Carriers Challenge Parts of the New Wireless Code


The new wireless code, which has finally put an end to three-year contracts, is months away from being applied, but it is already challenged by some wireless players. If your first thought was “the incumbents”, you are right, but according to a working document obtained by the Globe and Mail, SaskTel and MTS have also joined the line.


While Canadians have saluted the arrival of two-year wireless contracts as a result of the CRTC’s efforts to regulate the $19 billion telecom market, carriers believe the federal regulator has exceeded its jurisdiction and “erred in law” with the new wireless code.

“The CRTC exceeded its jurisdiction and erred in law by purporting to render the Wireless Code retrospectively applicable to contracts entered into between wireless service providers and their customers before the Wireless Code comes into force on 2 December 2013,” the applicants argue in the notice of motion.

The main issue seems to be the code’s “retrospective application” to wireless contracts. While the CRTC has emphasized that there will be no retrospective application of the new wireless code, the carriers have pointed to a situation that creates confusion: although the new code comes into force in December this year, its provisions apply to contracts no later than June 3, 2015.

This means that if you sign up for a three-year term this July, the carrier won’t be able to recover the entire device subsidy price, as your contract ends after June 3, 2015.

“The application of the Wireless Code to those contracts that terminate after 3 June 2015 is uncertain. This uncertainty has led and will lead to confusion in the marketplace, which will only be resolved once this motion is determined and, if leave to appeal is granted, the appeal is heard and a decision is rendered,” the document adds.

As a result, carriers have decided to file a notice of motion with the Federal Court of Appeal as early as Wednesday. The document will be signed by Rogers, Bell, Telus, SaskTel, and other carriers.


  • What?

    Someone please translate…. :/. I don’t understand.

  • What do you not understand?

  • kkritsilas

    The carriers should either agree to follow the CRTC’s Wireless Code, or not. If they have issue with it, just don’t agree to follow the Code; stop trying to modify it to suit their purposes/ This is nothing more than a delaying tactic/


  • Chrome262

    If this notice is not resolved before December does this delay the codes coming into affect?

  • David F

    If Robellus had stopped offering new 3 year contracts or 3 year renewals when the code came out this wouldn’t be a problem. They continue to sign up people to 3 year contracts knowing that the new rules kick in at the end of the year. Talk about a case of sucking and blowing at the same time.

  • Jason

    F***ing carriers, Instead of looking for loop holes just agree and move forward. You’ll still be making more money then you can count and in return you consumers will have one less thing to be pissed off at.

  • eket

    The new rules won’t allow 3 year contracts, only 2 year ones. The CRTC said the new rules will only apply to contracts made starting in December – they won’t apply to contracts made before that.

    But, the CRTC also said that after June 3, 2015, the new rules will apply to all contracts. If you signed up for a 3 year contract right now, you would be 2 years in in July 2015. So the new rules would apply to you then, which would mean you should be able to cancel with no penalty after only 2 years.

    This seems like a contradiction – the first part says they *won’t* apply the new rules to contracts made before December, but the second part seems to imply that they *will*.