Orange reportedly held ‘exploratory talks’ with Ottawa about the Canadian wireless market

Ian Hardy

November 27, 2013 8:35 am

Here we go again. A new report in the Globe and Mail has Orange, the massive France-based carrier, potentially eyeing an entry into the Canadian wireless market.

Apparently a subsidiary of Orange has held “exploratory talks” with both the CRTC and Industry Canada and specifically inquired about the “regulatory landscape.” Barbara Motzney, CRTC’s chief consumer officer, stated “They came to see us… I think they were in town about a month or so ago.” So far, though, it’s nothing more than an initial conversation.
A company representative stated, “Orange’s overall M&A strategy is focused on consolidation and the development of areas of strategic interest, particularly in Africa. This prudent and selective strategy precludes any major investments.”

Orange is the 8th largest wireless carrier in the world with over 175 million subscribers. If and when Orange does enter Canada it would be as an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), which is how PC Mobile, Petro-Canada Mobile and Speak Out Wireless operates. Going this route, rather than making heavy investments into bidding on spectrum and building out their own network, is more cost effect as they’ll simply sign a wireless agreement with an existing carrier network.

Back in the summer the same “exploratory talks” occurred between US-based Verizon Wireless and Ottawa. This led the Big 3 carriers to create the “Fair for Canada” PR campaign, leading to Industry Canada countering with the “More Choices” website. In the end, Verizon backed out and declared they really had no interest in making a play for Canada with Frank Shammo, Verizon CFO, stating the idea was “way overblown.”

  • Tebow

    Rogers, Bell and Telus all suck, but without a shadow of a doubt – Rogers is the worst BY FAR.

    Please Verizon, Orange, anyone please get over here and help us out.

    RIM?

    • Super_Deluxe

      Really? It’s always been a tie for me between Robbers and Hell but Telus is definitely better than them.

    • Adventurer

      Rogers cheats any chance they get, Bell is plain stupid.
      Telus is definitely better but their service quality has dropped, they stopped innovating and have learned that they can ask for more money and do it any chance they get.

  • Ashish Diwakar

    Well i have no idea about it though :)

  • D Kup

    I like how Orange is coming here….. However, it would be better if they can build their own network and start competing directly with the big three. Nevertheless, as form of increased competition is welcome.

  • vn33

    Hey, any news of a new entrant which makes Robelus take a reality check, is fine wih me !!

    • It’s Me

      Except that until and unless Orange actually expresses interest, the reality check for the big 3 is “no competition yet so let’s jack up rates”. When Verizon was rumoured to be coming, they raised rates and then tried to blame the hikes on the 2 year contracts.

    • thedosbox

      “When Verizon was rumoured to be coming, they raised rates and then tried to blame the hikes on the 2 year contracts.”

      If you threw out a theory about the Reform government wanting to appear consumer friendly, I’d have more sympathy.

      But this nonsnese? Not so much. Here’s Business 101 – if you want to maintain your high margins from a semi-captive customer base, but have less time to do so, prices go up.

    • It’s Me

      For those customers that were impacted by the term limits, yes, they needed to raise rates to maintain margins. But they went further than that. They raised rates far more than necessitated by their shorter terms. And they raised rates for customers with 2 year terms, which were not at all affected by the new 2 year limit. Further, they raised rates for off contract as well, which, again, were not impacted by the new rules.

      Perhaps you missed the survey courses for bus101, but if you raise rates disproportionally to your increase in costs, that is an increase in margins, i.e. profits. Actually, forget business 101, these are kindergarden math concepts.

      It’s disappointing that so many consumers are so easily snowed. The carriers blame the price hikes on the new rules, even ones that were completely unimpacted and raise rates far beyond what was called for, and some people just believe it, against logic and reason. They open the mouths wide and swallow the whole load. I hope they at least told you they love you and would respect you in the morning.

    • thedosbox

      “Perhaps you missed the survey courses for bus101, but if you raise rates
      disproportionally to your increase in costs, that is an increase in
      margins”

      Yes, it was. They saw an opportunity to do so, and took it. Business 101.

      But blaming it on the threat of Verizon coming? Conspiracy theory.

