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SaskTel CEO Highlights Four-Player Wireless Competition Flaws

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The four-carrier-per-province scheme dreamed of by the government is apparently working as it pushes down the prices of wireless services. But there is one problem: The only ones suffering as a result are the local (smaller) players such as SaskTel.

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The local player has posted a net annual income of $90.1 million. But this number is expected to drop to $59.2 million next year, raising concern over the company’s future.

And you know what’s interesting? The fact that incumbents are able to launch wireless service packages in areas where a strong local player is present (see Quebec and Manitoba), but they charge double that price in other areas where only the national players are present.

SaskTel’s CEO is determined to make a case in Ottawa, bringing up the issue politically. He won’t accuse the Big Three of anti-competition pricing, but he would like to outline the position of a local player when he meets with government officials next Thursday, he told the Huffington Post.

“We just need to make our case … that some of the things they are putting in place … are having unintended consequences,” SaskTel CEO Ron Styles said as he outlined the position he will take when he meets with federal government officials on Thursday.

The annual report released by SaskTel also reveals that Saskatchewan residents are adopting smartphones, up 17% compared to the prior year, buying more than 410,000 smart devices, leading to a $17.6 million revenue jump for wireless services.

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