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Telus CEO Threatens to Cut $1 Billion in Investments, 5000 Jobs if CRTC Imposes MVNOs [u]

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Day three of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) public hearing on the state of wireless services in the country saw Telus testify to commissioners.

Telus CEO Darren Entwistle concluded his presentation to explain the company would cut $1 billion in network investments over five years, plus also slash 5,000 jobs, along with reducing its philanthropic giving.

Entwistle said he had the Telus board support decision in writing, which he would be ready to table, if the CRTC mandates mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). With MVNOs, smaller companies buy wholesale network rates and resell them to consumers, increasing competition.

Numerous reporters covering the CRTC hearings shared the eyebrow-raising conclusion from the Telus CEO, which appears to be a threat to the Commission, if it decides to impose MVNOs into the marketplace.

The Telus CEO also said Canada should “completely open competition to foreign players, said equipment suppliers & Apple/Samsung are the ones with oligopolistic structures, and compared Shaw/Quebecor to ‘Canada’s version of Carlos Slim’”, according to The Financial Post’s Emily Jackson.

Entwistle also said when it comes to mental health claims, they are 2-3 times higher for those in the wireless industry versus other sectors and blamed that on the abuse thrown at telecom workers.

What do you think about the Telus threat to the CRTC if MVNOs are mandated by the federal government?

Update Feb. 20, 2020: A Telus spokesperson emailed iPhone in Canada the following details, in regards to company CEO Entwistle’s concluding statement about pulling investments and cutting jobs, if MVNOs were manded.

“In countries where MVNO access was mandated like Israel, France and elsewhere in Europe, any resulting decrease in prices was unsustainable. These countries also reported a pronounced decrease in network investment that resulted in a 150 billion Euro investment gap,” said the Telus spokesperson.

“The negative impacts of punitive regulatory decisions have been realized in numerous jurisdictions as Mobile National Operators (MNOs, or facilities-based providers) were forced to aggressively reduce their spending. For example, in France, national incumbents ByTel and SFR cut their workforce by 20% and 30% respectively, while both providers moved all of their call centres offshore. On average, French MNOs closed 25-30% of their retail outlets, with one closing 50% of its stores. SFR, ByTel and Orange discontinued their distribution deals with large retailers,” according to Telus.

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