    • It’s Me

      In fact, that is the exact opposite of what I said. It was because there was no real threat because Verizon did not express any real interest. If you quoted my entire post, that would be clear.

      “Except that until and unless Orange actually expresses interest, the reality check for the big 3 is “no competition yet so let’s jack up rates”. When Verizon was rumoured to be coming, they raised rates and then tried to blame the hikes on the 2 year contracts.”

      It was exactly because Verizon didn’t explicitly say they were coming that the carriers felt comfortable with raising rates. Similarly, until and uless Orange actually expresses an interest, we shouldn’t expect any price drops. Because when there was simply speculation and no actual threat, we saw increase.

      Not because of but in spite of. Big difference.

    • thedosbox

      LOL – talk about a*s backwards logic. “Hey, there’s the threat of some competiton, lets raise prices! Oh, and spend lots of money claiming we have low prices”.

      Also – missed this gem: “I hope they at least told you they love you and would respect you in the morning.”

      For reference, here’s the 2-year plan I signed up for in October: $50/month, nationwide LTE, 5GB data, 350 daytime minutes and pretty much unlimited everything else. I’m sorry you couldn’t get that deal.

    • It’s Me

      So you have difficulties reading as well as with math? Again, that is the exact opposite of what I said.

      As I’ve said (hopefully you have someone read it to you this time) it was not the threat of anything that caused them to raise rates. It was the distinct lack of a threat of competition that allowed them to, in unison, raise rates.

      It’s undeniable that they raised rates at the same time there were rumours of Verizon. No threat, just rumours. You might think that is illogical, but it is simply a fact. Your limitations in understanding logic doesn’t change that fact.

      As for your plan, I’m glad you got a government plan. But it’s more than a little disingenuous for you to try to use that as an example of pricing in Canada. It isn’t a retail plan. For many years I was paying $50 for 6GB and unlimited north american calling, texting, VVM, CID. I’m sorry you think your 5GB and 350 minutes is something good or representative of the state of wireless in Canada. Another case of you swallowing the load without question I guess. Don’t forget to rinse :)

    • thedosbox

      “It’s undeniable that they raised rates at the same time there were
      rumours of Verizon. No threat, just rumours. You might think that is
      illogical, but it is simply a fact.”
      There you go again, presenting two events that occured simultaneously, thus implying a relationship. Don’t forget to adjust the tin foil hat.

      ” Another case of you swallowing the load without question I guess.”

      Um, we live in a Capitalist society. Corporations are in business to make money, and you can choose to do business with them, or not. Alternatively, buy their stock and benefit from the dividend. This should not be a surprise to anyone who lives in the real world.

    • It’s Me

      The only relationship I am implying is that if they had felt threatened, then they wouldn’t have raised rates as much as they did. You yourself said that them raising rates in the face of a threat would be illogical. I agree. They felt no threat and so they raised rates. Similarly, this new news of Orange won’t make a difference unless and until they actual say they are coming.

      WTF? Can’t you even keep track of your own positions? Have you so given up on thinking for yourself that you just don’t bother? You honestly seem to have no idea what you are saying but want to kneejerk defend against any comment you think is negative against the big 3. Pull it out of your a*s buddy, it’s hurting your head.

      I think you need to reexamine exactly what it is you are taking issue with in our conversation. Because everytime you try to challenge what I post, you end up agreeing or stating the same think I did (even though you previously wanted to disagree with something).

      Are you drunk? Honest question.

    • thedosbox

      ” Because everytime you try to challenge what I post, you end up agreeing
      or stating the same think I did (even though you previously wanted to
      disagree with something).”
      a) Expecting businesses to do anything other than maximize profits is folly. That’s basic capitalism. If you choose to believe it’s a defense of the Big 3, that’s your problem.

      b) Believing that the Big 3 would wilfully raise prices in the face of a competitve threat (however weak)? I don’t really need to say anything more about how ridiculous that sounds.

    • It’s Me

      a) I never claimed otherwise. You are tilting at windmills

      b) For the umpteenth time, I never said that, so again, you are are arguing with yourself.

      Fact: There was discussion/rumour of Verizion coming to Canada.
      Fact: At the same time, the big 3, in unison, raised rates and raised them beyond what was necessitated by rule CRTC rules.

