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Industry Minister now says the marketplace will decide on the number of carriers per region

moore

June 4th, 2013: Former Industry Minister Paradis on the reasons why the government decided to axe TELUS’ $380 million bid for Mobilicity:

“Our government is clearly committed to encouraging competition in the wireless market so that Canadian families will benefit from cutting-edge technologies and services at affordable prices. I believe the basis of a strong economy is a competitive marketplace and consumer choice. We will continually review the regulations and policies that apply to the wireless telecommunications sector to promote at least four wireless providers in every region of the country so that Canadian consumers benefit from competition.”

Prominently noted on Industry Canada’s “More Choices” website, the government states that “Canada’s largest wireless companies currently hold more than 85% of Canada’s wireless airwaves and hold more than 90% of the Canadian market. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more choice?”

Rogers, Bell and TELUS have about 25 million wireless subscribers, while other carriers make up for the remaining three million. Apart from the Big Three, most provinces already have four carriers in play, such as MTS in Manitoba, SaskTel in Saskatchewan, Videotron in Quebec, and Eastlink in Nova Scotia. However, the goal for the government, especially with the 2008 spectrum auction, was to increase competition and bring more choice to Canadians. The agenda was always to have a fourth national carrier.

February 12th, 2014: Industry Minister James Moore speaking to the Canadian Press about wireless competition in Canada:

“It would be irresponsible for us to have a public policy that wasn’t setting in place the parameters where more competition could emerge, if the market can support it. Whatever dynamic emerges that the marketplace can support, the marketplace will decide that.

Certainly seems that the current 700 MHz spectrum auction — the beachfront of all spectrum — is possibly not turning out to be as fruitful as the government once thought. While there is no indication of who has bid, nor who’s won the various spectrum blocks, the comment by James Moore now shows that customers will decide if more competition is needed in the a specific area, not the commitment from the government to ensure there is “more choice in Canada’s wireless market and to defend consumers.”

  • Thomas C. Riddell

    for once the Government did something right

    • It’s Me

      What’s that? Gave up trying and let us get bent over dry?

  • canuck07

    Thanks for the screw-up, Mr. Moore

    • It’s Me

      How did they screw up? Within the parameters of stimulating competition without actually imposing business models on the incumbents, at least they tried.

    • Allwayswrite

      “At least they tried” is what fat kids say when they pity ugly kids…

      Bottom line, these are politicians that have no idea how to run a business (Yes Canada is a business) and constantly bow to the pressures of lobbyist..

      This is a cowardly way to dictate business terms (customers will decide if more competition is needed) What does that even mean?

      How to fix the problem of high rates on carriers? Open the doors to “Fair” international partners to play…NOT for example: letting Orascom enter the market, then brow beating them with ridiculous rules and restrictions to prevent growth.

      Like all things oligopoly in Canada, when international interest start poking their noses around…they get scared and bend to market pressures…but this is not sustainable every 5 years. There needs to be a consistent presence.

    • d a

      Bravo

    • It’s Me

      They lift a lot of the restrictions that Wind had to deal with. Some were still there, but they have been lifting more and more…it’s just that it wasn’t enough and was too late.

      You would have preferred they didn’t try and simply bowed to the industry lobby like the Libs did for so long?

    • Who Needs Facts

      That has been the problem all along though. They have different regulations depending on how big a company you are, where you are funded from and perhaps even what type of network equipment you choose to use.

      Regulations are fine, necessary even, but apply the same regulations to everyone and let the market sort it out.

      And lastly. Forget what happened 25 years ago. It is not relevant. How the Telcos got to where they are is moot.

      The point was that the rules all along were the same rules for all of them.

      Telus spent $6 Billion (8.2 Billion in 2014 dollars) to get in the national market in in 2000. They came and played under the same rules as the already established Bell and Rogers.

      The market decided TELUS’s fate, not government regulations

    • It’s Me

      a) The regulations have never applied to all equally. Whether that meant foreign carriers were banned or that some companies (Rogers) were given national sanction vs. regional, it was never equal and they were never the same for all. Ever.

      b) The regulations, until recently, continued to favour a few. That was because the point of the regulation was meant to stimulate their growth. And it worked. Now the goal is to stimulate competition. So, regulations are fine and necesary…and they won’t always have the exact same goals nor will they ever apply to all equally.

      c) You can’t just forget what happened 25 years ago because it got us where we are today and as long as nothing is done, then it continues to favour those that have long been favoured.

    • gommer strike

      But it’s the customers in the end who will dictate with their wallets, who will rise and who will fall.

      If people don’t want to use the big 3 and go with someone cheaper – they can. It’s not like people don’t have choice…we do.

    • It’s Me

      Nice idea but not in all cases. In cases if monopoly or duopoly or when the cost of entry prohibits new entry (while older entrants were assisted) mean that the consumer does not dictate anything in those circumstances.

