Why Canada’s wireless industry needs Verizon

The Big Three carries have enjoyed their own ‘unfair’ advantage for years, writes Jesse Brown


Bell, Rogers and Telus don’t think they are being treated fairly, and they want your sympathy.

Canada’s “Big Three” telecom giants have teamed up to oppose what they consider “unfair” advantages Ottawa is affording U.S. firm Verizon in its bid to enter the Canadian market. In addition to independent effortsTelus is suing the government and Bell CEO George Cope has penned this open letterthe three incumbents have been filling Canada’s newspapers with full- page ads designed to win our hearts and minds. The ads, an effort of their shared lobbying group, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, attempt to convince Canadians we already enjoy great cell phone prices and wonderful service. “How about that!” the ads exclaim.

Well, how about that? The sources cited by the CWTA are problematic at best, and the consumer advocacy group OpenMedia has made short work of poking these claims full of holes, while pointing to other, independent research that has consistently placed Canada’s wireless speeds, service and pricing toward the bottom of the global pack. Canadians who care to compare these differing polls and studies can make up their own minds about which ones are most unbiased and truthful. But most won’t bother. If the question is, “am I getting a fair deal on my smartphone service?,” most people already have an answer, and no amount of newspaper advertising will change it.

One thing you can’t argue with the Big Three about is their claim that Verizon is getting special treatment by Ottawa. It’s absolutely true Verizon is being favouredthey are getting a chance to buy small players WIND and Mobilicity while the incumbents are not. They are getting special access to valuable high-speed wireless frequencies in an upcoming auction. It’s just not fair at all!

Yet I’m okay with that, and I suspect most consumers will be too. Bell, Telus and Rogers (the parent company of Maclean’s) have enjoyed unfair conditions of their own for years, favoured as they have been with free spectrum and by foreign ownership restrictions. What’s more, they have a long history of snatching up small, feisty competitors like Fido and quickly hiking up their prices, to a point where consumers have nothing but confusing illusions of choice. The Big Three also have the tendency to hoard spectrum, buying up big chunks of frequency that they don’t use for years, finally offering it in drips and drabs for premium fees. There’s a reason why Ottawa is favouring Verizon here, steering these resources towards a player that might actually use them and not neutralize them.

The fact is, the only way Verizon can take a chunk out of the Big Three’s 95 per cent market share is by offering lower prices with comparable or better service. I expect they will grant Canadian subscribers access to their U.S. network, easing the price hikes that occur when we travel south. Verizon is no hero, and many Americans are as ticked off with them as we are with our giant providers. But they have every reason to finally bring some healthy competition to Canada, spurring lower prices and higher speeds.

Why would we possibly oppose that?

Follow Jesse on Twitter @JesseBrown


Why Canada’s wireless industry needs Verizon

  1. But.. But… But… Jesse! How can you be so unfair!

    The Big Three have been instrumental in bringing what they say we need only 2 years after other countries have established it! They’ve made sure we have reasonably good coverage whenever the CRTC has forced them to! They’ve even agreed to follow CRTC mandates within years of the decisions being made!

    We pay no more than they feel they can get away with charging us!

    I don’t see how you can treat them this was when they’ve always had the best interest of their balance sheets at heart.

    They’re angels in the corporate world! Just ask their shareholders!

    • True that Verizon is no angel, and not sure which American or British wireless company I would prefer, but letting them in is a great idea.

      I travel to the US often, and their plans are better. I understand that infrastructure costs more when you’re in a vast lower populated country, but they need a competitive jolt. They delay new technology so that they can maximize profits, and all of them do it. Maybe having to keep up with the US, will mean new technology sooner.

      Kind of like banks, many other businesses rely on these companies, and when we can’t get what US companies get, our companies are at a disadvantage.

  2. The complaint that makes me laugh hardest is the one about the relative size of Verizon, something along the lines of: “Oh noes, Verizon has greater revenues than we do, how can we be expected to compete against them with only our millions of contractually-obligated customers, our service bundling incentives, our wireline monopolies, and our vast media holdings?”

    For years, they’ve been the big fishes in a small pond, happily gobbling up or starving out every minnow that swam past. Now, for once, they face the threat of an actual predator, so obviously they’re terrified. This could upset the “natural order of things” in their pond.

    • Just make sure, your RRSP doesn’t hold any incumbent stock. ;) Just saying ….

      • I am quite confident your RRSP held Nortel and RIM. Companies go out of business, or lose out all the time. RRSP is a terrible argument to support a bad business. It is time for bloodbath in the inefficient Canadian wireless industry.

        • It’s not a terrible argument if your RRSP holds it. Most do hold blue chip companies like Bell. Anyway just saying that many people wish something before considering all the ways it might affect them, and this is one consideration.

          Believe you me, I’m not supporting the incumbents, but I did make sure my RRSP doesn’t hold them before wishing for their downfall. ;-P

          • We might as well adopt a communist economic philosophy and return to the 80s if we are going to start making economic and industrial policies based on some inane desire to protect a small percentage of people’s investment portfolios.

          • There’s a big difference between an individual doing this and it being a government policy. I’m not talking about the latter. Sheesh, don’t know where you got so confused!

  3. Can’t wait till Verison gets here… Goodbye Rogers, you sucked my wallet dry for too long!!!

    • Well said. The three hard headed (Bell,Telus and Rogers) need a strong competetion. I fully support Verizon comming to Canada, which will get us a competetive cell rate.

  4. The big three have said that all they want is a level playing field. With that in mind, I look forward to Verizon Cellphone, Internet and TV service.

    • I used to do tech support for Verizon Internet’s US customers from here in Canada and I’m here to tell you that you are not likely to be awfully happy with their Internet service. They pinched pennies until they bled and used every possible excuse to refuse or minimize service to customers. I think the worst case I can remember was a woman who was slowly dying of a respiratory illness. She told me she had two years to live. She lived alone. In troubleshooting her problems, it looked very likely that her problem was a failing Ethernet cable, the one that connects the computer to the modem. Unfortunately, she was in a wheelchair and using oxygen so was physically unable to access the Ethernet cord and change it herself, the way a healthier customer would. She had no friends nearby who could help her. Verizon actually had the ability to send one of their installers to a customer’s home to help them in cases like that and it was policy to do that so I tried to set that up for her and handed the call off to that group. A few weeks later, by coincidence, I happened to be talking to her again, this time because she was cancelling her service. I told her I’d helped her before and that we had started to set up a technician visit for her; I asked if that had failed to resolve the problem. She told me that the technicians never came. I opened her file and found internal notes to the effect that they had refused to dispatch a technician to her but I couldn’t find any kind of coherent reason for it. She really needed her internet but was so frustrated by Verizon’s refusal to fix it that she finally talked to her doctor who persuaded her to change internet carriers. If Verizon won’t even send a technician to a dying customer to replace an ethernet cable, despite having a program to do exactly that, ask yourself how good their customer service is likely to be. I was ashamed to be working for them that day, let me tell you. And that was far from the only time that I was embarrassed to do Verizon support. I talked to people who had stayed home as much as three separate times for the whole day each time – at great risk to their employment – only to find that the technician didn’t show up despite umpteen promises to the contrary. I remember helping a customer after a previous technician, not being familiar with that customer’s operating system (Vista), persuaded the customer to REMOVE Vista and install XP instead, something that was absolutely against all the rules. I could go on but I hope a few examples will suffice.

      I’m just saying that if Verizon sets up shop here, you would be very wise to realize that they are unlikely to give any better internet service here than they do in the US. It will NOT be all unicorns and rainbows.

      • Who do you do tech support for now?

      • How are things at Convergys these days?

        Regardless, I’ve been through hell with Bell (there is a jingle waiting to be written there) and rodgered by Rogers so I welcome a venereal outcome with Verizon.

      • Trust me … Telus is no better.

    • Entirely different context. Do you really think they’d invest billions in Canada to be uncompetitive?

      • So you’re saying they’re going to spend billions to undercut 3 carriers in a different country with almost 10million square km and not even the population of California? Where return on dollars invested will be multitudes lower than in the higher density market such as .. California or frankly any US major city? Good logic, I can see you don’t own your business.

        • you some kind of sock puppet?

          • Hilarious kid!

        • You’re exactly right. And remember that Verizon doesn’t operate in every US state. They are big in certain states and areas of those states and only minimally present in other states if they are there at all. When I did Verizon DSL support, we got lots of calls from New York state (and NYC), Maryland, Virginia, California, Florida and a few others but I don’t think I ever had a single call from, say, Kansas, or Colorado. If they choose to operate in Canada, I expect they’ll cherry pick and serve major cities while ignoring the more remote places. Of course, that’s how OUR domestic providers tend to work too so I don’t mean to say that Verizon would be doing something unusual.

          • I think you better do some research before you write down anything. As you said you was working in verizon customer service and don’t even know that verizon serivce available all over USA. Looks like you are a fake verizon customer service representative designated by Rogers.

          • If they do choose to serve major cities, I don’t see the problem. Do we have some kind of communist industrial or economic policy that says no business advancement is worthwhile unless they deploy nationwide?

        • They don’t necessarily comes to Canada for Canadians, they have in mind potentially more costumers from US who travel to Canada and can avoid that stupid roaming.

        • 10 million square km is irrelevant. Canada has 13 000 cell towers. The UK at 1/40th the size has 52 000. And this is according to the Big 3 funded CWTA.

          So yes, there most certainly is a business case for investing in Canada. Providing we don’t keep persisting on rules which protect the Big 3. Some examples. Restrictions on foreign capital in telecom. Or how about the Big 3 putting up inactive antennas on their towers to claim they were full just to avoid tower sharing as mandated by the government? They can’t pull that crap with Verizon, which has the capital to build their own towers.

          • layeth the smackdown

      • Billions??? Really? Isn’t that what they don’t want to do? They want to come in with minimal investment (as anyone else would) and reap the benefits thanks to the help they will get from our government. Let’s see if they would still come to Canada without any financial incentives and then I’ll get excited about true competition. Deep pockets my eye, they’re reaching into our pockets!

        • Yes, billions. It will take at least $1 billion just to acquire Wind and Mobilicity. Another billion to buy spectrum at the auction. And by some estimates, at least $2 billion to get the current Wind/mobi networks up to point where they are competitive with the Big 3. More if they want to match Big 3 coverage.

          So yes, it’ll take billions in investments here. And they need a playing field which ensures at least some return. Nobody will want to invest here if all we have to offer up is the precedent of Clearnet, Microcell and very soon Wind and Mobilicity: investors who eventually sell at a loss to the Big 3 because all kinds of rules (tower placements, capital raising, etc.) prevent them from succeeding.

          I expect the government will create a playing field which ensures that any investor has a realistic shot at getting some return on investment.

          • the current laws allow Verizon to buy access on the bell network like tb tel and small regional carrier do at 5% above average cost

            the only places that they would need to put up towers in are those dense areas where that setup cost would be less then the net present value of that discounted rate.

            There no way that cherry picked spots are going to cost them 2 billion.

            i am a firm believer in making that deal reciprocal if you want access to the primary carrier network you have to agree to sell access to your network at the same discounted rate.

          • Wait. So this wasn’t a big deal when Orascom set up Wind. The Big 3 weren’t looking for reciprocity then. They certainly had no such objections when Vimpelcom purchased Wind Mobile Canada from Orascom. Why should there be a different standard for an American investor from that applied to Egyptian and Russian investors?

            Oh right. It’s not about a level playing field. It’s about setting up conditions so onerous that no foreigner would dare to invest here. So we should change the rules depending on who the interested party is.

            So which of the Big 3 do you work for or invest in?

          • Why should there be a different standard for an American investor from that applied to Egyptian and Russian investors?

            you just answered your question, a reciprocal agreement has virtually no competitive advantage when the country your getting has so little Canadian tourism. North America wide plans is going to be a huge GOVERNMENT CREATED competitive advantage for Verizon.

            You just argued that Verizon was going to spend billion building their own network. A reciprocal condition would only apply if they bought time on bells network at below market ergo it would not apply if they did what you claimed they were going to do.

