CRTC to examine the Canadian wholesale wireless mobile services market

This week the CRTC, an independent public authority in charge of regulating and supervising Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications, will be examining the wholesale wireless mobile services market in Canada.

The CRTC is hosting a public consultation on the matter, starting on Tuesday 30, in Gatineau, Quebec.

This could mark an opportunity for other companies to enter the Canadian wireless market if they offer competitive and low prices for wholesale wireless service – often referred to as domestic roaming.

Videotron, WIND Mobile, and other companies, have been lobbying the CRTC to start regulating the price of bandwidth use in areas where telco doesn’t operate.

In the home internet market companies such as Primus and Teksavvy can purchase spectrum from incumbents such as Bell or Rogers, however, the wireless market is unregulated and major companies state that the capital expenditure is too high to allow access to their airwaves.

According to the CRTC:

“In November, we will review the regulatory framework for wireline wholesale telecommunications services. This will include an examination of whether to allow competitors access to the incumbent companies’ fibre-to-the-home facilities.”

It will be determining if the framework for the wholesale mobile wireless services market is sufficiently competitive enough.

Increased competition in the wireless industry will benefit Canadian society by enabling access to high-quality networks, innovative services and reasonable prices.

At the hearing in Gatineau, the panel will want to hear views on three areas:

  1. The state of the wholesale mobile wireless services market, which includes roaming arrangements and tower sharing.
  2. The impact of the wholesale mobile wireless services market on the retail market.
  3. Whether greater regulatory oversight would be appropriate if we were to find that the wholesale market is not sufficiently competitive.

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