Canada: Country ‘needs more mobile competition’, says regulator

Canadian mobile operators should expect more competition, the country’s telecom regulator warned during his last week of office.

Jean-Pierre Blais, whose five-year term of office as head of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ends on Saturday, delivered this warning among a series of others in a speech to operators, politicians, officials and the country’s creative industry. Blais, who did not reapply for his job, told operators that “unless things change, the CRTC will need to act to increase wireless competition, which in turn will lower retail wireless rates, raise data caps and spur further innovation”.

He compared the Canadian market unfavorably with the US, where “wireless service providers do not share their networks, which results in excess capacity”. As a result, “carriers lower retail prices to bring in more customers and offer unlimited data plans to use up this capacity. In addition, this excess capacity has led to a reseller market that is supporting many mobile virtual network operators (or MVNOs) that typically target specific consumer segments.”

He said Canadian network sharing has made networks efficient, especially in a market with low population density, but “we have yet to see a level of competition that puts downward pressure on retail rates”.

Full Content: Reuters

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