Ottawa Now Says Free Market Will Now Decide Regional Wireless Players

The Federal Government has now hinted the free market will decide the number of wireless players in each region, moving away from its previous stance of seeking out a fourth national wireless player, according to statements made by Industry Minister James Moore on Wednesday in an interview with the The Canadian Press:

“It would be irresponsible for us to have a public policy that wasn’t setting in place the parameters where more competition could emerge, if the market can support it,” Moore said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

“Whatever dynamic emerges that the marketplace can support, the marketplace will decide that,” Moore said from Ottawa.

The original plan was to seek out a fourth national wireless player by Ottawa, to help bring wireless prices down and increase competition. That now has appeared to have changed.

Wind Mobile was seen as the forerunner to emerge as a fourth national wireless player, but its parent company VimpelCom pulled out last minute from the 700MHz spectrum auction due to its ongoing conflict with Ottawa’s foreign investment rules.

The Industry Minister also said legislation will soon be tabled on roaming rates the Big 3 charge smaller wireless rivals for using their networks outside of regional areas. Moore also announced plans are coming to force wireless companies to use idle spectrum or possibly face the consequence of losing it altogether.

Ottawa last week released a new TV ad (seen below) showcasing its new wireless policies which have the slogan “More Choice. Lower Prices. Better Service.”