    • Thr1ve

      Same old ridiculous arguments,yes, Rogers and Bell were assisted at the very beginning, if they hadn’t been, Canada wouldn’t have wireless service at all in those days… They were assisted because no one wanted to risk putting the money down to build infrastructure that they had no idea if Canadians would buy into, had Wind or Mobilicity or other carriers been around at the time, they too would have gotten the same opportunity… But now that wireless services are hugely popular, profitable and hold very little to no risk (unless mismanaged, which, lets face it, both Wind and Mobilicity were terribly mismanaged from the get go), everyone wants a slice, the risk that Rogers and Bell took all those years ago is MUCH bigger than the risk new entrants have today…

      Those new entrants (especially Wind) have backing from even larger telecommunications companies than the big 3, the problem is that they aren’t willing to invest and instead, wanted handouts from the government (free uncontested prime spectrum, government grants, infrastructure etc)… And when the government refused to give them handouts, they threw a hissy fit insulting Canada, the Canadian government and Canadians as a whole saying that it wasn’t fair that the big 3 were be able to bid for the same prime spectrum they wanted set aside only for them, even though they already had blocks that the big 3 couldn’t bid on. So they dropped out of the auction altogether in much the same way as a child who takes his ball and goes home… Another thing that Wind (and Mobillicity) did was refuse to expand beyond the handful of most populated areas of Canada, they wanted the benefits of being a national carrier yet they wanted to stick to being a regional carrier so they could reap the most profits with minimal effort/cost on their behalf. The only reason Wind was even in Canada was to take advantage of the hugely overpriced wireless services here, they thought they could come in and would be handed everything on a silver platter while attempting to bully the big 3 with their lower prices and unlimited data, needless to say, that pretty well backfired when they realized that the handouts were limited…

      Lastly, consumers don’t dictate anything, if they did, we wouldn’t be paying $75/month for 500MB of data and unlimited Canada wide calling, carriers wouldn’t just match each others prices instead of actually competing for consumer’s business… The fact is, no one is willing to forgo wireless service in order to force changes, and the carriers know this, which is why they’re able to get away with insane prices and the lack of any real competition within the big 3 and their sub brands (which are now just as expensive as their main brands)…

    • It’s Me

      Your argument is premised on inaccuracies. You assert that they only received helped because of all the risk that no one else wanted to take and that others would have been granted similar assistance if they had been around. All false.

      Rogers and only Rogers was granted a national sanction, based on their long time and previously granted cable monopoly being the largest. The rest was allocated to local teleco monopolies, in regional and pan-regional grants, so Bell, MTS, etc. At the time it was seen as being handed a gold mine. Any company would have liked a similar license to print money, but only a select few were going to get it. Others were simply not allowed. Later, when it was realized what had been given away, we tried to bring in new competition but each time, it was a halfa$$ed effort and the largest carriers were allowed to suffocate and/or swallow them.

    • kroms

      We do ? Like who . Fido ? Virgin ? Koodo ?
      We dont have choice, your just blowing smoke and you know it.
      Choice , lol . Sure.
      It getting to the point soon ( we are almost there !! ) that no matter who your are with , it will be owned by ROBELUS.

    • gommer strike

      You are the one who’s blowing smoke. Stop bringing up examples of companies who are just rebranded offshoots, you’re weakening your point.

      Wind, Mobilicity immediately spring to mind, and it’s your damned fault if you can’t muster the tiniest portion of your brain to acknowledge their existence. People like YOU, are:

      a) the idiotic ignorant ones who for some reason can’t figure out that the packages from Wind/Mobilicity with their unlimited voice/data is a far better deal than big 3′s $80+ plans for the same thing;

      b) don’t contribute enough to the companies they work, to justify a phone covered by work. boo hoo

  • Sukdis Knaatz

    We can now only hope for regional companies to continue growing, thus applying some pressure locally (TBayTel, SaskTel, etc.), forcing the Big3 to actually compete there, and for Videotron to keep expanding into Ontario, either on their own, or through Mobilicity acquisition, so we could see more sane prices in Southern Ontario as well.

    I have given up on the Big3 years ago. All I can say is for everyone to use their wallets to send the message out.

    • Mike

      Until the smaller guys spend money and build up there own networks so their service is comparable to the big 3 I will stick with the big3

    • Salinger

      That’s the catch 22 though, isn’t it? Until they get customers and show a healthy (or at least promising) bottom line, they’re not going to be able to attract the investment to build up their networks.

    • Mike

      Honestly you get what you pay for. You want cheap monthly rates then you will get cheap service. If they build up there network they will need to raise prices to recover those costs.

    • It’s Me

      That does not automatically mean they will charge the highest rates in the developed world. It’s sad that the incumbents have so deeply conditioned Canadians to think “get what you pay for” means paying more than is necessitated.

    • Mike

      Well until someone comes in and offers the same amount of coverage area and same call and data quality at a cheaper rate I will switch. But that hasn’t happened. So honestly it is the other business outside the big3 that are the problem.

      I have compared what I have to what is offered in the states and we are not that expensive as people make it out to be.

    • It’s Me

      Now you have fallen for more of the big 3 FUD. The prices in the US went up in the last few years while ours went down because of the new carriers. So now, of course, we suddenly look like we aren’t being bend over compared to the US. But what is happening in the US now that TMobile has reversed their slide? The prices in the US are now falling and value for the money is going up. What’s happening in Canada now that the new carriers are failing? Prices shot up (and no, it was not because of the new rules or term limits).

      If Wind had charged as much as Rogers, they would still be saddled with trying to use AWS. We helped the big 3 build their networks, so maybe Wind should be allowed to use their networks. That way they could charge more and people like you could switch to them and pay the same.

