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Telus Warns CRTC: Overregulation Could Harm Wireless Industry Like in Europe

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The week-long CRTC hearing continues in Gatineau, Quebec, and today Telus had its turn to present its argument on the wholesale wireless industry.

Telus brought a panel of experts, including Georg Serentschy, the former Austrian telecom regulator, who explained how overregulation in Europe has harmed the industry as a whole (via The Canadian Press):

“Europe’s telecoms industry — and its entire digital ecosystem — is suffering because over the last two decades European telecom regulators have created rules intended to keep wireless prices low by stimulating increased competition,”

He followed by saying “I encourage Canada’s regulator not to recycle Europe’s failed policies, but rather to learn from them.” He also questioned whether Canada’s population of 35 million can support a fourth wireless carrier when 81 million people in Germany could not, as a fourth carrier is like “introducing a problem to fix a solution.”

Telus CEO Joe Natale said “Canada’s wireless networks are among the fastest and most reliable in the world,” citing how speeds here are double that of Germany and Italy, three times that of speeds in the U.S. and France and nine times faster than those in the U.K.

“This is no accident. It’s the result of a regulatory framework which has stimulated Canadian telecoms to lead the world in private sector wireless investment.”

The carrier also said in a scenario where regulation is enforced to lower wholesale rates, the company would have to cut back investments, starting with rural areas.

Telus also told Cogeco to go buy its own wireless spectrum from the upcoming set-aside from new entrants (Shots. Fired).

Earlier in the day, Eastlink told the CRTC despite being successful with their wireless network built on roaming on Big 3 networks, it still can’t get the prices it wants, noting it require help from regulation.

When asked why the would enter the wireless market if they couldn’t get preferred rates from incumbents, the Halifax-based company said they “We miscalculated consumer willingness to pay varying roaming rates. We didn’t anticipate incumbents’ changes to plans,” which saw roaming rate prices 4-5 times higher than they expected.

If you want to read all of Telus’ arguments, their filing can be viewed here.

Yesterday, the Competition Bureau, speaking at the CRTC hearings, told the regulator the high costs of wireless charged by the Big 3 are “not in the public interest.”

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  • Silly Rabbit

    “Europe’s telecoms industry — and its entire digital ecosystem — is suffering because over the last two decades European telecom regulators have created rules intended to keep wireless prices low by stimulating increased competition,” Hmm…perhaps if those incumbents kept their prices low, there would be no need for the regulation. Ever think of that? No?!? Go figure.

  • Kellie

    As much as I like having fast speed, at the cost of our bills skyrocketing, I would easily give it up and go back to maybe an industry average to see costs lowered.

  • Tobi

    Japan has similar data speeds as Canada, 4 mobile players, low cost plans (under $50CAD), and a population of 127 million. IMO, it’s about the companies willingness to make prices affordable to everyone. I feel anyone who has to pay $60+ per month for whatever phone plan, is spending way too much.

  • Mitch Richardson

    wait…what…how are our speeds 3 times that of the USA?? That doesn’t seem accurate

  • Fireeast

    Im Sorry but we need some form of regulation or forced competition when rates are increasing dramatically every year and the big 3 keep posting record breaking profits. I am also shocked on how everyone forgets that the government gave the big 3 almost a billion dollars for rural expansion. (Sorry no article reference but i remeber reading it some where)

  • Tobi

    It’s a made up ‘fact’ to look like Canada has it good. Forbes and Bloomberg reports that we have similar speeds (both in mobile and broadband), where the US is slightly faster. At least that’s what my simple google search tells me.

  • jfmartel

    Not taking the defense of the big3, but Japan is much more smaller than Canada.

  • Riddlemethis

    And the USA is much LARGER than Canada. So, the obvious question is: what’s your point?

  • Riddlemethis

    that’s not the natural evolution of tech. it’s typically get more for the same price. look at the PC desktop and laptop industry (disregard that now most people aren’t using either) but you would always get more when paying about the same. the same goes with new cars. it’s the same concept.

    however, the teleco industry in canada doesn’t feel that way.instead, it’s give us a little bit more a charge us a LOT LOT more as a result. They’re looking to increase their gross profit margin substantially and look for any excuse to do so,

  • Riddlemethis

    And it’s also made up of “Fact” that the average federal public servant earns an average six figure salary a year when in fact it’s just slightly above the national poverty level.

  • arahman21

    Try Wind Mobile (if you are inside their network). Nowhere as fast as Robellus, but enough for youtube/netflix, and 5GB for $35 is a pretty good deal.

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