      Do you see anything in the statement of those two fact that ties them together as related? Do you honestly think that if they truly felt threatened they would have raised rates? Are you that dense? Obviously they raised rates because they did not feel threatened.

      In exactly the same way, I expect empty talk about Orange will have no effect. If they want to raise rates again, they will do so, unless and until Orange (or someone else) actually expresses an interest in coming here. Which is what I said in my very first post, which it seems you agree with, even if you aren’t bright enough to realize that.

      Seriously, sober up before posting next.

    • thedosbox

      “Fact: At the same time, the big 3, in unison, raised rates and raised them beyond what was necessitated by rule CRTC rules.”

      And where in those rules does it say what their rates should increase by (due to the decrease in terms)? Capitalism 101.

      You can continue to link the two if you want, but I guess you also believe that the moon landings were faked, and that Elvis is really alive.

      “Seriously, sober up before posting next.”
      Look long and hard in the mirror.

    • It’s Me

      Where did I link them? You imagined that and continue to imagine it and have spent the day trying to argue against it. It didn’t happen.

      Also, where did I claim the CRTC mandated anything to do with price You brought up the shorter terms as though you actually thought they, by themselves, explained the price hikes. They don’t and it’s a pity there are such simple minded people, like you, that think they do.

      Once again, you have not really challenged anything that I actual posted. You have argued against things no one said. In short, you appear to be more than a little delusional. And not too bright. You are the perfect customer for the big 3. Carry on kav.

      Ok, I take it all back. I realize now that you are only pretending to be this dense. I honestly thought you were drunk and/or challenged. But I see now that you were faking it. Well done. You had me going.

    • taylor

      it doesnt really sound that ridiculous, in fact seems to be a smart play. option a) we blame the hikes on the new 2yr contract, and should a new entrant come, we can lower the plans and seem like were doing everyone a favor. option b) no one new comes to town and we continue to give it to the poor unsuspecting people signing contracts

  • Salinger

    If they come here (big “IF”) as an MVNO, then it will be just more of the same.

    The incumbents have made it clear that they are not willing to sell to anyone at a wholesale price that could give them any real competition. If they were, we’d already have Canadian based Ting here.

    Look at the numerous MVNO’s we already have, all with virtually identical plans and prices, just a little tweaking here and there on the minor details. It’s all just furthering the illusion of competition in Canada.

    • Scott

      I agree, however my hope would be that Orange would purchase enough “bandwidth or minutes” as a huge country wide MVNO to make an impact. Get there toes wet in Canada, build out the name brand and then start building infrastructure.

      That’s completely unrealistic but one can hope right?

  • Mythos88

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have a carrier that actually provides a full range of Windows Phone devices. Please come Orange.

    • Techie01

      you should probably check Rogers they have 3 Windows Phones plus a tablet.

  • Delphus

    You actually think ANY company in the world would be interested in coming here after the government’s ongoing debacle of handling the wireless landscape of the country?!?

    They would have to be seriously deranged… No sane company would enter the playing field not knowing how regulations will change in the future. And if the past is any indication of the future, those rules are currently made up on the fly (anything to get votes…).

    So as companies ARE run by sane people, that means nothing for the foreseeable future (until next elections maybe…).

  • Vineet Sharma

    Entering as MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) will not have any impact on the market. They are going to rely on BIG 3 anyways for network and coverage support. Its not an actual competition when you do not have your own infrastructure and can not drive the market on your own terms. Like PC Mobile, nothing changed in terms of pricing when they entered as MVNO. We need a Solid company who has potential to build their own network and sustain the market with low pricing.

  • HeyYoWL

    Cue the commercials again by the Big 3.

  • SrslyGuys

    Canada cannot support a 4th truly national carrier. I wish it could, but it can’t. Flame on.

    • SrslyGuys

      No, because I have my opinion based on the facts available, and getting into an argument on a comment board is one of the dumbest things anyone can do, ever. It’ll just go back and forth, devolve into name calling, and based on the site we’re on, someone will eventually start yelling about how owning a Nexus bought direct from Google will solve all the worlds woes. So with respect, I’ll decline.

    • Jakob

      Hahaha, YES. It always ends with the Nexus 5.