      Tell you what. How about I start a new service, just for you. You pay me and I’ll act as a middle man to get you what you have now with the carrier you have now. But, I am going to double, maybe triple, what you pay. Since your logic insists that you will get what you pay for, you can rest assured that by paying me more, you will get more. That’s what we call a logic fail.

    • hyperhyper

      “same amount of coverage area and same call and data quality” it is quite difficult to break into an oligopoly without a tremendous amount of capital.

    • Mike

      It can be done, but until I see no difference in the product and the only difference is the price I will always base my choice on quality of service.

    • Andrew

      Clearly doesn’t understand that companies like wind need to require licensing to build towers.. just can’t stick a metal pole on someone’s yard, if that was the case don’t you think Canada would be covered at 100% even by robellus??

    • kroms

      This guy is a TOOL.

    • hyperhyper

      While I pay some pretty low fees by going with a new entrant, I do not find that the service I receive that different. While I would say it is not at the top tier of one of the Big 3, I certainly do not see the Big 3′s services being 150% better than what I am currently getting (maybe 20% if I had to quantify it).

      If I am going to have to pay that much more for the big 3 service, then they should step up and deliver because at the prices they are asking for comparable service, they miss them mark by a country mile.

    • selonmoi

      Really? Which new entrant, and where? Do you use data?

      I ask these questions in all sincerity because my experience was so completely different. I spent 18 months trying to support the new entrants, first Mobilicity then WIND. During all that time I had maybe 3 weeks when data was usable. I’m in Toronto, and am downtown most of the time.

      I still have Speedtest results on my phone. Here are some typical examples:

      23/12/2012: 0.14 Mbps down, 0.15 Mbps up, 198 ms ping
      30/04/2013: 2.58 Mbps down, 0.09 Mbps up, 618 ms ping
      10/05/2013: 2.43 Mbps down, 0.02 Mbps up, 55 ms ping
      21/06/2013: 1.26 Mbps down, 0.02 Mbps up, 155 ms ping

      Of course most people don’t need massive upstream bandwidth, but with the trickle that I was getting, just refreshing Twitter or checking into Foursquare was excruciating.

      Eventually, I ran out of patience and switched to the discount brand of the least abusive big 3 carrier (that would be Koodo). I pay $5/month more and that only includes 1GB of data (it’s $5/500M beyond that), but at least I can use my smartphone as a smartphone now:

      13/02/2014: 11.34 Mbps down, 1.72 Mbps up, 59 ms ping

      (I have a Nexus 4, so no LTE.)

      I really wish the new entrants could be successful, but based on my experience it seems like massive investments would still be needed before they could offer competitive service.

    • hyperhyper

      Sorry to hear you have had those issues… I use Wind in Ottawa and I use data all the time. I stream movies via Netflix on my lunch hour, listen to Sony’s Unlimited music service, surf, email and tether at work depending on which client I am at and I have never had a problem with speeds (I’ve got a G2).

      I just did a Speedtest (and not I’m not on Wifi) and my results were:

      2014/02/13: 4.84Mbps down, 2.32Mbps up, 67ms ping

      I typically use anywhere between 3-6GB a month depending on what I’m doing.

    • selonmoi

      That’s amazing. If I got speeds anywhere close to that in Toronto, I would have stayed with WIND.

    • hyperhyper

      Yeah, if I had been getting the speeds you were getting, then yeah I would be out of there. I guess the lesson here is that the value of the new entrants are highly subjective to which area you reside. For now, I’m thrilled with what I’m getting for $40/month.

    • Jakob

      Nothing speaks more volume than data. I tip my hat to you, sir.

    • Salinger

      Of course, when you have a stranglehold on the marketplace and an unspoken understanding with your “competitors” you can charge pretty much what you like, no matter how immense your profits are.

    • Mike

      Can you proof they have an understanding?

    • Salinger

      Of course not, but observation accounts for a lot. It doesn’t have to mean they sit around in secret meetings and say “okay, here’s what we’re going to do”, but it seems very clear that there is an unwritten rule among them not to rock the boat by becoming too innovative or offer up a real alternative to the others. They know they have a great thing going in Canada; their world leading profits prove that.

      It is unfathomable to me that 3 companies, if they were truly trying to differentiate themselves from one another in order to gain customers, would have identical plans, with identical features, with identical price points, charging identical prices for their handsets, with identical fees for just about everything.

      I’m kind of at a loss as to your overt keenness to defend all things Robelus.

    • kroms

      LMAO Mike . -> Tool
      recover costs . lmao

      Rogers NHL 12 yrs deal $5.2 Billion
      That kinda cost ?

      please.

    • geokilla

      Look at it this way. I have 6GB data, 250 airtime minutes, caller ID, texting, all that usual jazz. I pay $45/month with Fido. I don’t have to worry about bad service anywhere in Toronto, let alone Ontario or Canada, using only AWS phones, and most importantly, roaming rates as I travel to and from London every 2 to 3 weeks. WIND has to work pretty hard to impress me in order to get me to switch over. Plus I’m pretty sure that my bill would be more than $45/month if I switched over to WIND due to the roaming fees that they are forced to charge when in WIND AWAY zone.

    • Salinger

      That’s not an in-market plan nor is $45/month even market rate for that plan if it was ever offered to the general public. That’s either an EPP plan or your cost with discounts from Rogers/Fido. I agree, why would you switch? But that’s hardly a typical example. The in-market equivalent of that plan is close to triple that cost right now.