            Now your claiming that adding a reciprocal clause to the agreement would decimate foreign competition

            Which is it.

            and to investing i sold puts on bell and rogers and bought Verizon.

            And i will own that position until government changes those mandatory requirements. I am not stupid enough to think my comments on little forum are going to move the market.

          • oh and BTW i am the one arguing for a reciprocal agreement clause not bell. If anything such a clause would take the teeth out of the only legitimate argument that bell has against a Verizon entering the market. by definition it would only apply if Verizon takes advantage of the discounted pricing. They would either have to invest and build their own network in Canada just like the big 3 or give access to their big network in the US at similar discounted prices not both.

            if you were truly arguing for fair market competition you would arguing for a reciprocal agreement clause as a “compromise”

          • Absolutely nothing stopping Rogers/Bell/Telus from negotiating North America wide coverage with American partners. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile would also like to compete with Verizon.

            Stop with the FUD. Nobody is buying it.

          • so now your trying to argue that rogers and bell can negotiate the same rates that are MANDATED by the government with private companies.

            If you truly believed that then you believe the burden of being force to licencing at that discounted price is no burden at all because that the price at fair market.

            So again a reciprocal clause is no big deal at all.

            the government is forcing the big three to sell loonies for quarters and your trying to argue that instead just taking advantage of that mandated cost price these companies would negotiate away the benefit they don’t have too.

            Why would any of these american companies do something that stupid, why would not simply enter the Canadian market as a small time carrier and basically take advantage of the same deal Verizon is exploiting.

          • 1) The “mandated” rates you keep harping on like a trained seal about are market rates + a premium. There is no discount. It’s just that government is not allowing the Big 3 to commit usury and demand whatever rate they want to discourage competition. Heck, this is exactly the arrangement in place with Wind and Mobilicity today. Explain to me how Bell and Rogers are losing out on what in place today. I pay 20 cents per min to talk and 15 cents per text and $1 per MB when out of my Wind Home Zone. And I’m pretty sure the biggest chunk of that (if not all of it) is going to Rogers. Hardly rates that anybody would call below market or discounted.

            2) Do you really think the other yanks are not interested in competing with VZ? What do you think will happen when Verizon starts advertising how they have North America’s largest network from Alaska to Florida to Hawaii? You think that AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile won’t have any interest at all in co-operating with Rogers, Bell and Telus to have a working arrangement that lets them advertise the same? Incidentally, I don’t think the barrier is the Americans. Looking at the differential in existing roaming rates tells you all you need to know.

            3) The American companies can certainly follow Verizon’s lead. But now that Verizon is leading the way, they probably won’t have a business case to follow suit. Splitting the pie 5-6 ways is bound to leave somebody starving. Then again, I’d be happy as a clam if we get yet another player in here. Maybe AT&T or T-Mobile buys up Mobilicity and gets in on the spectrum bidding too. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Yet more competition and even lower rates for us.

          • 1. if mandated rates were market rates + a premium then it would be impossible for wind to undercut rogers, market rates are what they charge their customers that by definition what market rates are. The only way that government would prevent the big 3 from “discouraging competition” is to force them to charge BELOW MARKET RATES for their competitors. Fact the mandated rate is 5% above COST not market rate. If it was just market rates you would paying US roaming rates when you were outside the wind zone.

          • btw again if the rates were market plus a premium then making the deal reciprocal would not hurt Verizon because they would simple forced to sell access to the same “reasonable” market + premium

            you still haven’t explained why your arguing that it unfair for Verizon to have to share their network at the same “reasonable” rates IF they take advantage of those rates in our country.

          • How is it that Petrocanada Mobile has the same rates? Is the government forcing their supplier to sell below market? You seem to think that Market Rates are retail rates. Apparently, you don’t get that there’s a wholesale rate table too.

          • do you not understand the difference between free market and government mandated pricing. Yes petro canada mobile runs on the rogers network. The government dictates the price that rogers can charge for access, rogers must provide at that price, if they could sell it to their existing customer at 4 times the rate, they CANT do it. THAT THE POINT. Free market pricing would allow them to give the highest paying customer priority.

            Again if you think the rates are so reasonable why are you continue to argue that it unfair to force Verizon to share their network at those “Reasonable” rates IF they take advantage of those rates in our country.

            Please answer 1 of my questions because you keep spouting off new questions.

          • I don’t think you even understand what a free market is, to begin with. You can’t have free market pricing in tightly protected oligopoly. Hence we have government mandated pricing where the mandated price is based on the wholesale price of the networks themselves.

            Then again, free markets are beyond the understanding of any Big 3 employee or investor. They somehow seem to think that what we have is a free market. No wonder you think that being able to charge 4 times the rate if they want to is free market pricing. In any real free market, a company that did that would be dead in the water, rather quickly.

          • same two steps

            1. dodge the question
            2. argue that the mandated price is fair

            let try it again

            Again if you think the rates are so reasonable why are you continue to argue that it unfair to force Verizon to share their network at those “Reasonable” rates IF they take advantage of those rates in our country.

          • Your reading comprehension skills must elude you.
            I never dodged the question.

            Fairness is only relevant so far as it matters to our market. The Government of Canada cannot and should not make policies about other markets. The government should be concerned with Canadians being able to roam inside Canada and that’s what it has done.

            The rates in the US are irrelevant since none of the Big 3 plan on investing there. And that market’s policies will be dictated by the US authorities.

            This is why I view this issue entirely as a red herring. Nobody suggested it was a big deal when Orascom set up Wind here. Nobody was concerned with reciprocity then. Why the sudden double standard now? Oh right. Because Verizon is American and has a marketing advantage in being able to offer cheaper roaming to Canadians.

            If the concern is with over Americans roaming in Canada, again, it’s largely irrelevant since that hardly constitutes major business to the Canadian telcos. That would make this a strawman. So again, what’s the unfairness? There’s really nothing than what Wind has today. And Verizon is more likely to build up a national network and substantially reduce roaming anyway.

            If the “unfairness” is over Verizon’s ability to offer no-roaming in the US, then nobody considers that an unfair advantage at all. Orange investing in Canada, could just as easily offer free roaming in France. And if the Big 3 were to invest abroad, they could easily offer free roaming in Canada.

            What you (and the Big 3) are complaining about is the potential that Verizon would actually use its marketing advantage and offer free or cheap roaming. Tough. There’s absolutely nothing unfair about it. Just because the Big 3 have never bothered to venture outside Canada or to negotiate a mutual agreement with an American carrier to lower rates does not suddenly make Verizon undercutting them unfair.

            And quite frankly, it’s utterly absurd to most Canadians that the Big 3 are even complaining about Canadians getting cheaper roaming. This is exactly why their campaign is backfiring. Someobody offers cheaper and instead of competing, they complain about “unfairness”.

            The only place I might possibly agree with you, is if the Big 3 asked the government to declare that mandated roaming only applied to Canadians and not foreigners visiting Canada. But suggesting that Verizon being able to offer cheaper roaming in the USA (and we don’t even know if they will) is patently absurd.

          • so you want the government to create a marketing advantage for Verizon that only EXISTS if they DON’T invest in building out a national network.

            IF they build out a national network then Tbaytel and all the other baby tel would the right to use the same rules AGAINST them.

            your argument is that because the loop hole doesn’t create a massive competitive advantage it should be left in place when it DOES create a massive competitive advantage that an insanely stupid statement especially when you understand the original purpose of the clause.

            The purpose of that clause was to provide regional bells cheap access to a national network so they could maximize investment in remote areas which would not be financial advantageous to provide access (like thunder bay). Basically tbaytel could offer BETTER service then bell buy building out a network to an area which does not have bell coverage and piggybacking on the bell network for the rest of the nation at lower prices then foreign companies are OFFERING to pay for access.

            This clause was used as a loop hole to create virtual carrier who don’t build out in any remote area.

            And you just proved it was going to be exploited by an american company who is so big they don’t need help

            In fact having this loop hole creates a disincentive to rolling out a true national competitor because it would suddenly force Verizon to suffer the same penalty.

            That the point reciprocal relationship your argue against would automatically happen IF Verizon rolled out the national competition your claiming they would roll out.

            The only way they can avoid it is to NOT build out the competing network so by arguing that it unfair you implicitly declaring your whole competition argument is bull crap

          • What are you on about?

            Roaming in Canada is not a marketing advantage when the Big 3 don’t have any roaming charges themselves. For Verizon, being able to offer cheaper roaming in the USA will be their marketing advantage. Differentiate between the two and their outcomes.

            From a policy perspective, government is and should only be concerned with rates inside Canada. And on that front, I would like you to explain how charging roaming inside Canada constitutes any sort of marketing advantage to Verizon. I will reiterate. The Big 3 can easily compete by lowering (or even bettter, eliminating) their long distance charges inside Canada. Verizon will then be at a constant disadvantage by either charging for roaming or having to eat up the roaming charges to match Big 3 pricing. The reason they are crying “Unfair!” is because they don’t want to have to cut their long distance charges and lower prices. The rest of us are smart enough to see through the BS.

            And if down the road, other regionals (like TBaytel, MTS, etc) get to use the same rules against Verizon, nobody but malcontents like you would be upset. The rest of us are quite content to have regulations which keep the pressure up and prices down.

            On a more broader note, the Big 3 have brought this upon themselves. If they had let Wind grow to 10% market share and reach some kind of self-sustaining point, they wouldn’t be staying up nights wondering about the 800 lb gorilla moving in. Now, let them deal with it.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • 1. I flagged your post for name calling. If you’re old enough to reach the keyboard, you are fully capable of having a passionate discussion without name calling.

            2. You do realize that there are nearly as many Americans who come up to Canada as Canadians who travel to the USA? The ratio is not 20:1 as you assert. So, yes, Verizon’s competitors would be interested in negotiating to blunt Verizon’s marketing advantage. it’s pure FUD that the Big 3 are poor negotiating position. They’ve never tried to negotiate a continental shared network.

            3. What are you on about? You only get the discounted rates if you actually build a network here. The other companies are in no position to actually demand that the Big 3 just give them discounted network access unless they invest in Canada.

            4. The context of regional carriers in Canada, is completely different. They have networks here. It’s similar to Bell being forced to carry internet traffic for Teksavvy at a given rate.

          • 1. seriously your crying after you openly accused people of being because they disagreed with you. Every person who point out your wrong is lying because they own bell stock

            2. bell/rogers/telus can limit access to all the small re sellers to provide access to their OWN customers and your arguing they will be able to negotiate with other carrier. If bell were to short Verizon to sell access to ATT they would be VIOLATING the government rules.

            3. your own example of Petro canada mobile is an example of a virtual carrier. Granted it way less IF they do build out towers , but there is no magic number, you build out to even 1 city and you have the right to buy at those mandated rates.

            4. Bald face lie and you know it you just used a virtual carrier in your example, a company who buys access at the government mandated price, and sells it a higher price and collect the profit.

          • 1. Accusing someone of being a Robellus plant, is not the same as name-calling. If you can’t get past grade school taunts, you deserve to be called out.

            2. What are you on about? A real strawman. So they are so running out of spectrum that they’d have to short the handful of tourists and business users visitng Canada to cover some massive Verizon demand that Verizon will pay for in perpetuity (with no interest to reduce their constantly growing payouts to Robellus)? You can’t be serious with a position like that.

            3. My Petro Can mobile proves that Robellus does indeed have wholesale rates they sell out at. Government mandates merely prevent them from using their oligopoly to resort to usury as an anti-competitive measure. 10 cents per minute for Petro Can wholesale. $1 per minute for Verizon wholesale. That kind of nonsense.

            4. What’s your point? I highly doubt, roaming is some huge profit centre for Wind. And you forget that roaming rates mean limited coverage where you are not being charged extra. The smaller the home network, the bigger the competitive disadvantage. This is a terrible red herring.

          • i never said there 20 times the customer i said the ROAMING rates were different. Wind is able to buy tiime on bell network so cheap you admitted they can sell it to you at 20 cent per minute and still make a profit. Compare that with roaming rates for going to the US of $1.45 per minutes and you can clearly see the difference.