    • Jakob

      So very true. We’re one of the few areas of the world that have as many carriers/sub carriers as we do. It’s too much as it is.

  • TomsDisqusted

    That was just one side of their strategy – yesterday’s announcement about Rogers buying control of all NHL broadcasting in Canada another part. It’s hard for anyone company to compete here when Robellus power and control is so pervasive.

  • PT

    Here go your “Fair for Canada” Fee of $6.99 comming next month.

    Got da love Robelus!

  • ScooterinAB

    Once again, I will point out that a new carrier entering Canada will not automatically bring down prices. As the article points out, Orange would likely be looking at being a virtual carrier, and would strike a deal with a major carrier for network space. This means that they will not be a major carrier and will not have the momentum to set market prices.

    If Orange wants to enter Canada as a premium service provider, they will charge premium prices. If they enter as a budget carrier, they will charge budget prices. This is exactly the same as with Verizon or any other carrier. It’s going to charge whatever it wants and feels like it can get away with.

    If I decided to become a car manufacturer, premium manufacturers like BMW would probably not care, nor would they change any of their pricing.

    Deal with it.

    • p_lindsay

      Pretty sure Verizon was looking to buy up Wind and Mobi to take over, and expand their current network. They would have been real competition.

    • ScooterinAB

      But that is pure speculation. We will never know whether or not they were even interested in entering the market, nor if they were interested in trying to buy any company.

  • ScooterinAB

    But they aren’t stifling competition. The Big 3 didn’t keep Verizon out. They aren’t keeping Wind down and aren’t responsible for Mobilicity failing. All of the companies have made their choices and have to live with them. The actions of the Big 3 really don’t have anything to do with it.

    Verizon chose not to enter the market. Orange may choose the same, because the market is really flooded and ineffective already.

    Will everyone please stop trying to make this into something it isn’t.

    • ScooterinAB

      Prove it or it didn’t happen. You are speculating and making assumptions that they are stifling the market. To my knowledge, none of the Big 3 have blocked access to their network. If they have, it was a business decision and not some temper tantrum to hold the market.

      Will you please stop trying to make this into something it isn’t.

    • ScooterinAB

      Prove it or it didn’t happen. That’s all I’ve have to say on that matter. Provide unrefutable proof that the Big 3 are stifling competition and blocking access to the market for other companies. Otherwise, your comment is pure anticorporate speculation.

    • JTon

      Yeah I’m with you. Let’s get downvoted into oblivion together. I don’t disagree entirely with the sentiment, the prices here could be better. I’m just fed up of the attitude. So much whining and complaining. Ugh. Just switch over to Wind already. But.. but.. they don’t have LTE, bundles, good service, the phone I want… etc

    • ScooterinAB

      I completely agree that prices can and should go down. There is less than no argument there. I’m just tired of hearing all these claims of conspiracy and market fixing. There is certainly room in Canada for wireless to improve, but it has nothing to do with wishlisting and projecting radical theories onto the only companies that are succeeding in the market.

    • taylor

      Just looking for your take on something here. I’m going to lay out a scenario. Telus puts out a plan for 150$ and then everyone else prices there plans the exact same. is that not by defintion a form of stifling competition, as there making lots of money and it seems customers of that first company havent left hand over fist, so then the others feel they can get away with it and then charge the same amount. I’m also curious to know how any Rogers, Telus or Bell customers feel about that fact that what ever your plan is where ever you are apart from Saskatchewan, Quebec or Manitoba, you are paying almost twice as much as residents in Saskatchewan or Quebec or Manitoba

    • ScooterinAB

      I don’t see price matching as stifling competition. There’s a Looney Tunes cartoon I like about a mouse visiting his friend/cousin/not sure in America. The other mouse takes the first around through a department store, explaing how competition works. He (and other mice) basically explain that companies compete by lowering prices until they can’t go any further. In practice though, rather than get into a pricing war or risk losing business, most companies (not jut in wireless) just match competitor prices. As for price increases (if I’m understanding your example), customers can simply choose not to change their plan. This happens all the time right now and customer have a great degree of power to avoid price increases.