    • geokilla

      It was an in market plan… It’s the $25 Standard Plan plus 50 bonus minutes before they decided to nerf it, then add in 6GB data and add a $10 credit. Ok let’s take away the $10 credit. That means it’s $55/month. Makes WIND seem much better, especially once you add in HST, but I would still stay with Fido for the same reasons as above. Plus I’m a heavy data user so while I don’t need LTE (have it turned off), I do need fast data speeds in order to support music and Twitch streaming.

    • Who Needs Facts

      You are lying. We have the highest prices in the developed world.

    • It’s Me

      Correct. I guess if we compared services and features that are no longer offered or have doubled in price, then the numbers would support your assertion that we get the best value in the world…or is that not your position?

    • Mike

      Do any of our cell phone companies compete with these other world companies? All I see is whining and complaining.

    • It’s Me

      Well, the don’t for two reasons. First, foreign companies were forbidden from competing with them in Canada, artificially creating a nice, coddled nanny state for them to grow in. Second, our carriers have all refused to tip their toes outside of Canada. Why? Because they wouldn’t enjoy the same largesse that we have bestowed upon them.

      Of course all you see is whining. You’ve from strayed you’ve handed over your ability for critical thought to your carrier. They tell you that you are getting good value and you swallow it without even a hint of gagging.

    • Mike

      My opinion is not based on ad campaigns I have had accounts with all the big3 as well as a new entry. When I compare the new entry with Rogers the service is better, I get faster data speeds and I don’t deal with wind zones. Even though I live in metro Vancouver my home boarders a wind zone so I was roaming more then not. If I used the phone as much as I do now on the new entry it would cost me more.

      I am not going to sit here and compare what I paid to another country as I don’t live there. It is also unreasonable to expect the same rates as other countries. Also cellphones are not necessary they are a luxury so there for they will be unaffordable for some. That being said I won’t stick with a new entry for politic reasons or the greater good. If you can’t afford these prices that isn’t my problem.

    • It’s Me

      You never responded, so I’ll ask again.

      If I helped you out and let you get your rogers service through me but otherwise identical, would paying me 3x the price make it better service?

      Once you are able see the failure in such an assumption you might see where your logic failure is. Because that is exactly what you are saying.

    • gommer strike

      But when must we complicate these things with hypothetical situations which aren’t synonymous with reality? It’s very simple.

      We want:

      a) great coverage and reliable service, no matter where we are
      b) fair pricing and deals where possible

      If we go with a smaller carrier, it’ll suit our needs so long as we stay within supported zones and don’t really care that our phone has no signal before we ski down that slope in Cypress.

      But if we want coverage no matter where we are – heck, even my old nokia during the 1990′s actually had signal way up there – you gotta pay to play.

      I mean, what’s with all this war against carrier this, carrier that? We just want who gives us the best service.

    • It’s Me

      Does paying more make it better?

    • gommer strike

      And you don’t have to, if you don’t want to.

      We have fantastic alternatives like Wind Mobile, Mobilicity, both of which many of our forumgoers here on MobileSyrup have reported outstanding service here in Vancouver and beyond, and won’t look back.

      The type of deals offered by these companies harken back to the good ol’ days of City Fido of unlimited talk for just $40/month.

    • It’s Me

      That wasn’t my question ( and not all of us have the new entrants available).

      Does paying more make something better?

    • kroms

      TOOL

    • Peter

      Telus was once a small player and with the proper products, value and service they were able to grow. Anything is possible, the smaller companies just need to take some risks and stop waiting for the government to make things happen for them.

    • rick

      Small how so? They were AGT – they had decades of tax funded infrastructure to launch from. Their customer base may have been small, but their infrastructure was not. The other thing Telus has that no other has is a huge oil and gas industry footing the bill for a lot of their capital expenditures to grow infrastructure here in Alberta. They were/are very successful in working hand in hand with industry to build what is needed. Other carriers didn’t get that/don’t get that. Should see how confused MTS is in Manitoba as oil industry from AB wants to expand in SE Manitoba where there is a deficit of wireless infrastructure.

    • RLC

      The purchase of Clearnet almost bankrupt the combined BCTel/AGt company. The took a big bet to go from a regional entity to a national entity. If they did not take this initiative would we have less competition in Canada? Rogers and others could have benefited from the oil and gas industry, Why don’t they have more of a footprint in Fort McMurray?

    • Davan Mills

      I have never signed up with any of the Big Three or their subsidiaries. It was T-Mobile for me before they heavily publicized themselves, and it’s been with Videotron here in Québec from the get-go. Consumers must look forward. They must support the underdogs.
      I do not claim that the smaller companies’ service is better than the established companies’ offerings, but I do claim that for paying 60% of the price I get far more than 60% of the Big Three’s service.

  • D Kup

    This is like saying…
    “We have messed up. We will surrender to the evil big three. The market will decide how bad your wallet will get raped. It is too bad for thre consumers. In the end, we tried but we lose. Please vote for PC because we at least try”.

    • It’s Me

      Basically, yes. It is that, in spite of efforts to break the hegemony, it just wasn’t possible.

