly say, but the population density and economies of scale explanation seems quite weak.

      That said, anyone with a some change to spare can always buy shares in any of these companies, and many who have pensions indirectly may well own part of them.

  • King kobi

    This guy is a tool

    • sicsicpuppy

      ” This guy is a stool ”
      There ,fixed.

  • d a

    You still won’t get my vote harper and nor will any federal conservative leader as long as I live for what you did. What you did by forcing the middle class/working poor to work another 2 years and reducing tax for corporations and rich by I believe 3% tells me what you really think of us.
    This was a no brainer move on your part but won’t get you any new votes, it simply will help keep you from losing more votes with more attacks on the middle class/working poor.

  • kroms

    Thank you Steve Harper. You just got my Vote ! :)

  • kroms

    Gotta love ALL the people here whom think they already KNOW what and what not Verizon is going and not going to do. LOL I didn’t know we had so many CEO’s and or professionals here. Wake up !! The FACT is all that matters is that VERIZON comes.
    Then it will the PEOPLE, US that will take care of the rest.
    You see , even IF they are not any better it won’t matter . What matters is that ROBELUS will not be able to keep people from jumping ship to a 4th carrier and that is WHAT they want to prevent. This is the main reason I am GLAD if Verizon lands in Canada. The rest as far as deals and pricing is up to them.

    • Thr1ve

      “What matters is that ROBELUS will not be able to keep people from jumping ship to a 4th carrier”

      So how is this any different than with Wind and Mobilicity? Instead of having 5 options, Canadians will only have 4 if Verizon comes… Robelus doesn’t care about Verizon coming, what they want is for Verizon to be treated as the huge corporation it already is, not a start up (which is what the loopholes allow them to do), which will allow Verizon to bid on more spectrum than Robelus (and win, due to them having more money in the bank than Rogers, Bell and Telus combined). And THAT is BAD for Canada and Canadians in general, because if Verizon is considered a start up, they will get preferential treatment over everyone else while being able to outbid the big 3 on any spectrum auction available due to their massive revenue from the US… The point here is that Verizon should NOT be considered a start up, and therefore not get preferential treatment as far as spectrum is concerned when it comes time to auction it off.

    • anjew

      if you believe that Robellus only cares about the loophole because its not fair then i’m sorry you are hopelessly naive.

      Verizon has the money to provide a premium service that is able to compete with Robellus which wind/mobilicity is not able to do.

  • Chris Laidlaw

    So we’ve given up on regulatory and competitive fair business practice in Canada and instead turn to unnecessary handouts to profitable foreign companies to bully competition into the marketplace. Tried it with Dave Wireless and Wind Mobile but that didn’t work. Well since the Government has proven it can’t fix it let’s get free enterprise to do it. If we try hard enough and it might work as well as Wall Street after all.

    The big will just keep getting bigger and in 10 years from now it’ll just be a different big three. Or if history repeats itself a big two.

    How many are in favour of this so you can stay with your current provider but pay less? How will that benefit Verizon. They’re coming here to make money and take market share not save us.

    • downhilldude

      It will eventually be just a “big four” soon…

    • anjew

      i suspect with Verizon there will be much advantages with roaming especially to the US and vice versa. At the very least the big 3 would have to compete with Verizon regarding US roaming plans or addons

  • Pantone

    Canadians are dillusional if they think that verizon will offer them wind/mobi pricing for their service. Verizon will be priced very close to their US based pricing, which is essentially the same structure as Rogers/Telus/Bell.
    The companies are not scared of Verizion coming in, the are simply saying that they should not be able to get in via a loophole that was designed for NEW upstart companies. Verizon is not a NEW company, they are a very large, well established company. Telus/Bell/Rogers are simply saying that Verizon should be held to the same standards they are being held to, they should have to invest money in the Canadian cellular structure. I’ve read a ton of comments about competition. The government cant claim this is fair competition, if all the competitors aren’t playing with the same rules.
    This will be bad for Canadians and the economy. If Verizon comes and puts one of the big three out, what happens to all those jobs…..all the Canadians who will be out of work. The Canadian based call centres will be moved to the US because minimum wage is cheaper. You can spin it any way you want, but letting them in without forcing them to make a financial investment in our Country is a bad choice.
    This is done because Harper is going to call an election or he has somethinhg else he needs from the US. (oil pipeline!). You guys can make your own decision, but try to educate yourself about all the details before you make your decision.