            That the point Verizon is allows to buy access on bells network at 20 cents per minute and provide their existing network for free.

            Bell has to
            1. spend billions of dollars to build out a US network
            2. or convince the american companies to sell well below the current fair market price

            Again the question if the 20 cent price is so fair then why do you object to Verizon being forced to sell time to the big three at that rate IF they buy at that rate on our countries network.

            Remember if Verizon does what you originally claimed they would do, build out their own network nation wide, they would not have to sell one minute of access on their network.

            So one more time

            Why do you believe it unfair for Verizon to be forced to sell access on their american network at the same “reasonable” price that big 3 are forced to sell it to Verizon on the canadian networks IF they take advantage of that pricing.

          • RBT doesn’t have to build a US network. Nor do they have to convince American telcos to sell below market price (whatever that is…because you seem to be using your own definition…not anything from an economics textbook). They merely have to convince their American counterparts that Verizon’s North American network marketing advantage needs to be negated and a mutual network sharing arrangement would be beneficial to both. I’d think they’d find their American counterparts quite amenable to that deal.

          • so again there would be no negative impact for forcing Verizon to sell access at the fair rate that bell is forced to sell at.

            If every american company were going to automatically lower the rate to RBT because of this north american competition then it would be impossible for Verizon to sell their inventory to roaming users for anything more than that price. Why would anyone roam on Verizon network for 1.45 /minute if they can roam on american networks for 20 cents.

            So again why are you opposed to making the deal reciprocal?

            You keep dodging the question.

          • Why should the deal be reciprocal?

            We make rules for our market. Not for any other country’s markets. Why are you intent on making rules that are specific for Verizon because it’s an American entrant? Would you have insisted on reciprocity if if was Orange or 3 buying up Wind? Why wasn’t this an issue when Orascom set up Wind here?

            This nonsense has only come up because Verizon is American. Simple as that. And I’m even wondering if setting up rules that specifically target American investors would even be legal under WTO and/or NAFTA rules.

            How would you view it if Robellus was investing in another country (we know they have the stones for it…but let’s imagine), and that country insisted as part of the investment there, we had to open up substantially here or our businesses would be barred from participating? Why should investment in one country by any investor be tied to changes in another? Take Verizon out of it. Explain to me from a regulatory and policy perspective, why this makes sense.

            The government mandates make perfect sense to me.. They are absolutely sensible, in that they buy time for the new guys to grow while they build their networks. If Robellus doesn’t like it, there is an alternative. They can hand over some of the 800 MHz spectrum that would enable faster expansion of the new guys.

          • Again i never said they would be barred from investing here i said they would be denied the mandated rate. They could buy access like every other foreign roaming provider or BETTER YET build out a network (like you claimed they would)

            Such a policy would either expand the Canadian company into the other market on an equal footing OR result in the real investment that would actually create VIABLE competition.

            Both are a good thing.

            and who said you would change the rules to only apply to american, i said you make the mandated price reciprocal not just for american but everyone. The non reciprocal pricing made sense when government was attempting to get baby tel like tbaytel to build up towers in regional areas that didn’t have coverage.

            It does make sense now that we have a national network (multiple) and the loop hole is being exploited to create virtual carrier who don’t invest a penny in building out networks at all and simply buy cheap and resell for a profit.

            If Verizon were to build out the network as you claimed they would in your billion dollar investment post, they would be effected by a recipical agreement

            If they leveraged the pricing for the short term and built out a competitive network they would only have to provide access at the mandated price until they got their own network rolled out

            The only way it would be a negative if they planned to build out in the large cities and leech off RBT forever.

            That scenario would never create real competition so you still haven’t explained why your arguing for it if you truly want real competition.

          • You don’t make policies for individual entrants or on a case by case basis. I fail to see how allowing the Big 3 to charge whatever they want on roaming will enhance competition when they would rather not even provide access to their networks at all.

            As for expanding the Canadian company into other markets, roaming cooperation is largely irrelevant to it. Opening new markets is about the propensity to invest and the return they’d get. When they get spectacular world-beating results in Canada, why would they ever invest somewhere else? You know what will force the Big 3 to leave Mom and Dad’s place? Cutting their margins to below OECD average. Their shareholders will start screaming at them to go abroad.

            Once again. Reciprocity wasn’t even an issue when new entrants got mandated roaming the last time around. Why is it different this time? Heck, we didn’t even hear about it being an issue until the Verizon rumours started. So it’s hard to take you seriously, when you say it’s about everyone when it wasn’t even discussed not all that long ago.

            And it makes absolutely perfect sense to mandate roaming if the policy is to establish competition. If, of course, you oppose competition, then we can go back to the good old days where Fido phones didn’t work outside the 416 because nobody wanted to share their network with Fido. And letting the Big 3 charge $1 per minute for roaming would effectively be the same thing. Too bad, so sad, if the government doesn’t believe that allowing virtual usury is your (and Big 3) definition of “fair” and competition.

            Let’s not forget that spectrum is a public resource. A Crown resource that is loaned out for use at the government’s pleasure. I (and other taxpayers) fully expect the government to loan these out on terms that benefit the public interest. I fail to see how letting the Big 3 charge whatever they want on spectrum we gave them is in our public interest.

            So quite frankly, nobody cares about the complaints that Verizon might run a virtual network. It’s our spectrum. Not that of the Big 3. They can whine all they want. Or they can compete. You do realize that’s an option right? They can scrap all long distance charges and that would effectively make Verizon’s roaming in Canada, quite expensive, or force Verizon to eat the roaming charges. Not great for their shareholders. But really good for Canadians, you know, the people the government actually works for.

            And while I do believe that Verizon will build out a national network in due course, I fail to see how it’s not competitive if they don’t. Canada is an 80% urbanized country. By covering the urban areas of this country, Verizon would provide a competitive offering for 80% of the population. I fail to see how this is no “real competition”. Even the Big 3 don’t bother with rolling out new network services to every marginal rural customer. Yet, Verizon which has no network at all, is not providing real competition unless they serve every rural customer? Talk about a straw man.

          • the american spectrum is equally a public resource so that argument is total BS and you know it.

            To turn around and say that it in the best interest of Canadians to export profits to another country isn’t in the best interest of the public either

            IF they lose because they competed on equal footing fine that the principle of the free market. If it because a clause that was designed to create network build out is exploited to create a virtual carrier then that crap.

            I don’t want to be subsidizing the US economy at the expense of our own.

            You keep arguing that Verizon can compete. I am not talking about blocking them.

            If Verizon was forced to let bell customer to use their network at the same price they can force bell to provide access to their network how exactly does that prevent them from competing.

            Why does the losing the right to charge (the tiny percentage according to you) of bell customer 1.45 /minute make it impossible for Verizon to compete.

          • The American spectrum is a resource of the American public. As a Canadian, I don’t have a say, nor do I care what they do with it.

            The argument about profits being exported is utter nonsense when the Big 3 are listed on US exchanges, have major American shareholders and have had divisions that were previously US owned. Moreover, last I checked, we don’t have some centrally planned Worker’s Paradise that insists that profits stay in Canada. What makes the telecom sector so unique that we should make policy with the goal of restricting capital outflows from that specific sector?

            Going beyond that, with Canada being a major exporter, imagine the reaction from our trading partners to such a move. What if they decided that Canadian investors and businesses abroad should be targetted by similar restriction? They have Apple in the USA. Perhaps Blackberry should face trade barriers so that Apple can gain/maintain marketshare or maybe there should be restriction on Blackberry repatriating its profits. After all, the Americans probably don’t want to subsidize the Canadian economy. What if the Caribbean countries or the US decided that our banks (which have huge operations in those parts) should not be allowed to repatriate their profits back to Canada? Are you starting to get how ridiculous this sounds? Or do you need more examples?

            Once again, you are making this about Verizon. The rules apply to any new entrant. Not just Verizon. I bet your complaints would disappear tomorrow if Birch Hill won the contest for Wind. And once again, I will reiterate, the government makes policy for the public’s interest with a view to broad application. The rules were made to giving any new entrant a fighting chance at offering usable service across Canada. Simple as that.

            And yet again, you can conflating the various roaming cases. I just can’t tell if it’s out of ignorance or intent. There are two specific roaming cases: Americans roaming in Canada, and Canadians roaming in Canada. The former hardly constitutes any substantial revenue for the Big 3 (go look it up from their balance sheets). The latter is what enables any new entrant to have a fighting chance at survival, and that’s what the government is interested in.

            It’s absolutely disingenous to suggest that any new entrant will have a shot at all if the Big 3 are allowed to insist that they can charge $1.45 per minute for roaming. We both know what would happen. The new guys wouldn’t get any customers because 14 minutes of roaming would increase a customers bill by 50%. Heck, Verizon would probably see Wind’s existing customer base dwindle. And if there’s no hope of getting customers until an entrant has invested $5-6 billion in a full nationwide network build out to reduce roaming, then there will be no business case for any new entrant to invest. It’s simple as that.

            A level playing field means that any new entrant must have a reasonable shot at capturing market share and getting a reasonable return on investment. If the rules are such that ROI is atrocious, why would anybody want to invest here?

            Your arguments can be reduced to basically one line: Verizon shouldn’t come to Canada unless they have $5 billion to spend immediately on buying out Wind and rolling out a nationwide network as fast as they can despite all the restrictions they’d face (like siting new towers). That’s the reality of the business case you are arguing for. Most average Canadians would consider that patently ridiculous, especially when the Big 3 don’t even roll out their new networks (3G/LTE) at that kind of speed.

            In any event, stew all you want. 22 comments from you so far. Most of it to do with this article and this topic, perfectly parroting CWTA PR lines. And you wonder why people think you’re a PR plant? Thankfully the government and all its ministers fully understand how Canadians feel on this issue. The Big 3 have had this coming for a long time. Hopefully, they learn their lesson this round, or it’ll be TV and ISP next.

          • so your making up my argument, totally misrepresenting what i say to be the exact opposite point

            “Why does the LOSING the right to charge (the tiny percentage according to you) of bell customer 1.45 /minute make it impossible for Verizon to compete.”

            That the exact opposite of

            “It’s absolutely disingenous to suggest that any new entrant will have a shot at all if the Big 3 are allowed to insist that they can charge $1.45 per minute for roaming.”

            what i am proposing
            1. doesn’t give bell the right to charge 1.45
            2. doesn’t prevent Verizon from buying access at mandated rate

            It on allows bell to buy access on Verizon’s network at the same “Reasonable” rate for as long as Verizon choose to buy access.

            The second any regional carrier stops buying at the mandated price, they stop having to provide access at the mandated price (that the definition of reciprocal)

            In this case the choice would would be completely up to Verizon when they wanted to start and stop the relationship. Bell would still be obligated to provide as much access as Verizon wanted for as long as Verizon wanted.


          • BTW nothing about a reciprocal fee clause would prevent Verizon from piggy backing on the bell network for AS LONG AS THEY WANT to get the necessary leg up.

            The only thing it would do would create a monetary incentive to get off the bell network (because doing so would remove the requirement of provide access at the same rate)

            Weather that would be making deals with the regional telecom, or building out their own network it doesn’t matter.

          • I didn’t misrepresent your position. Your comprehension is lacking. Read what I wrote, very, very carefully.
            To start with, the tiny percentage of revenue for the Big 3 from roaming isn’t relevant. It’s network access and a tolerable pricing structure that will make switching palatable that are at stake.

            Any new entrant (I’m not going to talk about Verizon specifically, because government shouldn’t make company specific policies), faces the situation where they have a tiny network which is unattractive to customers while they are scaling up. This is exactly why the government mandates network sharing.
            Mandating network sharing though would be pointless if the Big 3 decide to make the rates so expensive that customers would effectively be discouraged from joining with the new entrant anyway. That would specifically undermine the government’s intent (a lot like what Rogers is trying with Birch Hill right now). This is exactly why the government imposes a cap on rates. The did the very same to Bell when Rogers entered the home phone market. And it worked out quite well. Not for your employer perhaps. But quite well for Canadians.