  • Tech Guru

    Did they deny the TELUS bid again? 5 year ban is up, move on

  • Peter

    in my opinion this is them realizing that you can’t really tinker too much with an industry. The results are generally higher prices for consumers and not lower ones. The marketplace should decide and consumers do have options. Just my thoughts

    • It’s Me

      Our market was kept artificially isolated and protected for years so there really is not way, without intervention of some kind, to allow the marketplace to decide anything. That’s the magic of a hegemony. The consumers (the other half of the equation) have almost no power to affect change.

  • Anmar

    I agree with Mr. Moore. Canadians and only Canadians will decide if they want competition in the market or not. When Wind started in Ottawa, I joined them immediately knowing well their coverage wasn’t great. I wasn’t thinking of today. I was thinking of tomorrow. By supporting the new comers, markets will change for the better. Unfortunately, most of the people around me chose not to do so. They wanted it all and lower prices so they snubbed Wind because they felt not having 100% coverage, like we do with Robelus, is not acceptable. With that kind of thinking they shot themselves in the foot and greatly decreased any chance of us having better competition in this market.

    .gov can help push things along. However, it is up to us to drive real changes with our ultimate weapon, our choice.

    • Mike

      Cheap rates means cheap service. I am willing to pay more to have better coverage and faster data.

    • Anmar

      I agree Mike. You get what you pay for. However, this is a matter of competition.

    • Mike

      When I pay for something I expect it to work. If you want to compete offer a service that is comparable.

      I am a consumer not an investor so I pay for a product that is half done.

    • It’s Me

      Nope. Inferior, leftover spectrum means lessor service. Wind could have charged what Rogers and Bell do and that wouldn’t have made the crap AWS they were left to use any better.

      You pay the very highest rates in the world. I hope you have, far and away, the very best service in the world.

    • Andrew_notPorC

      Do you think Teksavvy offers inferior service because they are cheaper than Bell? Because that would be very, very amusing.

    • hyperhyper

      FUD marketing campaigns from the Big 3 have put so much doubt into complacent consumers that people are unwilling to give new entrants a try because they think they won’t be able to make a phone call while in the city which is completely untrue.

      People who think that companies like Teksavvy offer inferior internet service because they cost 2/3 of what Rogers and Bell charges seriously need to be re-educated on the consumer market. Not only did my monthly bandwidth allowance get quadrupled, I pay 2/3 of what I used to pay for the same speed (same pipeline) and when I have a problem, a Rogers van shows up. If the addage of “You get what you pay for” was true, someone needs to explain to me why my internet services only got better when I paid less?

      All throughout history, people have been unwilling to try new things because they are used to what they know and are scared by change. You can’t really fault them as it seems to be genetic. Anmar is right though that if we get screwed, we have no one else to blame but ourselves for being complacent.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Regarding your internet – this is once again government regulations requiring telcos to sell their service at “wholesale” prices to secondary providers.

      As you mention it is the same outside plant and same network equipment. The only difference is who sends you the bill. And of course as the government regulates the price they pay and they have no real cost, it can be cheaper.

      But in the end – someone pays the difference. Someone always pays.

    • It’s Me

      Some one does always pay. In Canada it seems someone always pays too much.

    • Who Needs Facts

      It is Canada. Things cost more than say the US for example. A car. A house. A bar-b-que. A piece of chicken. A garden shed.A head of lettuce. A cup of coffee.

      They also cost more depending on where you live in Canada.

      The reasons behind the higher costs vary from shipping; it costs more to ship an onion to Regina than it does to from Vancouver, presuming the onion originated in Walla Walla, to market – the demand for housing in Vancouver is higher than Vergaville.

      Does wireless? There are some parts of wireless where we pay a lot – such as data. We also use a lot of data. A lot like arguably the most in the world. So we pay a lot – but we use a lot. Demand again.

      At the end of the day though, relating this cost back to the carriers, the ARPU that the big three are pulling in, though at the high end of average, are actually average, in line with the US or Japan.

    • It’s Me

      Except we know exactly why our rates lead the world…because their profits lead the world. No need to make up more reasons than that.

    • Who Needs Facts

      “The color red is best”

      As wrong a statement as “highest rates in the developed world” “lead the world”. “profits lead the world”.

      Just because you keep saying it does not make it so. It just sounds like griping.

    • It’s Me

      So then it’s facts you don’t like? OECD and BOA and every other study shows we lead the world.

      That’s not griping, that’s facts. Given those facts, I guess you are now finding them hard to justify. Better to stick your head in your backside and pretend it’s not true.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Wall Communications report.

      “Contrary to popular opinion, Canada doesn’t pay the highest wireless rates in the world. In fact, the U.S. is more expensive at every level of use. However, Canadians who use their phones heavily pay much more than heavy users in Britain, France or Australia.”

      Read it. Closely. Heavy users (top 10%) pay more. Average dude. Not so much.

      See why red is not the best?

    • It’s Me

      Um, take a math course. The wall study used OECD numbers but because Canada looked so bad over all, they restricted their report to only the top 6 most expensive countries. And we were in the top 3 even then. And those numbers were taken way before the massive rate hikes later in the year.

      If you were the 3rd dumbest person in a room of 100, it would be accurate to say lead the pack in that regard. But it would take one of the dumbest in the room to think you were in the middle of the pack by only looking at the 6 dumbest.

      Read it close. World leading.

    • Mike

      You pay a premium to live in the best part of the world.

    • It’s Me

      Wow, you really have drank the koolaid and swallowed the load.

