Ice Wireless and its parent company Iristel have argued in favour of regulation that mandates MVNO access to the national carriers’ networks.
“We believe that the Commission should allow wholesale access to the incumbent’s wireless networks, which is consistent with the Commission’s wholesale policy for broadband access,” the telecom companies said during the CRTC’s public hearings.
As part of the mobile wireless services review, the CRTC is considering whether MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) should have mandated access to wireless service providers’ networks. MVNOs are providers that don’t have an established network, and instead rent access to existing networks.
Ice Wireless says that the access should be open to ‘full MVNOs,’ which are companies that own a network core and operate their own billing, sales and distribution channels and who have the option of negotiating their own roaming agreements.
“These MVNOs should be allowed to resell to other resellers, as is currently the case with wholesale broadband,” the company said.
It does not believe that this mandated access should be restricted to facilities-based mobile network operators (MNOs) or other facilities-based network operators. However, the company is not opposed to additional measures that the CRTC might impose to promote investment in facilities-based mobile wireless networks, especially in underserved regions.
Ice Wireless said that it wants to address the objection from the national and regional MNOs that mandating access for full MVNOs will harm investments made by facilities-based MNOs.
“We are an MNO, and we don’t intend to slow our network build plans based on the outcome of this proceeding,” the company said.
It said that MNOs across the world continue to earn healthy profits and invest in their networks, even in areas where an MVNO market is thriving.
“What the Big Three and their executives fear is not loss of profit, it is loss of control,” the company concluded.