            I understand your position quite well. I am suggesting that it is entirely untenable and would present a preposterous business case for a new entrant. And that runs counter to the government’s (and most Canadians) desire for more competition. If you consider the desire for more competition to be unfair, so be it. It’ll be a very lonely corner you’ll be sitting in.
            Letting the Big 3 charge what they want will result in them charging exorbitant roaming fees specifically to discourage customers from switching. This is exactly why the government has capped it and they are correct.

            Furthermore, tying the policy to some kind of access or requirement in the home country of the new entrant is also ridiculous. Our government should not be imposing onerous conditions on foreign investors who want to plunk down cash here, nor should they be imposing the whims of our corporations on another country’s government. If the Big 3 want access to another market, let them do exactly what the new entrants have done here, invest in those markets and negotiate with those governments. As it stands, they seem intent on simply keeping the door shut here rather venturing outside.

            Finally, since you insist on making it about Verizon and Bell (I guess that’s where your paycheque comes from), it seems you don’t understand the situation to begin with. It’s not Verizon that charges you $1.45 per minute. It’s Bell. When have you ever gotten a bill from Verizon while roaming with a Bell phone? Why is it that tiny Wind can negotiate to provide $0.20 per minute with T-Mobile USA, yet Bell can’t negotiate the same with Verizon? I don’t buy it. It’s Bell gouging you, not Verizon. Indeed, Verizon offers 1000 minutes for $15 with $0.35 overage, or $0.89 per minute standard with no roaming plan, to their customers. I highly doubt, they would be able to negotiate such an unequal arrangement with Bell, as per your assertion. Don’t get mad at Verizon, because Bell is screwing you over with its roaming rates.

          • “I didn’t misrepresent your position”

            yes you did and you did it again

            bell position is that they should charge whatever they want (which your falsely claiming is mine )

            “Letting the Big 3 charge what they want will result in them charging exorbitant roaming fees specifically to discourage customers from switching. This is exactly why the government has capped it and they are correct.”

            your argument that because this special deal was extended to a company that was 1/3 the size of bell would have to give up a years worth of revenue to build out an appropriate network you should give the same sweet heart deal to company 6 times as big and would have to commit only 19 days of revenue to accomplish the same network build out/

            I am saying make the deal equal both ways, that way it can’t used as club against the big 3. AND LET VERIZON CHOOSE weather they want to compete fairly by ACCEPTING MANDATED PRICING BOTH WAYS or build out their own network (19 days of revenue).

            Stop pretending that Verizon is small company that needs to be artificially inflated to compete against the big 3.

            And stop pretending that i am saying what bell is saying.

            My argument is the middle between your extreme of let the 800 lbs gorilla have the same benefits of the 98 lbs weakling when entering a fight.

            and bell protect from the 800 lbs gorilla by keeping them away from our market.

          • Once again. Governments make policy for an outcome, not for one participant. It is utterly nonsensical for the government to make a different set of rules for every single potential bidder.

            Verizon’s size and revenue are irrelevant when they enter Canada. They will start out with Wind’s tiny network. They’ll have to go through the effort of siting tower locations, getting zoning approvals, setting up or switching vendors, integrating Wind customers and operations into the Verizon brand. All of that will take several years. No company would go through all that if there was no reasonable rate of return. And the rules as structured, afford them that.

            As for reciprocity. Again. Utter nonsense. We make rules for our market. Would you honestly be making the same suggestions if Orange wanted to buy Wind? Would you be insisting that the entire deal be held up unless Orange was willing to agree to a deal where they would charge special roaming rates for Big 3 customers in France? And what exactly would be the condition if it was simply a deep pocketed foreign investment firm that wanted to buy Wind? Or say Google decided to buy Wind as a sort of test into the mobile market? I’ll say it again: governments make rules that are broadly applicable to attain specific outcomes, not rules aimed at specific cases. Verizon’s size is as relevant as Orascom’s size was when they entered our telecom market; that is to say, not relevant at all.

            Moreover, despite your protestations, roaming is simply not what is going to make or break Verizon in Canada. It creates a more viable service to be sure. But they aren’t going to gain market share unless they actually grow the network. So roaming is hardly some cudgel that will be used to beat the Big 3. And (what you repeatedly seem to ignore) from a customer perspective the Big 3 can fight back with lower or no long distance charges. Who would I choose if Verizon charged me $0.25 per minute to roam or Bell charged me absolutely nothing in long distance or roaming whenever I am out of town? That’s the outcome I want, as a customer. I want lower rates. And the government policy will attain that. Other than core plan rates, I expect roaming rates in the US will come down, and long distance to be eliminated inside Canada in due course.

            If Big 3 sycophants such as yourself view that as “unfair”, so be it. Public policy is about public benefit, not about what is “fair” to a handful of corporations. The Big 3 will lose market share as Verizon builds out their network. And they will suffer declines in their ARPU and margins. That’s exactly the point.

            You’re exactly the type of effort that Minister James Moore is warning us about: “I think Canadians know very well what is at stake and they know dishonest attempts to skew debates via misleading campaigns when they see them. Equally, Canadian consumers know instinctively that more competition will serve their families well through better service and lower prices.”

          • Why would verizon build out a network when they get priority access to bell network at 5% above what it would cost them to roll out their own.

            Here is my prediction

            Verizon will never build out a national network

            They will advertise the national network by piggy backing on bell/rogers/telus network

            They will destroy any partnership by exploiting the priority access requirement to buy up excess inventory and creating “dead zones” for ATT travelers. (your so tourist will get no service quote)

            They will pull the money out of the economy, so they can maximize the competition where they actually have.

            You keep arguing that Verizon will build out a network and become a 4th national carrier

            If all the regional tel combined together we would already have that 4th national carrier. The system your defending makes it more money by staying small and not creating competition.

            The definition of insanity is doing exactly the same thing and expecting different results.

            You keep arguing we are going to get different results but you have explained what the magic sauce of Verizon is going to be.

            What exactly will make them choose to give up the proven competitive advantages of the broken system to actually do the opposite of what is being incentives.

          • You seem to have a poor understanding of how public policy is made. For the nth time, governments make policies for outcomes not for specific situations. In this case, the government has created a regulatory framework that intends to increase competition and lower prices.

            The goal of the policy is not a 4th national carrier. Read the policy documents again. It’s 4 carriers in every market. There is zero requirement for any new entrant to have national ambitions and/or build a national network. And that’s okay with just about everyone. The goal of lower prices will be met as long as there are 4 carriers in every market.

            The issue of fairness to the Big 3 is entirely irrelevant because it is not at all a policy objective. If you are a Big 3 executive, I am sure you think the policy is unfair because it’s designed to cost you market share. Guess what? The public thinks that’s entirely fair and that’s all that matters to the government. The goal is to save the public money by destroying some of your profits. If they want to make it up, there are markets outside Canada they can expand to.

            Here’s my prediction:

            Verizon will cover the Windsor-Quebec corridor and bolster Wind’s existing markets in the first three years. They’ll take their time building out the national network and accept the hits on roaming fees. In the meantime, having a robust network in Southern Ontario, southern Quebec, Calgary-Edmonton and Southern BC would mean that they will get a lot of corporate accounts from regular US travellers. The Big will respond by cutting prices, exactly as the government intended. The Big 3 will also become more efficient by finally ditching all their flanker brands and become lean organizations.

            Nobody will or should care about Verizon or Orascom or anybody else “pulling money out of our economy”. That’s an entirely irrelevant argument for one of that largest trading economies in the world. It only becomes relevant if you accept that Canadian businesses should not be allowed to do the same in other markets where they operate. Given the way our banks operate in the Caribbean or how our resource companies operate in Africa and South America, we wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if we insist on keeping out companies based on some faux concern about capital outflows.

            The government will stick to its guns thankfully because voters like me are quite vocal. I’ve written in to the Minister and specifically said that if they cave to the Big 3, not only will they lose my vote, but I will donate and volunteer for any viable opposition in my riding. That’s how strongly I feel about this issue. From the statements coming from the government, looks like they get it.

            The Big 3 had their chance to serve Canadians. I would have supported protectionist policies if they showed one iota of loyalty to Canada. But they outsourced low wage call centre jobs. Then they resorted to hiring Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) for high wage jobs. All this while raking in the highest ARPU and third highest margin in the OECD. No sympathies from this Canadian. I will be smiling at the few billion in market capitalization destruction the day Verizon’s entry into Canada is announced. Heck, I’ve even bought some put options on Rogers stock.

          • Sounds about right to me.

          • You want to prove your case that Verizon is bad?

            Stop arguing about fairness.
            Stop arguing about whether or not they will build a national network.

            Only one this matters: price.

            If you can prove that Verizon’s entry will not do anything to lower prices, you might have a case. But the very fact that the Big 3 (and you) are droning on about fairness, jobs, national coverage, etc. and absolutely avoiding any discussion about prices, tells the rest of us they are only interested in one thing: protecting their shareholders. And that means, the rest of us are looking to government to protect the public interest.

            The government is rightfully looking to slash wireless prices. If the Big 3 and their shareholders don’t like it, there are lots of foreign markets where they can do business and get a return on capital. Canadians are tired of being used as pinatas for their shareholders.

            Here’s to hoping that the government goes after TV, internet, airlines, banking and insurance next. Hopefully, we’ll finally reduce the substantial productivity gap with the rest of the world and actually attain a higher quality of life.

          • if pricing is supposed to be the only concern then we should stop forcing rural coverage requirements. Bell should basically be allowed to abandon unprofitable rural areas and focus on the profitable urban area only. Obviously government policy is about NATIONAL coverage so to argue that it a price issue is BS.

            If NATIONAL COVERAGE was not prioritized over lower prices then coverage requirements would be eliminated

            The problem is the coverage requirements only apply to the national providers

            As to doing the same thing for banks
            Yeah i would love to see the banking crisis that hit the US get duplicated in this country too.

            We could all use an economic collapse.

            I focus on a national coverage because that the priority of the Canadian government. If as you say pricing was the main concern they would drop all the restrictions that force bell to charge MORE and funnel that money into building out towers in areas where it completely unprofitable operate in.

          • 1) Show me the exact paragraph in any national telecom policy document that actually mandates rural coverage by the Big 3. Go on. Go find it. I dare you.

            2) Government policy is not about coverage. It’s about price. Read the open letter from the minister himself. Unless your comprehension skills are lacking, the rest of us definitely understood what he was getting at.

            3) There are no coverage requirements. I’ll buy this line when you can provide a credible reference, which I sincerely doubt you’ll be able to furnish.

            4) Again, you show a very simplistic understanding of public policy. The US banking sector collapsed because of a poor regulatory framework, not because of the number of banks they had. We can have many more competitors here without issues as long as they follow our existing banking rules. That said, Canadian banks unlike Canadian telcos, at least, accept some responsibility to the Canadian consumer and by and large are responsive to government pressure. Big 3? Not so much. Hence, the opening up of the telecom market.

          • Once again. Governments make policy for an outcome, not for one participant. It is utterly nonsensical for the government to make a different set of rules for every single potential bidder.

            interesting argument considering that wind was form on the foundation of a company specific varies by the government of canada http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?crtr.sj1D=&mthd=tp&crtr.mnthndVl=&nid=501719&crtr.dpt1D=&crtr.tp1D=1&crtr.lc1D=&crtr.yrStrtVl=&crtr.kw=&crtr.dyStrtVl=&crtr.aud1D=&crtr.mnthStrtVl=&crtr.yrndVl=&crtr.dyndVl=

            The fact is the CRTC rules that debt secure against the asset of the cheaply bought spectrum violated foreign ownership restriction if that asset was claimed as a result of a forfeiture of debt a foreign enterprise would own the Canadian public asset.

            The reason they got the varies was because they argued and successfully proved that the smaller size meant that even if that happened they would a worst be no more influential as a regional tel.

            If the parent company liquidated all their assets and plowed them into the Canadian market they would be no bigger than biggest regional tel.

            If your argument is that we should not consider the specific conditions of the investor then your arguing that wind should never have been formed.

            Bell argument for blocking Verizon from entering the market is simple the special condition of size DOES NOT APPLY to Verizon and therefore the original CRTC ruling would be valid.

