Competition Bureau proposes wireless policy to lower prices for Canadians

News release

November 25, 2019 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

Canadians could save substantially on their wireless bills if Bell, Rogers and Telus were faced with more competition from regional carriers like Freedom Mobile and Videotron.

This information is part of a submission made to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in its review of mobile wireless services.

The Bureau found that Bell, Rogers and Telus are able to charge higher prices in most of Canada, where they possess market power. However, regional carriers like Freedom and Videotron are increasingly disrupting the wireless market. In regions with wireless disruptors, prices can be 35 to 40% lower.

While there are promising signs of greater competition from wireless disruptors, many Canadians have not yet fully experienced those benefits.

The Bureau recommends that the CRTC pursue a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) policy where Bell, Rogers and Telus would have to sell temporary access to their wireless networks to regional carriers who intend to invest and further expand their own networks. This would spur additional price competition in the short term, while avoiding the risk of declining network quality in the long term.

For more information, please see the executive summary or full submission to the CRTC (Further Comments).

Quotes

“Wireless prices are significantly lower in areas of Canada where strong regional carriers compete with established national players. We recommend that the CRTC introduce a policy that allows regional competitors to expand into new markets to ensure that all Canadians can benefit from lower prices, greater choice and more innovation in wireless services.”

Matthew Boswell
Commissioner of Competition

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