    • Acer12345

      Ha. I think everything that you said is in those radio ads. All BS.

      Bottom line is the big 3 currently have an oligopoly and this definitely shake things up.

    • wildspin

      Resistance is futile – these idiotic Robellus employee posts made my day. LOL

      To all the Robellus employees on rhis board, you guys all have management approval to engage in social media discussion related to business, right? how much are you paid for each post? ;-)

    • skullan

      0.05 cents / Megabyte, however, they need to post on their personal cellphones, which is charged at 0.05 cents / kb.

    • someguy

      LMFAO

    • Pantone

      Perhaps youre right, but trying to claim it is competition without holding Verizon to the same competition rules is wrong. I work for one of the big three and I welcome Verizon. Competition is fantastic, but I also worry about my job as a frontline manager because if Verizon is not forced to invest in the systems in our country, then what is stopping them from putting the big three out of business and then having a monopoly. Think of how many jobs will be lost and profits going back into the US economy instead of the Canadian economy. My point was to find out the facts before deciding if it is good or bad…

    • Pantone

      & realistically, if Harper is for it, then he must be getting a sweetheart deal in another area or major kickbacks. He is a huge crook. (I also voted for him, FYI) but he has badly mismanaged Canadian interests in both this country and internationally.

    • anjew

      i agree that they must be getting some sort of kickback

    • anjew

      we’re already screwed right now.

  • Yeahbuddy

    He has a great smile.

  • iddiots

    You people are stupid if you think this american giant is going to help lower prices. They will charge the same prices as the big3 and make larger profits as they can use their networks at a lower cost. This is terrible news for Canadians. .. you people just dont know it yet.

    • anjew

      more competition is ALWAYS GOOD….

    • someguy

      verizon will have to adhere to the packages currently carried by WIND or/and Mobilicity they wont change the plans BUT that being said the bigger WIND or/and Mobilicity gets their plans will eventually get higher like every other company over they years best chance is to jump on board and get a great plan and grandfather it

  • PT

    “If the government wants to open the borders, they must close the loopholes first.”

    That’s right! Get rid of Robellus one and for all.
    Bravo to the Prime Minister!

  • Jamie Maunder

    I just hope if they take over Wind they don’t take away my $6.67/month plan!! :(

  • ProjectReality_

    Finally the good news comes straight from the top dog himself! Verizon; Canada needs a savor in the wireless market. There’s nothing the Liberals can do now!!

  • downhilldude

    You guys realize your siding with a career politician? When did that ever turn out well?

    • skullan

      As opposed to siding with our Telecom? When did THAT ever work in our favour?

    • anjew

      still loving wind…

  • letodax

    As a non-conservative voter, if these tories stick to their guns I’d be impressed.

  • anjew

    i know right??? data prices has skyrocketed. look at the new 2 year data share plan pricing by Rogers… $120 for 6gb, oh and 55dollars for another line to share that 6gb…. its sickening

    • someguy

      you are right on the money with that one

  • someguy

    bell rogers and telus are just bitching because they will lose alot of subscribers and they will be forced to lower their plans

  • ehb

    Finally , THANKS Mr. Harper , no monopoly anymore in Canada after those 3 companies were ripping Canadian off by their high fees …..

    Good luck Verizon Canada , I hope they won’t get in deals under table with Canadian monopoly thieves….

  • Trina

    Rumor has it Eastlink will also be looking to sell its network/spectrum if Verizon enters the market as the 4th big player

  • Alibode

    If Harper and Otho from Beetlejuice are so concerned about our cell phone prices, why don’t they just forgo 20$ of tax money that they help themselves to from our paychecks and put it towards our cell phone bills….Then I’d believe them