Rogers to CRTC: $28 Million Spent Weekly to Maintain Network; Market is Competitive

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Following the Competition Bureau and Telus, it was time for Rogers to make a presentation during the CRTC hearings scheduled for this week. During his presentation, Guy Laurence, Rogers’ CEO, emphasized the advanced level of the Canadian LTE coverage compared to that of Europe.

From Rogers’ perspective, the wireless market is competitive, and that involves the wholesale market as well. For example, Eastlink has roaming agreements with two of the three national carriers, said Rogers’ Engelhart. We should add, though, that the second one dates only a couple of months back.

Another controversial statement from the same carrier: Wireless startups have “freely entered” into roaming agreements, and they have the option to break the agreements if they aren’t happy with them. What Rogers fails to mention, though, is that it was the only carrier capable of providing roaming services for wireless startups after they launched.

Furthermore, the CRTC asked for roaming agreement documentation earlier this year from all carriers. It found “unjust discrimination” in the aforementioned “freely” signed agreements with new entrants and banned exclusivity terms from those contracts.

As it turns out, Canada’s No. 1 carrier spends more than $28 million each week on its network. Besides that cost, there is a myriad of costs and conditions associated with operating towers. As Laurence highlighted, he has no idea how the regulator could possibly figure out a wholesale tariff.

The hearing is on as of the writing of this article. Its aim is to discuss in a timely matter the wholesale rates of the wireless market, which could be the key to the growth of wireless startups like Wind Mobile and Videotron.

Via Twitter (Christine Dobby and Greg O’Brien)