      As for my thoughts on pricing in other provinces, I’m not concerned. I Alberta, customers benefit from actually having cell signal in most parts of the province. Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba kind of have garbage for coverage outside of the major metro areas. While Albertans pay more on the surface, they are getting a more valuable and user friendly product. I also disbelieve that the prices are twice as high, much like how I disbelieve that US prices are better (because they actually aren’t).

    • taylor

      I knew I forgot something. If by consumers have power in terms of plan changes then you must be referring to buying phones off contract then? Or just not upgrading to newer devices? That doesn’t seem like much power to me. Because as soon as a person needsa new phone, there you go your plan jujust doubled. But as a resident of sk. I really don’t care about the rates everyone else pays, I’m just trying to point out some flaws in the system. Also just to point out. I like to watch investor reports and when bell is posting large increases in revenue, and subscribers on those old plans. One only has to wonder how much they are going to make off these new ones

    • ScooterinAB

      Customers can always change their plans, even in term. I think Wind is the only company that changes for promo plans, while everyone else offers a certain number of changes per year for free.. Likewise, customers are never forced to buy a new device. They are welcome to sign a term or go off term. Despite what everyone whines about here, customers actually do have a lot of power and choice.

      Very seldom is a customer ever forced to change their plan. I’ve been working in wireless for a year and a half (and worked for 2 years prior a number of years ago) and have never seen a plan double in price. Never. Yes, 2 year terms messed everything up. But I often have customers who lack any texting options, or who are still paying a system access fee. What goes up in cost is when customers want other services. Everyone wants more data, and that costs money. Unless you have an absolutely ridiculous loyalty play, quite often the monthly costs seldom go up more than a few dollars at a time.

      The reason why wireless costs as much as it does, and the reason why everyone keeps complaining about it, is because everyone keeps wanting. Everyone wants more and more data allowance than they use. Buy guess what. I regularly have customers leaving those 6GB plans everyone keeps bringing up, because very few people need or use 6GB of data. Very few people need a new phone every 2-3 years. But guess what. I often see people coming in 6 months into their term demanding a new iPhone because their brand new iPhone is outdated. And very few people take responsibility for the costs of their services by seeing if they can save any money. But guess what. I regularly save customers between $10 and $100 with in-market plans and features, simply because they never updated their plan. Even when I can’t save a customer money, I can usually get them more data and better calling features for the same price.

      Each and every carrier has a part to play, but so do customers. As spelled out in the Wireless Code, it is up to customers to know their rights and become their advocates. If people spent more time knowing what they had and researching what is available, as well as weighing the costs, there’d be a lot less complaints.

  • ScooterinAB

    The reason why Canada cannot support a fourth national carrier is because we have a very low population density and a very large geography. Sorry to use that old argument, but it’s true. The Big 3 aren’t even truly national, and only in the last few years have we crept any closer to the coveted 100% population coverage. It is simply too expensive to go coast to coast in anything short of 40 years, and being a region player hasn’t been working out for any of the new entrants.

    I would love more carrier choice, though not because I am an angry radical who switches carriers every 2-3 years. I would love to see more and alternate coverage. I would love to see more foreign ideas come into this industry (because that and that alone could bring new ways of doing things to the market). But it just isn’t going to happen.

    • ScooterinAB

      I’m heading out the door, so I can’t right now. But when I have some time, I will write up a many point explanation as to why the population-geography reason is valid and true. You saying that it has been debunked doesn’t mean that it has been.

      In the mean time, any company entering exploratory talks is going to look at potential market share, population, revenue, and general feasibility. This is about whether or not a fourth carrier is profitable, not some conspiracy theory that you think the Big 3 are blocking access or that the federal government is behind anything.

    • ScooterinAB

      I have told you that I will write a multi point statement about why the population-geography arguement is valid and true. I have also told you that I can’t write it right now. Keep your pants on.

    • Stephen_81

      The Debunking of the geography statement is based that Canada’s population is in pockets and that coverage doesn’t actually need to be nation wide.

      The debunking also often goes to an argument that a 4th player could lease tower access and spectrum from the Big 3 to give nation wide coverage.

      When you compare Canada’s Population to Canada’s Geography and then you look at the smallest carriers in the world and the number of towers they support. It is a vastly different landscape in Canada.

