According to a new report from The Globe and Mail, Canada’s wireless carriers are fighting back against the CRTC’s application for wholesale wireless service.
In the application, the CRTC is raising the issue of mandated access to wireless networks by companies who do not own any part of the wireless spectrum. Canada’s largest carriers filed a response to an application filed by the Canadian Network Operators Consortium (CNOC) last month.
The CNOC’s application asks the CRTC to review and make changes to part of its ruling on wholesale wireless service. The CNOC, which represents 37 independent ISPs in Canada, has asked the CRTC to reconsider its decision not to support access to wireless carriers’ networks by Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs).
MVNOs are operators that do not build their own wireless networks, but instead they purchase access from other carriers. The CNOC argues that the CRTC should support MVNOs as a means of promoting more competition in the Canadian wireless space.
Wind has argued in its filing that CNOC has not established “substantial doubt as to the correctness” of the CRTC’s decision. The carrier also points to an estimated cost of $12 million to $15 million to set up the necessary network infrastructure. In a statement, the company said:
“Wind notes that this is a very small investment threshold compared to the hundreds of millions, or billions, being spent on RANs.”
Canada’s big three wireless carriers, including Rogers, Bell, and Telus, have also filed responses disputing the CNOC’s application. The carriers argue that a mandated MVNO model is not necessary to promote competition in the wireless space. The carriers also point out that if the CRTC listens to CNOC’s application, there would be a threat to network quality.
The CRTC will now re-examine its original decision and take into account both the CNOC’s response and the responses from the Canadian wireless carriers.