      Clue: our carriers are not a factor in making Canada a great place nor does paying them world leading prices.

    • Mike

      This applies to every not just what we pay for our wireless rights. Tax, insurance, computers, cars, housing. Everything costs more here

    • It’s Me

      And that’s a reasonable excuse? It costs more because it costs more? Logic fail buddy.

    • Mike

      What I am saying is if you want to live in the best country in the world then except to pay more for everything compared to other countries.

    • It’s Me

      By what twisted logic? Does paying more make something better?

      Wow.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Mike – I have no idea if we are on the same page and probably our ideas are somewhere in the middle, but I will offer the time honored piece of advice

      “Never wrestle with a pig. You both end up wallowing in the mud but the pig likes it.”

      I learned this the hard way.

    • ScooterinAB

      I just love how your are painting non-Wind supporters. It’s true that we need to think about tomorrow’s wireless services, but we also can’t forget about today’s. Wind does not offer service where I live. I can’t wait 5 or 10 years for Wind to maybe build towers the 18km away that I live. I need cell services today as well as tomorrow.

      It’s not about short shortsightedness. It’s not about unacceptable choices. It’s about choice. Some people just didn’t want to choose Wind while others did. Nothing wrong there.

  • Puck U

    The government adds to the problem by creating the spectrum auction and requiring companies to pay outrageous sums just for the rights. If the government was truly interested in lowering the cost to Consumers, they would do away with this spectrum auction.

    • It’s Me

      yeah, much better to just hand our natural resources over to businesses for free. That worked so well before they started auctions and just handed spectrum to Rogers and Bell.

    • Puck U

      Natural resources? We are talking about a spectrum auction for wireless rights – not oil, lumber or water. We know that all the telcos have to recoup their costs, including these spectrum auction fees, so naturally these auction fees will cause Canadian mobile bills to go up.

    • It’s Me

      Yup, still natural and still a resource.

      Did they charge us less back when we didn’t do auctions and just granted them the spectrum with no bidding?

    • Puck U

      Government is adding to the cost for Consumers. That is the point. I am not defending the telcos. The government has exacerbated these costs to consumers. Are you defending the government’s position? Are you suggesting the government should have these artificial spectrum auctions that provide no real value – similar to a quota a dairy farmer needs for the right to raise chickens.

    • It’s Me

      An auction is the most fair way to allocate spectrum and generates some direct revenues for the government.

      It is a cost of doing business. And they can and should pass that on to the consumer. But that doesn’t mean they need to be pigs at the trough.

    • Puck U

      Okay, based on your logic, we should have the government place socialistic spectrum auctions on everything businesses produce and sell. These quota/auction rights are a lot of the reason items like eggs, chicken and dairy are more expensive in Canada compared to the U.S. same can be said for mobile services.

    • It’s Me

      Only on those things the government has a responsibility to control and regulate. You’d prefer no regulation? Or letting industry decide on how to regulate our resources? Why don’t we pay them to use the spectrum? You are seriously advocate giving them control of our resources as some form of corporate welfare to help reduce their costs?

      And please, spectrum auctions are common across the world, except in socialist states. Are our incumbents somehow incompetent that they cannot operate like other carriers?

      Again, you just have excuses. There is only reason our rates are high…because their profits are high. That’s pretty basic math buddy. If their profits were reasonable then their rates would be reasonable.

    • Puck U

      I can smell a government bureaucrat hack a mile away. P.U.

    • It’s Me

      Wtf does that even mean?!? (too many pucks to the head without a helmet?) LOL

      I have no love for our bureaucrat. Overpaid, lazy and incompetent. But, recognizing the waste of space most civil servants can be doesn’t mean one becomes re-tarded and starts thinking all regulation is evil. And it does take being functionally re-tarded to think all regulation is bad.

      What’s your point?

    • realitycheck

      What would be an alternative to a spectrum auction? Everyone is knocking everyone and no one is coming up with a solution..

      What if our government creates a crown corp in charge of leasing the spectrums instead? Dumb idea most likely but i agree with It’s Me that the government needs to regulate it.

  • d a

    Now that’s the conservatives I know. LOL “F” the consumers.

    • Sean

      LOL

  • ReGenesis

    I am not sure why they just don’t regulate the re-seller market to allow for the creation of MVNOs. The end result would be the same to the average customer.

    • It’s Me

      Apparently that is exactly what Orange wants to do to come to Canada. The government needs to get on that right now and ensure the license conditions for spectrum, especially the 700MZ (but really all) needs to include tight rules that allow MVNOs to thrive here.

      It’s funny. In the US, the MVNO market is very healthy and the incumbents encourage them because they see them as a low cost resellers network for their services. In Canada, they just try to starve them out with high rates.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Yes – more regulations! Thats exactly what industry needs.

    • It’s Me

      It’s a regulated industry, welcome to Canada. Actually, it’s a regulated industry in pretty much every country in the world.

      But, it’s not a matter of more regulation, but different regulation and in some cases less regulation. The lifting or easing of foreign ownership restrictions was an example of less.

      You’d prefer to hand the industry over to 2 or 3 companies that have a proven track record of over charging and gouging?

    • HelloCDN

      It’s already regulated, so there’s no harm making regulations that actually bring some good for consumer.
      Sorry, sales guy, try again.