      I’m not saying the Big 3 in Canada are suffering, but It isn’t attractive to see other’s come, Rogers is actually DOWN on wireless revenue in Q32013 vs Q32012, and only up 1% YTD 2013 vs YTD 2012 making approx 47% margin.

      If the Big 3 with the hikes in contract prices and the price fixing they are accused of are actually making less money how is it attractive for a 4th National carrier to come to Canada and think that it can compete while also bringing down consumer costs.

    • Stephen_81

      That is true, and that is actually the statement they put in their filing is that revenue is down due to lower roaming fees.

      But that doesn’t negate that revenue IS down, and any carrier coming in as a 4th Player would see that revenue took a fall and to compete they’d need to be taking in less revenue per user per feature. With a low population density outside of the 10 major centres.

    • Stephen_81

      When you’re looking to open a business you don’t go, OH LOOK the competition is improving their business model this is a perfect time to jump in.
      While Canadians get screwed on things that makes it more attractive for competition because they can offer things at lower costs and be in line with the rest of their business in other countries. but if the big 3 are narrowing the gap it makes it harder to enter the market and offer something different.

      Combine with that the fact the CRTC ruined the contract stripping it of any usefullness besides direct financing of hardware they’ve now made it harder to come to market with innovative payment/purchasing options. We could never have a UK style carrier now were devices are part of your monthly rate plan.

    • Stephen_81

      The competition wasn’t lining up in the past because of our foreign ownership regulations. The landscape to set up shop has been inhospitable and look at the people do did try to enter. NONE have been profitable.

      I do agree once the dust settles things are going to be better for consumers than they were. BUT They’ve limited how much better it can get with the strangle regulations designed to make the way carriers are doing things now the only way to do it.
      I expect Rogers Loyalty program will become common place among the carriers. and we’ll see more perks coming along for not jumping carriers, which for someone like me with accounts with multiple carriers means better negotiating having my long term status

    • Jakob

      It’s been debunked?! I do not think so. It’s simple math and is a reality in Canada. Many towers do not get the usage they can handle because the population isn’t there and the return on the cost of putting it up takes much, much longer. Everyone believes that a 4th unicorn carrier is going to magically swoop in and save the day when it only makes it worse. The real solution is the government needs to tighten up the rules and regulations, phone and plan costs need to be differentiated on the bill, and people outside of major areas need to pay a premium. Providing coverage for rural areas seriously dents what the carriers could be making if they were populated but they just raise the rates across the board. City Fido back in the early 2000′s started doing this and were able to charge unlimited for $45 (which was HUGE back then) and rural Canada was left paying the regular rates. The concept of long distance started with Bell landlines to accommodate for the cost of investment for providing services ‘way out there’. Sorry, North Bay, you should be paying more than Ottawa and Toronto does for living out in the sticks.

      So no, it hasn’t been debunked.

    • Stephen_81

      I disagree with your “the real solution”

      There are a LOT of solutions. One I’m more and more in favor of is the Canadian government setting up a crown corporation to buy/build towers outside of all the metropolitan areas and lease back access to any and all the carriers. So that nation wide coverage to the less desireable areas is met with shared investment by all carriers interested in covering those areas. as well as opens up more areas to competitors like WIND.

      Major centres can continue to be fought over with each carrier trying to out do eachother and jocky for position with towers they get ROI for those towers. The government maintains that Canada will have a far reaching and robust network and can speed up deployment of technology for greater geographic coverage vs just population coverage.

      And that is only 1 of the solutions for addressing our fast population spars country

    • Stephen_81

      Raising money across the board is the socialistic way in Canada.
      A farmer doesn’t have to pay rediculous sums of money for mobile because it is shared via all. and the advantage that the urban person gets is when he visits the farm areas he isn’t paying roaming costs.

      Those that want to save on an urban only plan go with people like WIND. you want to have access to coverage geographically nation wide you pay the average price across a region.

    • Jakob

      Just because they cover that area it doesn’t debunk it just because you say it does. Towers cost a lot of money and they’re expected to bring in a certain amount of ARPU for those that use it (after it’s been paid off). The geographic argument isn’t about just putting up a tower and it’s done with, it’s the lack of revenue that they get from towers in rural areas compared to what they do in urban centres to drive their business. They have to put up those towers to stay competitive or they’ll get nothing from those areas. My point is that if Canada was smaller or had more of a population, there would be more ROI for those areas and less pressure from stakeholders to maintain a certain ARPU.

