CRTC Hits Cellphone Services Competition Milestone, Says CEO
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) confirmed today that agreements are now established allowing regional firms to access networks of larger Canadian cellular service companies, in what it says is a major milestone to increase competition across the nation.
This access will enable these regional entities to operate as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), offering their services to areas currently not covered by them, said CRTC Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Vicky Eatrides, in a statement on Monday.
Since the introduction of rules to negotiate MVNO agreements 90 days ago by the CRTC, some agreements have been reached. Companies retain the choice to either continue their negotiations or request the CRTC to establish access rates through a process known as final offer arbitration.
The policy of the CRTC demands that regional companies choosing to operate as MVNOs must build their own networks within seven years.
Recently, a CRTC decision set a rate that Quebecor will pay Rogers when offering services using the latter’s wireless network across Canada. This has resulted in Quebecor’s Freedom Mobile to start offering nationwide 5G plans.
The CRTC says it continues to facilitate agreement negotiations and is working towards ensuring Canadians’ access to cellular services.