    • It’s Me

      People like him think regulation should only serve companies and screw consumers. Meanwhile, it is actually meant to benefit both. It has done far more to benefit the industry, so it’s probably time to bring some balance into the equation.

      I expect he works for a carrier. Few others are dim enough to argue on their behalf.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Are there not about 30 VMNO’s already? Everything from 7-11 to Sears?

    • It’s Me

      And because of the lack of regulation, they all end up charging the same as each other and similar to the incumbents.

      Funny that doesn’t happen elsewhere…almost like the deck is stacked and the incumbents are working together to keep it that way.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Sure why not. Have the department of regulations draft up another set of rules when they get a minute.

      Can never have too many regulations.

    • It’s Me

      Better to let the foxes guard the henhouse?

      There is such a thing as too much regulation. Then again, there is such as thing as necessary regulation. Some people aren’t bright enough to know that. They stick to their elementary Fox news sound bites of “regulation bad grrr”.

    • ReGenesis

      That is the Achilles heel of capitalism. Pure capitalism is dysfunctional in society where everyone’s goal is to maximize profit above all else – even peoples lives.

      Some regulation is needed to make it work as it sets boundaries.

    • It’s Me

      Yup. Anyone that simply says we don’t need any regulation, anywhere, has no clue. Left to their own devices, companies will always take advantage of the consumer, especially when they dominate an industry completely.

    • realitycheck

      exactly… That is why i favor regulation.

    • ReGenesis

      Do any of them offer competitive pricing similar to the MVNOs in the US or have the market share anywhere near them?

      Similar to Canadian owned Ting?
      How about Straight Talk?
      Walmart Family Mobile?

      No? Hmm… I guess Canadian just must not like choice.

  • Sweet

    Weren’t the results of the 700MHz auction supposed to have been published by now, or did I miss it ? I can’t find the results on Industry Canada’s site.

    • It’s Me

      Not yet. Get ready for 700MHz offerings controlled by Rogers, Bell and Telus.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Thank god someone is willing to invest in Canada, building the networks Canadians need.
      With data usage in Canada going up at a rate that is leading the world, we are going to need it.

    • It’s Me

      Thank god indeed!
      Hopefully they don’t hoard this like they have before.

  • Who Needs Facts

    If the government went on the record as saying that the market will determine competition, removed regulations that favor one provider over another, or the sale of one provider to another I would guess Verizon would be back up taking a look in no time whatsoever.

    • It’s Me

      Coming in to a market dominated by 3 companies that work together, with no regulation in place to help balance the historical inequities built into the market would not be attractive to anyone.

      Unless you mean allow them to buy one of the big 3, yes they would like that, which just the big 3 with new ownership of one. But no one, except the big 3, want the big 3. That’s just the status quo.

    • Who Needs Facts

      There are regulations in place to protect new entrants; specifically, skewed auction rules and policies to prevent “bandwidth concentration. There are new regulations on towers, roaming and on contracts.

      How many more regulations are needed?

      And if things are as you maintain and we have “the highest prices in the developed world” what is stopping Verizon from dropping say $8 Billion and building a network? Why not Vodafone or Orange?

    • It’s Me

      Nothing but a high cost of new entry and a deck stacked against them through historical advantages bestowed upon our cabal.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Telus paid over $6 Billion 14 years ago – about $8 Billion today as they saw the future.

      If we have the “highest prices in world” and our data usage is growing at a pace that is well beyond the world average, surely one of the big players must see value in Canada – especially with the regulatory advantages already in place.

      As for historical advantages – get over it. Like the railroads, the Bell and Rogers and later Telus invested billions of dollars, creating 1000′s of jobs building a network across Canada.

      There are 100′s of countries in the world that would kill for our network. My god you make it sound like the entire thing magically appeared at the behest of taxpayers. BS.

      You should be thanking them every time you press send because without them you would have nothing.

    • It’s Me

      And they have been handsomely rewarded for their investment. Their success shows our regulation worked in building them up. Now it’s time to move on. Thank them? For what? For profiteering in an artificially protected environment? Ok, well then, thanks carriers, sincerely, for taking advantage of Canadians.

      Seriously, get off the nut sack.

      And they all see value. They also see it would be expensive and risky to try to break a well established and well funded cartel.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Lol – so wait.

      You percieve that the big three got favourable regulations and you hate that but you think that the new companies should have favourable regualtions.

      Double standard much.

      I’m out dude. Your view is a incredibly myopic, not seeing beyond your own bill each month and frankly, out of touch with how the world actually works.

      Keep up the good fight and maybe I will honk at you as I drive past an Occupy Movement protest.

    • It’s Me

      So reading and math are both weak points for you? I never claimed the last regulation was bad. In fact I said it was necessary for their success, which was the goal. Job done. Now it’s time help the consumer.

      You may like being bent over and justify them taking advantage of you. Stockholm syndrome is most common with the weak minded. Thanks for verifying that.

    • Who Needs Facts

      And I could not agree more that contracting out call center jobs in the mid 2000s was a bad idea. But it does not change the fact one bit that they created 1000′s of jobs building national wireless networks. Connecting the two events is ridiculous.

      They obtained spectrum. They BUILT a network. No one gave them that. Without the network, the spectrum was useless and Canadians would have nothing. It works both ways.

      Get over it already.

    • Who Needs Facts

      So much anger over what amounts to absolutely nothing.