      Your beloved Wind has this very concept. They can afford to provide very cheap rates because they’re only in major areas and get a certain amount of ARPU in the urban centres. CityFIDO did this, Mobilicity did it. Public did it and used out-dated tech because their offerings were so low. The math doesn’t get debunked because you think the idea is about whether a tower is there or not.

    • Jakob

      And? That’s your answer to what I wrote about regional ARPU? After I specifically stated that the current number of towers isn’t what the real argument is?

      Why the hell do I engage this guy? I honestly try and refrain from replying to the nonsense and the logical fallacies you spew but it’s SO HARD that I have to. “The math speaks for itself”… I have histories of carriers and localized strategies as proof over the last 13 years and all your response amounts to is “Just cuz”. I agree on the model that Stephen proposed but you can’t bleed that example into the way it currently operates. One has to do with fixing it, the other explains how business is conducted and pricing is calculated.

    • Jakob

      My god, are you seriously this dumb or is it only on Thursdays? It does not have to do with how much is CURRENTLY covered but how much each tower across the country generates in profit. If we removed all the lightly populated areas we would require far less towers and thus generate much more revenue. More revenue per tower would mean less profit required through the rate plans, etc. Hence the WIND and CityFIDO examples (and mobilicity). The irony of you telling me I’m ignoring facts. Wow. Now I’m flip flopping depending what day it is? Tomorrow I’ll say it doesn’t have anything to do with towers? Well argued, good sir! Actually, no. Poorly argued. I have never changed my position on this.

      You like to believe that a 4th carrier will also reduce costs, when, it would likely increase them. We’re also one of the countries who have the MOST carriers. Too many companies means less overall profit for companies to build large (extra large and expensive) networks because they lower customer bases. If, let’s say, Bell disappeared from the landscape you’d have millions more customers across the country for the other carriers that would allow them to truly reduce plan costs.

      “I’m ignoring important pieces of information”. You make me laugh. Coming from the guy who keeps chirping “80%” and nothing else and then predicts the future that tomorrow I’ll change my argument.

    • Jakob

      My argument isn’t failing. Your argument has no substance. “80% coverage” is your argument with nothing of depth. Stephen provided depth to his argument, you did not. I’m not calling you stupid because I think my argument is failing. Quite the contrary, I’m calling you stupid because I think you are actually stupid and parade as someone who is isn’t. Debating with you is like debating with a religious person. You don’t provide valid reasons for your statements. Hence the ‘just cuz’ comment.

      I’ve had the “pleasure” of reading many of your posts in various threads and I have come to the conclusion that you simply like to cry wolf about everything.

      If I wanted to personally insult you, I would tell you that your blog sucks and is sad attempt to recreate mobilesyrup and BGR.

    • Jakob

      I was fine to begin with.

      When your argument is failing, pretend to take the higher road.

    • Jakob

      I’m an emotional person, I’m ok with that. It just drives me nuts when people poke people into a debate and then answer with fluff (ie. religious people and you) and then when they’re called out on it their reply is stuff like ‘meh, feel better?’. You’ll just move onto the next thread and recycle the same crap and when someone calls you out on it you’ll pretend to take the higher road. Then, when no one expects it, you’ll blab about your Nexus 5.

  • Stephen_81

    Orange is one of the Companies I actually wanted to see Bidding on spectrum, they do things differently with contracts in Europe vs the way we do things in Canada/USA and it would be exciting to see someone try something new. Until the CRTC messed things up with the new contract laws.

    As a European operator I wouldn’t step foot now in Canada now that the have completely destroyed the validity of a contract.
    We’re stuck with the junk we have.

  • czvezda

    From a business perspective, I don’t see potential on the side of large multinational companies like Orange to invest great pools of money to build a large wireless infrastructure network in Canada, the cost is just too high. Don’t think another MVNO will help consumers, they’ll still use the networks established by the Big 3. If another company was to enter the market, they’re looking to maximize profit, not for “the greater good”. Investing in Eastern European and African Markets are way more enticing given the vastly lower infrastructure costs and greater potential for concessions from governments.