            Your argument seems to be both sides at the same time, first you want them to get special treatment in the form of access to a varies that absolutely does not apply given their larger size, but you also don’t want any special conditions which would designed to protect our national coverage

            If Verizon cherry picks all the profitable marketplaces to compete driving down prices then where is the money to subsidize those unprofitable marketplaces come from.

            I don’t want Verizon to be blocked as per bell argument but i acknowledge the potential threat to our national coverage

            I argue for reciprocal agreement because it not only creates an incentive for Verizon to roll out a competing national coverage on the cheaply bought spectrum they are going to be granted. And if they don’t do it, if they choose to leech, the bell/rogers/telus can subsidize rural networks on the backs of the Americans (by being virtual carrier in the states and funneling the profits back into Canada).

          • 1) A variance is an exception granted with a view to achieve a broader strategic outcome. The end goal remains the same.

            2) Moreover, the CRTC’s arguments bordered on preposterous in the commercial context. It did not argue that Orascom controlled Wind de jure. It argued de facto control because of the debt (which legally Wind was allowed to borrow). This is like arguing that the bank which owns your mortgage has control over your daily life. Nonsense.

            3) Once again, Bell’s argument is entirely irrelevant. In this case, the government isn’t even issuing a variance. The framework is simply applicable to any size of entrant. The Big 3 are suddenly up in arms just because the entrant is big and American. If the entrant was some tiny, developing world entry we wouldn’t have heard a thing.

            4) So what if Verizon cherrypicks the profitable marketplaces. Isn’t Wind doing the same thing today? Isn’t Videotron doing the same? And don’t the Big 3 do the same when they launch all their latest and greatest in the country’s biggest urban markets first. This is reality. We have no national policy that mandates equal distribution of services provided by private companies. And from an economic standpoint, it is absolute madness to hold 80% of Canada’s population in cities, hostage to the interests of the other 20%. That is a recipe for economic stagnation.

            5) There is no threat to our national coverage. It’s not like the Big 3 networks will stop working, the day Verizon launches. Indeed, if the Big 3’s executives had an ounce of actual business sense (they don’t…but let’s imagine), they would work hard to develop their rural networks and lock down the 20% of the population that won’t have access to Verizon, while using prices to compete in urban areas.

            6) You can argue for whatever you want. None of it is in the government’s stated policy which is not aiming for national coverage but a stated number of providers in each regional market. Nobody but you cares about getting some new entrant to build a national network. Though, I always maintain, that if Verizon comes here, they’ll do it eventually, because unlike the Big 3, they have a strong record of going after even marginal rural customers in the USA (that comes from a strong drive for customer growth). The Big 3 don’t come close to servicing rural customers in Canada, the way Verizon provides for their rural customers in the USA. And even if/When VZ does show up, the Big 3 will still be too stupid to actually invest in rural areas until Verizon starts rolling out rapidly. That’s my prediction.

          • 1. “In varying the CRTC decision, the Government is not removing, reducing, bending or creating an exception to Canadian ownership and control requirements in the telecommunications and broadcasting industries. The Government’s decision to vary is specific to the facts of this case.”. Which is exactly the point i have always been making, you can’t have it both ways, if your saying a company specific decision can’t be made, it can’t be made to help Verizon either. Extending this exemption to a company that does not meet THE SPECIFIC facts of the case is just as much a company specific decision as forcing reciprocity. Either you can’t apply special rules on a company by company bases, or your can.

            2. really stop paying your mortgage and invest all that money in Verizon stock. The bank dictates how you spend your money by forcing you to prioritize paying them back over investment strategies that would benefit you. That is the control that the CRTC rightfully acknowledge existed. For the record Verizon is going to buy out wind, not debt control so they have even more control not less.

            3. Bald face lie there is no framework, re-read the quote they didn’t change the laws regarding foreign ownership they simple provided an exemption to the current laws for ONE SPECIFIC company under VERY SPECIFIC FACTS.

            4. Fact 51 % of our population is within 3 percent of our land mass (along the whole US border). Verizon and Wind are currently cherry picking a tiny fraction of that 51%. To get to 80% of our population Verizon would have to build out to 63% of our land mass. Which you just argued they are not going to do. There are lot of regions out side the big cities which have Marginal coverage Areas bell is forced to sell access at below cost to leeching Telco.

            5. So if i tortured you to death over a two year period that ok because i didn’t kill you instantly. That your argument there is absolutely no threat to the national network because it doesn’t happen instantly. Some of those regional areas are so spread out that they COST $1 /minute to maintain, and you have already acknowledged that bell is forced to sell Wind access in those areas at a national price of 20 cents per minute. Explain to me how Bell is going to compete on price when they are being forced to subsidize Verizon rural access from their profits from the urban centers. Especially if Verizon cherry picks all the ultra profitable urban centers. The maintenance of those towers will degrade as the profits stop flowing to those outlying areas. It will happen with a gradual increase in marginal coverage areas, areas which meet the government mandated requirement for coverage but don’t actually provide usable coverage.

            6. In the states Verizon can sell access to those remote areas at what ever price they want. They can force minimum buying levels, or trade rural area access to other carrier for reciprocal access to competitors networks. The same situation in canada would force them to sell at below cost to smaller leeching telco.
            You still haven’t explained why they would build out a national network given that difference. Unless your trying to argue that VERIZON should be allowed to sell what ever price they want while Bell and rogers be forced to sell at government mandated prices. And if that your argument how can you believe that fair competition.

          • non plan roaming is a pass thru cost, the roamed carrier charges the roaming carrier network and that carrier passes on the cost to the subscriber.(with a small markup) The plans your talking about is a result of carrier PRE-BUYING volume of minutes based on there expected sales numbers, if they don’t sell out the lose that unused time

            And as you already admitted the revenue generated from that is a tiny portion of the bell balance sheet.

            that means a very small percentage of that cost

            I guess if was a Verizon employee (which you must obviously be) trying to hide that fact i would also do the apples (standard) vs oranges (plan) to give the false impression that bell is “screwing you over with its roaming rates”

          • Verizon’s non-plan postpaid roaming is $0.89 per minute. Prepaid is even lower at $0.69 per minute.

            If the cost as you say is simply pass through, then Bell must have some terrible negotiators. When Wind, which has zero leverage in any negotiation with a US carrier can negotiate and offer $0.20 per minute with T-Mobile and Bell with the largest network in Canada can’t match Verizon’s rates to its own customers, the only logical conclusion is that Bell has some of the most incompetent negotiators in the industry.

            The revenue that I was referring to was not from Bell’s own customers. Did you look at their balance sheet yet? They report earnings from roaming payments that Bell receives from their roaming partners. That’s what I was referring. What Bell takes in from roaming foreigners in Canada is a rounding error for them.

            Bell is screwing Canadians and no amount of you saying otherwise, will convince anybody. Good luck trying to convince anyone I’m a Verizon plant. With a few thousand posts and my service to Canada mentioned in several of them, whoever reads this down the road will most certainly know who’s more credible.

          • 22 comments from you so far. Most of it to do with this article and this topic, perfectly parroting CWTA PR lines. And you wonder why people think you’re a PR plant?

          • again want to show me one line anywhere on the site asking for a reciprocal clause, it doesn’t exist because they not asking for that.

            Interesting how you faked a second identity though

          • market price definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_price

            currently verizon sells roaming access at 89 cents/ minute

            you just admitted that you buy roaming access on rogers for 20 cents per minutes.

            The first price is defined solely buy market conditions the crossing of supply and demand.

            The second is the price the government tells RBT to sell at.

          • And once again you don’t understand that you can’t have fair market pricing when you don’t actually have a fair and open market.

            What Verizon sells roaming for at the moment is irrelevant, because that’s dictated by current market conditions and there’s both an element of Verizon’s profit and their roaming partner’s profit.

            The government is moving to a more open market and we’ll thankfully have fairer market pricing than. And other than a few trolls who owe their living to the Big 3, the public more than supports the imposition on the Big 3 to avoid strangling the entrants in the crib.

            All the mandated rates do is prevent the Big 3 from insisting on ridiculously high roaming rates that would effectively rule out roaming and prevent new entrants from gaining customers. That’s fair payback in my books for ridiculous crap like the tower sharing nonsense they pulled.

      • As they say below, if they come they will set up shop in the big city centers (minimal outlay on their part) and offer slightly competitive rates. They are coming here to make money and never forget that. As for the rest of Canada, not enough profit to justify the build-out So the big three with their nation wide coverage might lose out on the dense cities to Verizon but keep the rest of Canada. yeah, that is competition….

        • Of course they are coming here to make money. No business does otherwise. Neither do our “champions” complaining about the Americans. They don’t care about Canada. They care about $$$. You shouldn’t forget that either.

          Verizon will come here and invest in cities. So what? Why should urban dwellers have to suffer higher rates if there are investors willing to serve them better? Last I checked, we didn’t have some communist national economic policy that says every area of the country should receive LTE at the same time. If the Big 3 want to compete, they’ll compete. They’ll invest. Not just in cities. But throughout the country, so they can brag about their bigger national networks.

          By the way, for those rural residents worried about Verizon only investing in cities, have you seen their rural coverage in the US? They have better rural coverage in the US than any Canadian network has in Canada.

  5. But our big three telcos have an “arrangement.” Why, oh why, would anyone want to disrupt this _arrangement_ by introducing a potentially unpredictable (and more importantly, uncontrollable) factor into this frail, delicate balance? Oh the humanity!

  6. Give Verizon the spectrum for free is what I’m thinking at this point, The Big 3s definition of “fair” of course means “lining our own pockets is fair, not others”

  7. With that I’m mind I look forward to a saturated job market, Wal-Mart-esque treatment of employees, the degradation of a three carrier industry into a two carrier industry and the inevitable increase in cost of plans. It’s safe to say a good 90% of the people who support Verizon coming to Canada have no clue about how the US cellphone industry works, believe that corporate America treats their employees like trash, and have no understanding of how good the cost of our plans have become. A recent article from the financial post gives decent (albeit potentially a little biased and incomplete) insight (http://www.financialpost.com/m/wp/fp-tech-desk/blog.html?b=business.financialpost.com/2013/07/04/canadians-paying-13-less-on-mobile-phone-plans-study).

    Canada doesn’t need another big carrier which is already notorious for its mistreatment of it’s customers. Canada doesn’t need another company which will ultimately take jobs from Canadians and send them south of the border.

    What WE need – as a nation – is another player in the market which has demonstrated good business practices, we need a from abroad that will work with CRTC to follow the rules and regulations and a company that will, above all else, win it’s place on the market as opposed to buy it.

    And for those of you that believe that numbers don’t talk and that Rogers is being ridiculous for talking about the number of customers, Verizon has over 100 MILLION customers in the states, almost 3x our countries population, most of who are paying WAY more for their plans than we are now. If you consider network cost, network size and population, that means that Verizon turns a massive profit, in fact last year they made $364 million in surplus revenue beyond their projections (that number may not be accurate as I don’t have the time to confirm it at the moment and am going from memory).

    So before praising another giant try and remember that they will probably never be the David to our Goliath

    Yours truly,
    -A Canadian citizen who still pays too much for his cellphone plan.

    • FUD. Plain and simple. You either work for a Big 3 telco or own stock.

      When Verizon shows up they won’t have a huge network or TV and internet to bundle. They’ll have to offer lower prices.

      As for jobs, nobody talks about the jobs lost because of high telecom prices. One study by Videotron says Canada would have added $14 billion to our GDP with lower telecom rates. How many jobs is that?

      No sympathy for the Big 3. They had their chance. Now they get to split the pie 4 ways.

      • I’ve seen articles before slamming the big three for their dividend payments or comments like yours that they must be stock holders. Do people not believe Verizon pays dividends as well?

        Its funny as for a Canadian telco dividends = bad as its because they overcharge, but verizon’s dividends come from some source other then the consumers?

        Dividend Yields :
        Bell 5.50
        Telus 4.36
        Verizon 4.12

        Bell/Telus are a bit high as the stock has fallen recently.

