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Rogers, Telus and Bell to Continue Fight vs Ottawa’s Wireless ‘Loopholes’

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Despite Verizon no longer interested in Canada, The Globe and Mail reports our wireless incumbents have not declared victory just yet, but rather will continue to pursue their fight against the Federal government’s spectrum rules and their “loopholes”.

Incumbents are concerned with rules that will allow new carriers to share their networks, even though usage would be determined by commercially negotiated rates.

Other worries include spectrum rules which would allow new entrants to bid on two blocks of 700MHz spectrum in January, whereas the Big 3–which currently own 85% of spectrum in Canada–would be limited to one.

Rogers, Telus and Bell fear another large foreign carrier could jump into the upcoming wireless spectrum auction now that Verizon is out of the picture.

Wednesday morning, Industry Minster James Moore told Reuters other foreign firms might take a look at the upcoming auction, but decline to elaborate further to reporters, speaking in Saint-Hubert, Quebec:

“We are not changing dates, we are not changing our policy, we are moving forward and we’ll see which firms choose to present in the auction in January,”

Stockwell Day, (former Conservative Party MP) and now director for Telus, said the following:

“Verizon was just a focal point for the fact that … the regulations regarding the auction need to be updated,”

“In the broader marketplace, nobody can be exactly certain of the strategy or intent of another player,” he added. “And there could always be, depending on any company and their board, there can be an 11th-hour resolution to make a swift move on something. So, that always leaves that element of unpredictability there.”

Sources tell the Globe AT&T Corp., T-Mobile, Vodafone Group PLC, Telenor Group and NTT Docomo have examined the Canadian wireless market, similar to what was revealed last month.

AT&T in the U.S. had considered acquiring newer entrants WIND Mobile and Mobilicity but concluded gaining meaningful marketshare from incumbents would  be not possible, along with the concerns over support for a fourth carrier in Canada.

Telus’s chief corporate officer, Josh Blair, said yesterday the company remains interested in acquiring spectrum from struggling entrant carriers, if given the chance to bid; current regulations prevent incumbents from acquiring entrant spectrum, to allow entrants to compete against the Big 3.

Blair told the CBC yesterday the ‘Fair for Canada’ campaign has been a success, despite critics saying the ads have caused backlash.

Earlier today, a report stated Mobilicity plans to transfer its 200,000 users to WIND Mobile, as the former deals with looming bankruptcy, with a possible shut down by the end of the month. WIND has said it has ambitions to become the nation’s fourth wireless carrier.

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  • FragilityG4

    “Blair told the CBC yesterday the ‘Fair for Canada’ campaign has been a success”

    Based on what??

  • crosseyed_mofo

    saving face considering the money spent? just a stab

  • Chrome262

    Still waiting for CBC to ask how is it unfair for companies that own 85% of the spectrum and how them gaining more helps competition. Also “Incumbents are concerned with rules that will allow new carriers to share their networks” i bet, that means any new carrier would actually be able to compete. I just want Wind to will be able to let me use my iPhone 5, and have a bit more coverage their plans rock, and shared networks would do that. They already share networks in the States, and Rogers and Bell are forced to share for their internet. Its only fair

  • FragilityG4

    Makes sense … They need an excuse for us to swallow when they raise rates to recoup the costs ….

  • Chrome262

    can I just say “hope Robellus sucks a bag of dicks” bastards!!! Either they are stupid or they actually believe most of us are.

  • FragilityG4

    Touché

  • ward09

    Hopefully, Wind will finally strike a deal with Apple to sell iPhones starting with the 5s/5c, now that iPhones are compatible on their network. I think that would get a lot of people to move to Wind – people like myself who have wanted to move to Wind for months, but didn’t want to give up their iPhones.

  • ward09

    Fair for Canada was complete BS, but the commercial comparing the spectrum auction to selling water was intentionally misleading.

    Advertising Standards Canada is the regulatory body that ensures commercials and ad campaigns are truthful. It is very easy to make anonymous complaints on their website.

  • Chrome262

    Yeah but I don’t want to have to buy a 5s.

  • ward09

    Yeah, I know what you mean, but Wind needs something to get a boost – wind in their sails, so to speak. They’ve had awesome plans for a couple of years now, but don’t seem to be making much of a dent. If suddenly they have the iPhone as an offering, it gives people another reason to switch. I’m still using my iPhone 4, so eventually I’ll be upgrading, and now I’d like to do it with Wind (I REALLY wanted it with Verizon/Wind).

  • Chrome262

    I know what you mean, I am with Fido, don’t mind them, seem ok. but in Feb my contract is up, going to go month by month to keep my existing plan, but if I could get and unlimited one from Wind, I would switch in a heart beat. Lets see what happens after the auction, am i correct in thinking that they will then have more access to the incumbents spectrum as well? if so then yes, they will be able to support other phones and getting the iPhone will help them alot.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    So are you implying some “anonymous” types should go and complaint about that water and spectrum ad?

  • ward09

    LOL – Let me put it another way. Some of us, due to the nature of our work or other personal reasons, may be deterred from making such a complaint. That is the position I find myself in. However Advertising Standards Canada gives you the option of remaining anonomous to the advertiser or have your information shared with them. I looked into this today and just thought I’d share, because that water ad is very dishonest and kind of grinds my gears.

    To answer your question directly, yes I think everyone should complain.

  • ????Dennis

    Same here buddy. I’m trying super hard to not cave into another contract with Rogers. I’m also using and iPhone 4 and want to upgrade with someone else other than the big 3.

  • Canucks

    Wind needs more than iPhones to save them. They need to reconstruct their price plans to make profit first. Stop the bleeding and regain capital. Wind is not going to make money by selling iPhones. Apple would.

  • ward09

    If Wind is having trouble signing up costumers as is, how is raising prices going to help? I don’t think iPhone will save them, but like I said, it will give them a boost. iPhone has a super-high retention rate/satisfaction rate, so iPhone users who are unhappy with the big 3 have no alternative.

  • Pat

    Personally I just want the service the big 3 offer at a decent price. I could care less about more competition or all this 4th carrier crap. Give me reasonable prices and I’m happy.

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