  • ScooterinAB

    Now that I have some time, here’s why Canada cannot support a fourth national carrier.

    First of all, Canada (like every developed country) has a birth rate around 1.1. This means that families are generally only having 1 child, which means that the Canadian population isn’t replacing itself and is on the decline. This means that generation over generation, there are fewer new Canadians to sell phones to.

    Second is market saturation. At any given time, pretty much everyone who is going to have a cell phone in Canada has one. The only truly new customers to the market are immigrants and those children who are coming of age and getting their first cell phone. Note that this does not include existing customers who are changing carriers, since they are already in the market.

    Third is competition. Any new carrier in the market has the compete for any new (actually new) customers, but is entering a losing battle (at least at first) in order to gain customers who are already in the market. The vast majority of customers are already involved with existing carriers, be it on contracts, having equipment investment, or simply not actively interested in leaving (for those off term). While it’s hard to get new customers, it borders on impossible to uproot existing customers from another carrier unless they have a serious incentive to move. Look at Wind and Mobilicity. While they’ve had some growth, they really haven’t been able to draw customers en mass from the Big 3. This isn’t going to be any different for any other new carriers.

    Fourth is population vs geography. We often compare our market to those in Europe, Asia, and the US. We have to remember that Europe and Asia as much smaller than Canada and have an exponentially higher population. Even the more comparable United States has a much higher population and population density. We live in the second largest country in the world and are among the lowest in population density. The only viable and true comparison would be Russia (similar size, similar population areas, albeit still more dense and populated that Canada), and I have no idea what their market looks like.

    Sub point one. As Stephen_81 mentioned, we living in small pockets across the country. This low population means that it is more expensive, per customer, to build new towers and establish wireless networks.

    Sub point two. When other countries build towers, they are often doing so in order to enhance their networks. When we build new towers in Canada, it is often done in order to expand our networks. Those are two very different things. Other developed countries can carry more calls, texts, and data over a smaller network, while we are carrying it over a larger and more expensive network.

    Sub point three. Using companies like Wind as an example, it is unprofitable to enter this market and try to become a nation carrier. The cost of building towers and expanding your network outside of major metropolitan areas is an unprofitable venture. What few customers that you can gain in a new area will never pay for your investment in that area. Look at Bell and Telus. Neither were a national carrier until they struck an agreement to build on each other’s towers.

    The fifth major point is cost. Factoring in the increased cost of operation per customer, no carrier in their right mind is going enter this market as a budget carrier. If anything, they will price higher than the Big 3 in order to try and recoup some of their losses. Any company is going to look at what has happened to every small carrier in Canada. MTS has a regional monopoly. SaskTel is a government organization. Mobilicity has failed. Videotron is and always will be a regional player. All of the smaller companies where bought up by the Big 3 because they were unprofitable. Wind is on the very edge of success and bankruptcy. Every company that has offered rock bottom pricing has failed, while only the more expensive carriers have stuck around.

    The sixth, and most important point, is feasibility. Any company with any degree of foresight and intelligence is going to do a feasibility study. This looks at costs, market, and laws surrounding what you are studying. Any company trying to enter the market is going to see a small population in a large and unprofitable area that is incapable of supporting any new business. Simply put, the market is saturated. They are also going to see a government that actively mettles in their affairs and appears to be stifling growth while saying that they want more competition. They are going to see a government that changes it’s rules in order to screw every company that operates in the market (exactly what was happening when Verizon expressed interest) just to try and get a new carrier. This is a politically and financially unattractive market for any new wireless carrier.

    Now this all assumes that they try to enter as a standard carrier. What’s more likely is that Orange could see feasibility in offering a better roaming network or long distance services for their customers. It’s been said that they will likely enter as a virtual carrier, not as a full and standard carrier. This means that they will have very little impact on the market.

    Sorry, but wishlisting and denial doesn’t make Canada any smaller, have any more people, or make the market any more viable. I’m all for fairness from our carriers. I’m all for fair pricing and transparency. But we aren’t going to see services like in other countries because we aren’t like those other countries. We also aren’t going to see pricing drop and the Big 3 brought to their knees because someone decides to split the already over-saturated market even thinner. If anything, things will only get more expensive if the market splits any more.