        Considering Verizon has 2.86B shares outstanding and a div/share of 0.51C they pay out 1.45B / quarter.

        • Verizon has a huge business communications division. Go look up wireless margins alone. The Big 3 are in a league of their own.

    • amen. and don’t forget the lack of privacy – all of the records of your calls, texts and emails will be held in a US storage facility … and the nsa and cia will have a key to the back door.

      • Look up what CSE does. You think they don’t have your stuff already?

    • So. You’re thinking Vodaphone?

  8. The Big 3 weren’t as scared when Orascom/Wind showed up. They knew that Wind would struggle eventually and be bought out. It’s what happened to Clearnet and Microcell.

    Verizon scares them because Verizon is coming here to compete, not be bought out.

  9. Pretty bold article coming from a magazine owned by Rogers

  10. As soon as Verizon comes to Canada and whoever offers the same package as Rogers and what they offer to Government/Corporate Employee Plans or LOWER to the public then that is who I will go to when my plan expires in October.


    BC Public Sector Employee Plan: $50.00 per month
    Term 3 Year Term
    Airtime Included 350 Anytime Minutes
    Incoming Minutes 1000 Local Incoming Included
    Cost of Additional Airtime $0.10/MIN
    Canadian Long Distance 250 Minutes Included
    Rogers Wireless-Rogers Wireless Local Calling Unlimited **note this is what it says on their site, but now that I’m signed up it shows it’s R2R National
    UNLIMITED Evenings and Weekends (6 pm to 7 am) Included
    Received Text Messages Unlimited
    Sent Text Messages Unlimited
    Data Included 5GB
    Call Display and Name Display Included
    Basic Voicemail Included
    Per Second Billing After the first minute
    BONUS Add Unlimited Canadian Long-Distance for Only $5/Month

    Here’s the voice only plan for $20

    Exclusive Employee Offer ( subject to change) $20.00 per month
    Term 3 Year
    Airtime Included 350 Daytime Minutes
    UNLIMITED Evenings and Weekends (6 pm – 7 am)
    Incoming Minutes 1000 local
    Cost of Additional Airtime $0.10/min
    Canadian Long Distance 250
    Rogers Wireless-Rogers Wireless Local Calling Included Unlimited **note this is what it says on their site, but now that I’m signed up it shows it’s R2R National
    Received Text Messages Included
    Sent Text Messages Text, Picture & Video Included
    Call Display Included
    Call Waiting Included
    Conference Calling Included
    Basic Voicemail Included
    Activation Fee No Activation Fee ($35 Value)
    Per Second Billing After the 1st Minute

  11. As a customer of one of the three domestic corporate robber barons, I’m paying exorbitant (by most objective criteria) rates for a service that is often slower than dial-up, frequently unreliable, and occasionally unavailable altogether. I welcome any competition to break up the virtual cartel that dominates Canadian bandwidth.

    Bring it on.

  12. After looking up Verizons plans online in the US.. they don’t have any better pricing. Higher speeds? What are you trying to talk about? What is faster than LTE? This is what happens when people that have no idea about technology write tech articles. Premium fees for spectrum? drips of spectrum? The telcos aren’t using spectrum? What the hell am I reading?
    Why are people wanting to compare Canada to a small euro nation with 20x the population density?

    What a terrible article. I’ve read better facebook posts.

    • Rick which company do you work for ? If you can’t see that Canadians pay more across the board for everything you are willfully blind. You insult a Doctor and are completely ignorant. To not know that Oligopolies are a form of corruption makes you a moron.

      • You need to do some research. Verizon has the highest prices in the US. There is no evidence the big three are hoarding spectrum. If there was the answer is use it or lose it clauses in the auctions…a government problem.

      • Obviously you haven’t been to the US recently. I was and I got T-Mobile for a trip. Verizon was the worst of the options there. You are welcome to check out Verizon’s pricing on their US website… But you would rather whine about pricing than actually do any research. Cool story bro

    • Oh, come on. Just to give a few examples: With Bell Fibe internet, I’m limited to a paltry 75 Gb per month. With Verizon’s FiOS internet service, it’s a whopping 77 TERAbytes a month (granted, on a 2-year contract versus Bell’s no-contract). With Verizon, a Galaxy S3 costs 49$. In Canada, it’s closer to 129$. Now I’ll concede that the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4 had similarly significant price discrepancies two weeks ago, but when I checked tonight, the Verizon and Telus prices for these phones are actually the same, so I’ll give some credit there. But I expect the next iPhone and Samsung phones to cost much more here vs Verizon, when those arrive later this year.

      • bell has unlimited internet add on do an apples to apples comparison

        • Apples to apples is hard to do, since (for example) Bell and AT&T offer different packages (hard to check Verizon’s pricing, because they want my exact address in the US. Easier to check ATT). Here’s an attempt to compare:
          Internet, 15-18 mbps download speed: The prices are comparable for both Bell and ATT, but the main difference is that ATT allows up to 250 Gb download cap, whereas with Bell, you’re limited to 75.
          I can then either choose unlimited download as you said, or upgrade my plan to a faster speed and 250 Gb download cap. Either way, my bill goes up 30$. Any way you slice it, we’re paying 30$ more than comparable consumers in the US. Just with Netflix alone, I find the 75 Gb limit dangerously low for our family, and if I were in the US, I’d be satisfied with a 250 Gb cap without having to fork over an extra 30$.
          The same can be said of cellphone plans. AT&T would charge about 70$ for a 3-Gb plan. Bell charges 75$ for a 1 Gb plan, or 85$ for 3 Gb. Again, we’re paying more.
          If Verizon arrived, it would humble the Big 3, and force them to adjust their prices to compete. I’m not saying Verizon would solve all our problems, but I believe its arrival would bring some much-needed price corrections, to be more in-line with the US and the rest of the world.

          • unlimited only cost me 10 buck more so i am not sure where you are getting your prices

          • Unlimited only costs 10 bucks if you go “whole hog” and subscribe to all services offered by Bell, thanks to bundle packages. If you opt out of just 1 service, the price jumps to 30.
            Of course, we wouldn’t even need to purchase unlimited internet for 10 or 30 dollars, if we were given a decent download limit like 250 Gb in the US for the same price, or even 100 Gb. I’d accept even 100 Gb at the current price that I’m paying for service.
            I get my information from both my monthly Bell bill, and Bell’s website. Check their website and see for yourself.

          • well it only 3 services not all , and so what, that the concept of marginal cost, the extra cost to provision a slightly bigger bandwidth pipe to provide tv service as well allows them to pass on the saving to consumer.

            re read the fine print at the bottom of the page. All the prices your quoting are “Quoted prices after bill credit” and “Available for new residential Internet/U-verse Internet customers only”

            Which means your talking about the same/similar bundle commitments to get those prices

            Again apples to apples comparisons please

          • oh and btw bell web site prices include promo like the MDU (apartment/condo) or student discount either

            remember Canada has stricter “false” advertising rules then the US, so things like advertising special price you can only get if you live in an condo and charging more for everyone else is perfectly legal under US law.

            are you sure the different your seeing best available price vs the regular price comparison.

  13. It is long overdue, taking advantage of the Canadian consumers has to stop!
    Europe and US has lower prices and better services. I am personally a good example of a very angry consumer. For 13years with Fido, shows I am rather committed client. As a physician too busy to chase deals but not stupid to tolerate what has been happening
    to my account. Roaming exuberant charges when away on business including massages from Fido, no discussion, no return call from the manager to deal with the problems and at the end suspending my account affecting my business, my patients health and my life in general. I switch to Wind, divorce! Are you surprise? Do not mistreat me for my own money, don’t like it.
    Dr K

    • I surely hope you’re a better Doctor than writer.

      • You’re assuming he’s a medical doctor. He has a phD: a pimping ho’s degree.

  14. No proper research has gone behind writing this story. Full of holes and misguided evidence (e.g. the hoard spectrum reference). If you’re going to jump on the popular bandwagon, put in some sweat and do the research. Maclean’s: you can do better than this.

    • Or you can really, really look forward to the possibility of a choice.

  15. I can’t wait to switch to Verizon and I hope this is a thing to come in taking down those robbers ( Big 3 ) I would never use Bell for anything and even if there services were free I still wouldn’t use them . Bell and Rogers have nothing but corrupt evil people working for them .

    • Bell is operated by the former head of Telus, (Clearnet owner before that)….verison use to own 20% of telus (BC Tel)…these guys know the Canadian market is a cash cow…that why they want back in.

  16. We don’t need no stinking Yankees and their spying networks in Canada.

    • If you think that CSE isn’t doing the same thing in Canada that the NSA is doing in the US, then ignorance really is bliss.

  17. No sympathy here, all three have been treating us like $h1T forever, surely there’s got to be a provider out there that can do better. To bad so sad, suck it up.

  18. These companies are just upset that they wont be able to continue gouging Canadians. I would like to support Canadian business, but only if they are not busy ripping me off.

  19. Good luck to those of you who expect Verizon to cause much of a change. In the US they have the most expensive plans and rank number 2 in customer service. The cost of a Verizon plan similar to Bell or TELUS plan is anywhere from $3-$5 a month higher.

    • Wait…Verizon actually HAS customer service? I have not heard of such thing with Telus, Bell or Rogers.

  20. The Canadian wireless industry (who got given their spectrum free) have repaid us – they say – by giving us better prices than prevail in the U.S., and certainly better than Verizon will give us.
    So why are they spending millions of marketing and lobbying dollars trying to keep Verizon out? If we’re already better off than Verizon can make us, what do they have to worry about?
    Could it be that they aren’t telling us the whole truth? Nah, that can’t be it, could it? They’re just, altruistically, trying to protect us from “unfair” competition, because that would be bad for us.

    • Do some research regarding “they got their spectrum for free” and share it with us. Check out the last several spectrum auctions. You can parrot the CEO of WInd or you can find out the facts.

      • Quite wrong, Charlie. The big three have bought up some smaller players and acquired additional spectrum that way, but the initial allocation was free. Googe “beauty contest” and “Bell” and “Rogers”
        It’s one thing to disagree, another to outright lie.

        • In the 2008 auction Rogers, Bell and TELUS paid $2.6 billion for spectrum. Not exactly “free”.

          • What about all the spectrum that was allocated free before 2008? Are you really saying that didn’t happen?
            And if we’re so well served by the big three, what’s your theory about why they’re spending millions to “protect” us from Verizon? What do they have to worry about if they’re so good, and Verizon is so bad.
            I’d support giving (not selling) spectrum to Verizon just so I had a choice.

      • You sound like a lobbyist for the incumbents.

  21. Verizon is not going to do us any favours, they just want the free cake the big 3 have here, competition will be limited to some advertising and prices that are a few cents cheaper then the big 3or higher prices with more features, but still more expensive, not worth switching for

  22. we are trading the big three for the big four

    • No. It can still be the big three. Just not the same three.

  23. I’m with Verizon for 8 years i have 2 telephones ($165 for 1500 min.unlimited internet in US) live in Niagara Region Ontario and I’m HAPPY

  24. As with department stores, the only reason American companies want to get into the Canadian market is for potential profit. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course but the real issue is that business in Canada allows for maximized profit with an outlay of minimal service (until recently, all under the ‘protected species act’ of Ottawa. That’s just the way business works in Canada and why wouldn’t Americans want in on the act.
    My point being that we shouldn’t expect Verizon to undercut anyone by any more than they absolutely have to, just as the department stores have stated that they have no intention of offering US type pricing or variety. They need only offer what the market requires, which is daily beatings.

    • “How much for the daily beatings sir?” ‘FREE with purchase of your $80 mobility package!!”

  25. we don’t need Verizon- what we need is for companies like Ting and Wind Mobile given the opportunity to grow

  26. All the support for Verizon, an American company in the comments below are amazing and disappointing to me. What happened to shop local (i.e. Canada)?!!! How quickly it falls by the wayside. Bell, Rogers, TELUS must employee +200,000 people. Then there are small businesses, companies, suppliers they employee/support. How about we use a little common sense and think about keeping and supporting Canadian jobs, pensions instead of giving it up to USA. I choose Canada.