      Your continued “woe is me the poor Canadian who got screwed by the telcos over 20 years ago” is tiresome, old and of course, wrong.

      You are flogging a dead horse with the telco history and no amount of your continued whining is going to change it.

      Maybe take up the Japanese Internment or Indian Residential Schools debacles and fight for a cause that actually needs revisiting and debate.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Hearing complaints are not a problem. Many people discuss their complaints logically like adults and there is knowledge to be gained.

      You dont complain though. You whine. You have been whining about the same thing for months – the evil telcos being “given” bandwidth at the dawn of the wireless era.

      You whine like somehow it will change if you keep whining about it enough. Clue in. It is not going to change. It is done. Finished. Over. History.

      As I said. FInd something topical to focus on – something that you can complain about. Maybe the roaming thing, or contracts.or something from this decade…or century.

      The Incessant whining grows tiresome. And like a two year old in a grocery store line up, sooner or later (sooner) it becomes ignored. Like now.

    • kEiThZ

      Oh please. The Big 3 are publicly run corporations. Their loyalty lies solely with their shareholders. And nobody else. Were it any other way, there would be trouble.

      If they do create a few jobs here and there, it’s either out of a business or a PR necessity. If they really do care, let them voluntarily agree to repatriate all employment back to Canada and use only canadian sourced technology and labour as much as possible. They’d never do that though. Their shareholders come before the national good. Nothing wrong with that. Just recognize it for what it is. And create policy that takes their lack of interest for national good into account.

  • Rod

    The only real way to have any competition is when we stop protecting Canadian companies from Foreign competition, like we are right now. If we threw out Canadian ownership laws, we’d see many companies come in here and compete with the existing industries. That’s the only way prices will drop, because they’ll have to COMPETE for customers. We don’t have that here in any industry.

    • accord1999

      No, if you threw out ownership laws you’ll see the Big 3 get bought out by the real giants of the industry.

    • Mike

      So you would like foreign companies owning our communication network?

    • HeyYoWL

      I would personally have no preference. As an immigrant myself I see no problem with this issue and don’t see how it matters. Is there an example you can cite from other countries that allow foreign ownership where this has presented any sort of problem?

    • kEiThZ

      Can they pick it up and move it?
      I have zero issues with foreigners owning our wireless telcos. It doesn’t seem to be a problem in most of the world. Why is Canada, with only 0.1% of the world’s population, an exception?

  • malingerer

    What a clusterf*ck..

    • Victor_Creed

      Remember this when you cast your vote. That is all. The Cons are a joke.

    • It’s Me

      Yeah! Vote for the parties that have a track record of obeying the carriers and/or their unions instead!

    • d a

      If it wasn’t for unions creating the middle class, we wouldn’t even have these cell companies as nobody would be paying for it. Now government worker unions is another topic but in general, unions were a blessing. Of course some people, that have a certain ideology, will never get it. I don’t care. I thank the unions for making life better for regular folk, including non-unionized workers.

      btw, you really need to get a hobby, 33 responses to this topic alone. Unless you’re a payed shill this isn’t normal.

    • It’s Me

      Unions had their time and place. I was in a union in my youth. Unions helped at one time. Unions mostly help themselves these days. They are for profit businesses so that is as it should be.

    • Mike

      I agree unions had there place and time. However now all they do is create laziness and complacency in the work place.

    • It’s Me

      On that we agree.

      Strange then that your arguments are basically union sound bites about why we should pay more.

  • Who Needs Facts

    Moore has to be rueing the day he started listening to Geist and Openmedia in crafting a wireless policy.

    Full attack mode has been an unmitigated disaster. Any hope of a fourth carrier entering the market in the form of a foreign entity were quickly dashed as they watched his handling of the industry. What company in their right mind would set up shop in a country where the government’s policy is dictated by nut jobs with lots of Facebook followers.

    Hopefully he has come around and will now work with the wireless industry to come up with meaningful ways to better serving the average consumer – meaning negotiating in good faith rather than haphazard regulations that from day to day change to suit the political climate.

    Despite what the professional lobbyists (yes they get paid to find “causes” to oppose) would have Canadians believe, the average Canadian does not pay the highest rates in the world for our services. The government commissioned Wall Communications report 2013 proved that.

    But the lobbyists dont report that. They report the high end users. They report the 10% of all users who use use over 50% of available bandwidth. The lobbyists try to pass this 10% off and the prices they are charged as typical.

    They are not typical. They use more spectrum than the other 90% of users. They pay more. And why shouldn’t they – they use more, way more.

    The fact is only 3% of users even use 5GB a month and the average data user, about 1GB. And as the government reports found, the AVERAGE user is no higher burdened in Canada that anywhere else.

    This is why Moore is touting lower rates because for the average user, they are. For the high end guys. the 97% yes the prices are higher. The lobbyists dont make this distinction though. Why would they? They get paid to tell the feds what is popular, not what is correct.

    Whether or not Moore can get this industry back on track is anyone’s guess but a good start will be to not change the original rules on the transfer of spectrum and allow Telus to buy Mobilicity.

    It keeps Mobilicty investors happy, and perhaps willing to invest in Canada again. It keeps Mobilicity employees happy as they keep their jobs. It keeps their customers happy as they are migrated to a national network and it sends a message that the government is willing to work with business – something that is sorely lacking in this industry.

  • G-man

    The usual b.s….

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