    • You mean choose an overpriced monopoly which got protected from competition for years? Is that the choice you’re giving us?
      Any by the way, check out the big three’s record in terms of cutting Canadian jobs. You think they’re benevolent job creators, think again. Their only loyalty is to the bottom llne. Why should a consumer be loyal to them?

      • Why should you be loyal…SIMPLE. You should be loyal to Bell, TELUS or Rogers because they are, and assuming you are, CANADIAN.

    • Thank you Ted Rogers for your insight.

      • Ted Rogers died in 2008. Nadir Mohamed is the living CEO of Rogers Communications.

    • You mean the thousands of jobs that they all outsourced overseas? Sounds like they love Canada to me!

      • Maybe so, and I agree this isn’t ideal. Isn’t there still many people employed in Canada?

        • A few, but tons of front line jobs like call centres are outsourced to save a buck.

          • A few? 1, 2? 200,000 maybe? A ton?? 1,000? “Outsourcing” is getting off the topic.

          • No its not. One of their main ads refers to Canadian Jobs in Wireless being lost. If they cared about our jobs why are they outsourcing overseas? They can’t use that as an argument for Verizon coming in then in my opinion. Side note, Verizon has kept all its jobs in North America.

  27. why i should switch from big 3 to Verizon coz
    1)they have to ofer me better price then big 3 retention department will kick in to offer u price match.
    Big 3 have to offer price match or even better coz verizone has network in usa to give give cheap roaming (upper hand over big 3)
    who is going to benefit WE. we all know they are all bad but if verizone wants to eastablish here they have to offer better plan & if big 3 want to survive they have to price match . welcome to Canada.

  28. Canadians are all for VERIZON! Down with the big 3. They have been ripping us off for years – now time for them to get a taste of their own medicine.

  29. Wonder if this guy realizes that he works for Rogers…

  30. For Verizon to come into Canada, they would have to offer prices lower and/or more competitive prices than the Big 3 – if not, they’d be DOA and their entrance would be completely irrelevant. Welcome to Canada.

  31. bring in Verizon bring in Verizon bring in Verizon bring in Verizon bring in Verizon bring in Verizon please save us from the big terrible three please save us from the big terrible three please save us from the big terrible three please save us from the big terrible three help the big terrible three have symbolized the devil for much too many years.

  32. There are only two large wireless companies in Canada. Rogers and Bell/Telus. One of the two is effectively an virtual operator (i.e. mnvo).

    • uh, I’m pretty sure bell and telus are not the same company.

  33. What’s the difference? 3 big players or 4…same service, same prices. Only difference is that our money will now flow to the US with Verizon. I don’t see any difference for us consumers. The Government should at least cash in from Verizon our spectrum instead of giving our property away for free.

  34. Bravo!

  35. I think some more competitions will not hurt except big three

  36. I see lots of comments here. I say there is a rather simple solution. Let the market dictate the price. I am not here to speculate what is going to occur. Simply remove the CRTC (because we are not living in Stalin days anymore in the former Soviet Union) we don’t need a body to control our telecomm. Simply private the market sell of all spectrum’s and let every company slice their throats out there as customers will see prices drop very quickly. Who needs this bodyguard in the room the CRTC?

    • Very true. The CRTC seems to do nothing positive these days, but without them I bet the big 3 standard would be lifetime contracts with a penalty of death for canceling early.

  37. Such ignorance, thinking that Verizon will come and bring down the price of your cell phone service… they are looking after their own share price just like all other publicly traded company. The difference between them and the big three is that Verizon is a US company and their priority is and will be to their US market, us Canadian will get screwed.

  38. Hooray for Verizon!

    For joining the BIG 3, to become the BIG 4. Enjoy sharing the pie!

    The only real improvement I see when Verizon comes are lower roaming rates, not so much on the monthly domestic fee.

  39. …hmm “why would we possibly oppose that?”

    Well Jesse, we would oppose that due to Canadian national security. Last year great concern was expressed when Chinese wireless giant Huawei tried to make inroads into the Canadian market. Public Safety officials felt that having a Chinese foreign carrier would lead to facilitated foreign espionage. That was a fear.

    With Verizon this is not a fear but a fact. It is now widely known that Verizon hands over confidential, personal information of its customers to US spy mongers on a daily basis.
    Why would we give them access to Canadian’s confidential and business information? I’m sure they’re just looking for ‘terrorists’ and not using this technology for the vast capitalistic benefit inside information would create, wink, wink , nudge, nudge.

    • The US intelligence community will now know my porn preferences. Ooooh, I’m worried.

  40. I am puzzled here! so what happened to Canada’s contract with the Chinese telecom company Huawei (see here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/10/09/huawei-canada-weston-interview.html) which raised eyebrows from US. Now with all the NSA surveillance and listening should we be concerned about Verizon and think about the Chinese company. To be fair they could no say:

    Canada ‘at risk’ from US firm, China warns


  42. 1. The incumbents do not object to competition. The incumbents object to rules which skew competition. Arguments that the incumbents are just trying to keep Verizon out, or are against foreign investment (when TELUS, at least, has gone on record arguing for more permissive rules regarding foreign investment) are dead air. The incumbents’ position is straightforward: let Verizon compete, with equal costs of entering the market and doing business.

    2. A set-aside auction can, almost, be persuasively argued as a necessity for a Canadian start-up. Verizon is not a new start-up; it is a large, well-established corporation. The point of a set-aside auction is to reduce part of the cost of entering the market (ie. part of the cost of doing business). It means the federal government must give up some of the revenue it might earn on the sale/lease of a national resource. It allows the beneficiaries of the set-aside auction to reduce their costs, which lessens the pressure to reduce dividends to their shareholders. A set-aside auction which benefits Verizon is a transfer of money from Canadian federal taxpayers to shareholders of a US company. It is an inappropriate use of federal government revenue (or potential revenue).

    3. Wireless is not the only part of the Canadian telecom landscape, but it generates the most profits. The incumbents are each essentially responsible for the wireline infrastructure in their respective incumbency territory. The costs of extending advanced communications to serve as many Canadians as possible include more than just a few cell towers, and in effect must be done at a loss to serve some customers. Regardless, the EBITDA for wireline is much less than (about half of) the EBITDA for wireless. Not all of the capital required has been handed to the incumbents by the various layers of government. It means, in effect, that some of you are subsidizing services to other Canadians. If some of you think this is wrong, you should take it up with the federal government. Perhaps you can get them to sell off or kill the CBC at the same time. Or maybe you can rethink your position and realize that reasonably healthy telecom companies are vital, as the telecom infrastructure is vital. Those of you who object to urban customers subsidizing rural customers have incorrectly calibrated your viewpoint: rural infrastructure ultimately exists to serve the cities. Where do you think your electricity, your natural gas, your oil, and your food originate? You pay for rural infrastructure to serve yourselves. Verizon wants to come in and pick the wireless plum. Fair enough – but, again, they should pay the full costs of the opportunity to do so, unless there is some plan afoot to charge Verizon a “fair share” of the costs of providing other telecom services.

    4. Verizon is unlikely to invest capital to build unnecessary infrastructure. Wireline penetration is not as high as in some countries, but the “experts” keep overlooking the cultural and regulatory factors – Canadian wireless market penetration is less than in other countries for reasons having nothing to do with rates. The implication is that the size of the customer base will not change dramatically. If existing infrastructure is sufficient now, it need not be increased. That means Verizon will not need to employ large numbers of people “locally” to install and maintain infrastructure. Most operations can be run from the US, using existing operations infrastructure to keep costs low. Verizon’s market share will mostly be at the expense of existing providers. Fewer customers to serve means fewer employees will be needed.

    5. Canada has 3 dominant providers. The US has 5, which serve a population ten times as large. The Canadian government supposes we should have 4. Why? We should have a definitive, sound rationale for that policy aim before we accept it.

    6. “Competition” is the rallying cry. People are convinced their prices are too high, as if prices could be compared directly across countries any more than wages or the price of a loaf of bread or gallon of gas. Suppose prices are high. So what? The costs people are complaining about are luxury costs. Pressed to be specific, people do not object to the cost of a basic plan to ensure they have a phone. They object to the cost of a plan which allows them to exchange and download massive amounts of, ultimately, disposable and near-useless information. I sympathize with the desire for cheaper luxuries, but deplore the notion that luxuries should be subsidized in any way, shape, or form. Distilled to its raw spirit, this is what all the supporters of the government’s current policy are saying: “I want my MTV”. It confers upon them no credit.

    • 1. The incumbents had no problems with the rules when they were applied to Orascom/Wind. Why is that foreign company different from this one?

      2. Verizon is a new entrant in the market. And like any new entrant they won’t have a business case to invest in Canada without a set-aside. The size of the entrant is irrelevant. The math on the investment doesn’t change regardless of how big you are.

      3. Wait. So now they deserve protection because they don’t gouge us enough in other markets (where their rates are also higher than the global averages)? If their other businesses are underperforming that is now the problem of the average citizen. The companies can sell or optimize their other operations. Not my problem.

      4. Wireless penetration is lower here for cultural reasons? Really? What cultural reasons. Do tell. As for Verizon not hiring locals. Guess what? The Big 3 are just as bad. Between foreign call centres and increasing amounts of TFWs, the Big 3 don’t seem to care much about Canadian employment these days.

      5. The more providers, the more competition. Size of the population is irrelevant. There are countries in Europe with lower population numbers and even more providers.

      6. Prices should be directly comparable. If they are not, then we pay. Our quality of life suffers. We have a lower GDP and sacrifice jobs as a result. This is not some small matter. A study by Videotron (our Quebec incumbent) suggests that a more competitive wireless market would have added $14 billion to our GDP. How many jobs is that?

      7. Please be honest and tell us which of the Big 3 do you work for or invest in?

      • 1. If you don’t already grasp the difference between small Canadian start-ups/entrants and a major established corporation, I doubt you can learn. Regardless, I was also against the spectrum set-aside then.

        2. If Verizon doesn’t have a business case to be in Canada without enticements, it shouldn’t be in Canada. Federal revenues are for government program spending, not shareholders of companies.

        3. The ILECs have responsibilities they can not simply dump as “bad business”.

        4. In some countries, wireless penetration is higher because they never had much wireline infrastructure, or because a wireless subscription makes it harder for government to verify where you live. The point is that is it insufficient to assume it is all just “price” – without an understanding of why wireless penetration rates vary in different markets, the “price” claim is just a guess – a likely one, but still a guess.

        • 1. Oh please. The Big 3 cried the same thing when Orascom showed up to set up Wind. How many customers do Orascom and Vimpelcom have? The only reason they are now panicking over Verizon is because Verizon is right next door and will have a major marketing advantage. Their size is irrelevant.

          2. You need to separate telco and the public interest. The public is served by greater investment in telecom which reduce prices and boost economic productivity. And so I’m glad the government will make sure that the playing field is even enough that any new telco has a fighting chance at a reasonable ROI. Next, you keep yammering on about federal revenues. Verizon entering the auction will juice the auction, not goose it. And on top of that, the federal government is looking forward to increased revenue from the GDP boost that will come and the reduced spending on their 200 000 wireless subscriptions. Nobody is more incentivized than the feds (and by extension the taxpayer) to get comeptition going.

          3. Who said anything about ILECs? Wireless margins are much higher for example than some of their other operations. If their margins are being dragged down overall and they are making it up on the backs of mobile subscribers, that’s not my problem.

          4. Okay. Explain why the US is a full 25 percentage points ahead of us in wireless penetration. What lack of wireline infrastructure do they have? We are behind other OECD countries. Nobody is comparing to the developing world. That would make us look even worse.

          5. The Big 3 brought this on themselves. Had they not stymied the new guys at every turn and if Wind had 10% market share, they wouldn’t be in this mess. But shenanigans like putting up inactive antennas or funding one minnows lawsuit against another, is what got them to where they are today. It’s karma coming back to bite them in the 6.

  43. BUT: Verizon gives the feds phone records for all of its customers!
    If this thing goes through I am leaving Rogers! Fugg Dat! =(

  44. I’m disgusted with Bell, Rodgers and Telus. They are complete trash. They overcharge every way they can. This is something that Canadians need. The prices are so unbelievably ridiculous in Canada, yet you go over to the United States or better yet, go on their websites and just take a look at how much lower their pirces are. You’ll see how badly Canadians are getting ripped off. I wouldn’t even care if Bell, Rodgers and Telus ceased to exist and it was only Verizon. ANYTHING is better than those worthless pieces of trash. REAL Competition is a must.

  45. do you guys ever wonder why Wind or Mobilicity are going out of business? because they don’t make a profit! you keep complaining about pricing but anything lower then what it is now and Bell Rogers and TELUS will have the same faith at Wind or Mobilicity.

    • Nonsense. They are going out of business because:

      1) Big 3 contracts make it hard for customers to switch.
      2) Our restrictions on foreign capital make it hard for them to grow and acquire more customers.
      3) Shenanigans like the Big 3 pulled on tower sharing (putting up inactive antennas to lock out the new guys from their towers) and hoarding spectrum have made it hard to get the spectrum to grow.

      In the rest of the world, Wind and Mobilcity’s pricing would be considered rational. Only in Canada, where our telcos have the highest ARPU and third highest margins in the developed world are $40 plans considered unusual.

  46. For all the people saying that Verizon’s plans aren’t cheaper, you might want to look at the fine print. A standard iPhone plan with Verizon is $5 less than what I’m paying with Bell, and comes with twice as much data, unlimited talk, data sharing without paying an extra $10/month per tablet, and more calling features.

    And Verizon is one of the more expensive US providers. T-Mobile’s data rates make Canada look like a backwater joke.

    Looking at the bigger picture, you also get things like the early Amazon Kindles not offering Whispernet in Canada because the data rates were so absurd that it wasn’t worth offering it. Ditto with the 3G PS Vita.

    Apologies to all you paid Rogers/Bell shills, I know you’ve got a hard job trying to flagrantly lie to Canadians to protect your corporate masters profit margins. Maybe you should tell your companies to provide more than half-assed service in the future so you’re not so hated by Canadians and thus easy targets by politicians. Nobody who wants to get elected wants to be seen defending you clowns against real competition.

  47. Rogers sucked the life out of my contract. I was so glad to get rid of them. Telus is no better…. assigning my phone number to another subcriber while I was using it. Why did it take 2 weeks to get my phone and number back Telus? Because you suck at what you do. Competition and lower rates. Take a back seat and watch how it’s done.

  48. the verizon will provide better service to the people, i think specially the transportation
    business. lot of truck drivers are using two phone , one canadian and one american telephone company and they are paying double.during competition customer will pay
    less will get better service, they will get better service for both country country. i think this is the good step. thanks

  49. Very Well Written Article Jess. I along with many Canadians commend you, as you have captured a feeling and subject close to many of our hearts. I am tired of being ripped off and watching the big three get away with it. I equally have this distaste for the insurance companies in Canada as they also rob us in a similar fashion.

    • well said my friend, Insurance company sucks in Canada. it look like government is afraid of them.

    • That was a well written article? You are joking right? It has not provide any references and sources to his claims. Did he say what that “independent research” is? Did he provide proof when he says the big three are “spectrum hoarding”? All it does is provoke irrational emotion.

  50. Big three of canada are open to buy the companies in US if they can, why are they shying from competition?,,,,are they afraid ?

    • Because when Verizon comes here the government is going to allow them to use Bell, Rogers, And Telus networks at discounted prices. If either of the 3 went to the US they would have to build their own networks. That is all they are asking. If Verizon wants to come in fine but build your own network. Many jobs will be lost to America.

      • Actually, they don’t get discounted prices to use Big 3 networks. They get fair prices (not above market rates).

        And they won’t be in business very long if they don’t build their own network and keep paying the Big 3.

        • Ok….you sound like an expert I can’t argue with you as all your facts are well cited.

          • Not an expert. Just educated on the subject matter. I’m tired of the Big 3 getting away with their FUD.

          • Yeah, it shows. Keep up the great work. I think people are getting the point.

  51. I really believe that this is such a hot topic with Canadian’s where their at the boiling point of making it an election issue. When I travel , I own my own I Phone and travel with American and European sim cards after Rogers’s sent me a bill for over $1000.00 traveling through Europe where the same bill to a local person would have been 30 Euro’s after I checked. This issue is very close to the prohibition period with alcohol in the 20 and 30’s where Canadians will do anything to get around the big three players by carrying US phones or other cell phones companies other than the big three.

  52. Fairness is not equality. Fairness is about “not having a bias”. Competing with the already established players, would cause Verizon (or any new larger provider) to be in a disadvantaged position immediately. Since the already established providers have a head-start, the whole situation is definitely fair.

    All Canadians hope that the existing providers can become globally competitive corporations. It’s so refreshing to see that the authorities are finally seeing that Canada is about Canadians. If Canadians are happy, Canada is happy.

    • Every new entrant to a market faces the same hurdle: that it is not already established. Yours is an example of another proposed supporting point that is just more dead air.

      • Atleast it’s just :-).

  53. Yes!!

    Let Verizon embrace us living victims to free us from the 3 BIGGEST Mosquitoes. We’ve been drained from these brutal Phone providers for years.

    Think back to the day of the Brick phone (ya dating myself) and having to pay $250 a month for the luxury of a phone. To today and having to pay a multitude of extras upon extras. Do the math – are these 3 really suffering. If they feel that Verizon would be a threat, then start with changes in your own food chain. Get rid of your VP’s and wanna be’s of head of this and that. Time for a change and DROP the rates!! All 3 have been using us for their own success and wealth.

    Time for CHANGE and lower rates! Europe is ahead of us by light years and the US Market is also ahead of us. Canada keeping to “status quo”, you know the “Don’t rock the boat” attitude. Change is needed, I said enough.

    Any of these Giants need to wake up! Stop outsourcing and hire & train Canadians + look at what your customers are saying not the soaring STOCK!! Rogers has people from the GTA, but they need some support – cause the people on the phone seem to have have on for their job or the people they talk to.

    Cause it’s only a matter of time until the change begins! And that STOCK level drops and dips. Then it’s blamed on the struggling economy and not the mismanagement of a team of professionals.

    People – look at what you pay for phones. We all live by these items now (almost all of us) and the service, billing and the extras need CHANGES.

    Verizon may not be loved, but healthy competition is most welcome! At the end of the day, we all have to pay some type of price – let’s have the best one!

    Going to soak my wounds from the Mosquitoes.

  54. Rogers took me for a $600 one month ride with their Rocket hub, years ago. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. The people I spoke to at the company were hired guns to be the rudest people on the planet. I think everyone was named Michelle. And one arrogant old man. So I hope their monopoly rides off into the sunset, and they have to become an honest to God business, where you treat people right. And offer competitive pricing.

  55. The big 3 are total rip off artists. Every single member of our family has been screwed by each of them. I will switch just on principle alone!!!!

    • And get screwed again

  56. The government should do the same with the auto insurance industry. Alow US insurance companies set up market in Canada.

    • They already do. Virtually all insurance companies in Canada are US owned. They get away with the rules by setting up Canadian companies and HQ etc. but their backing, their parent companies are US. Their principle shareholders are foreign. If you look at who owns the controlling stock of most Canadian big companies, they are foreign – they are only Canadian on paper, on the surface.

  57. We have awesome choices here: 1 GB, 3 GB & 5 GB plans that are exactly the same! Why is there no 2 GB plan which would be the preferred chocie of most Canadians that use 1.5GB a month? Why, so they can charge extra every time you go over. Also, if I use under my max. in a given month why can’t I carry my cumulative amount forward?

  58. Best news ever. After I switch, I WILL call Bell and Rogers customer service and laugh my ass off! I wonder how many employees are thinking if it was worth arguing with normal canadian customers, about everything and anything! Who else wants my 400/mnth for communications? Rogers was first to treat us like crap, then Bell comes in like they are any better! This is the best solution for all Canadians. Thanks Verizon for allowing us this opportunity to flip the biggest bird to these three shmucks.

  59. My story when i was a Bell customer.
    I had internet, home phone, satelite and cell phone package with Bell.
    Satelite always out when weather changed( cloudy,rain or snow) they couldnt do anything about it just made excuses.
    Internet cut out whenever phone ring they couldnt do anything about it either more excuses.
    Rented a movie from Bell satelite twice for the same movie didnt get to watch it cause it just give me a blank screen, called to reported it still got charged cause they cant tell if i watched the movie or not.
    Finally the straw that broke the camels back, i rent the PVR unit from Bell, the remote unit quited working and PVR also quited, Bell sent a Tech out, he let me know that i need a new unit(wow) and then sent me a $75 bill for having Tech come out to checked their rental unit. GOOD BYE BELL !!!!

  60. What makes anyone believe Virizon isn’t going to make their plans virtually the same as the Big 3? Think about this. If I know Canadians don’t have much of a choice, and that most plans in Canada are only variable by features, contract length and a few percentage points monetarily what incentive do I have to offer deep undercuts to market prices? The fear here is that the Big 3 have set the market prices, what makes anyone think Virizon won’t price their plans at current market value? Oh sure, they may offer discounts in the first year or two to draw in a customer base then watch the prices of all four level off again.

    • True, but prices will have to go down somewhere if certain companies want to keep marketshare. If Verizon comes in and offers a good deal to customers, the big three will lose marketshare. To win them back, they have to offer their own deal and the cycle of true capitalism kicks in.

  61. Looking forward to seeing our big three suffer and struggle, and beg for my money. They deserve everything they will get, having treated the userbase like scum for so long…

  62. woooow i read everything, all i have to add/ask is why can WIND give low rates,unlimited internet and mostly and obviously no payment on incoming calls!!!!! what is that about??? both callers pay for each min?!!!!

    • Are you seriously going to complain about Wind’s rates? Seriously?

  63. In the midst of all this, Telus just lowered its local (Pay as You Go) rates by 5 cents and raised its Long Distance rates by 10 cents. In a country as vast as Canada what do you think the end result will be … Higher or lower bills?

    They just don’t get it!

  64. Best article I have read on this issue in years. Well done.

  65. I heard the ads and immediately started my letter to the CRTC. I want Verizion and any other companies to come and run those horrible Canadian companies out of business. They are the most abusive set of companies ever. They only stay in business because of the stranglehold they have on the licenses, an effective oligolpoly that seems like they collude on pricing and nasty, unfrinedly-to-consumer business practices. They make exhorbitant profits while providing minimal service that is dramtically overpriced. . I am stoked that Verizon is coming and I hope they bring some customer-first buiness practices.
    May Telus, Bell and Rogers rot in hell, and may their shareholders get the shaft and be as badly treated financially as their customers have been over the years,. They have it coming.
    -Your Average Canadian Phone Customer.

  66. Who cares… What we should be complaining about is the price of cars and the freight charges. What about the insurance rates. If you make a claim your insurance goes up.

    What about GAS prices every time you pass a the gas station the price is different.

    Come on all “focus..”.
    If you can’t afford a cell plan of $50 then get what you can afford.
    GAS prices don’t give us options
    Insurance don’t give us options.

    • Gas prices are high due to the price inelasticity of the product.
      Cell prices are high because of a lack of competition. Two different issues.

  67. Yes, Canada is large, so some feel that means the majority of us who live near major urban centres or within 100k of the border should pay outrageous prices to subsidize building towers on tundra where nobody lives. I disagree. The big three scammed us with dishonest “connection fees” and fake competition for years. Go see your choices and pricing in Europe or the U.S. and then come back here and try to feel any sympathy for this price-fixing monopoly of buddies–so much in competition two of them own the billion dollar Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment company together. Glad to see Verizon here.

  68. How can one be so sure that Verizon would continue to maintain their lower price and better services (as what the consumers want) after they have captured their lion’s share of the market? It is naive to believe so. Worst, by then we would end up with a giant company that it would really discourage any future entrants.

    Why not work with the existing incumbents to a true and meaningful competition given that now they seem to be more willing to do so.

    • “Hope”. That is all it is. Verizon won’t come to Canada to lose money. Whatever pricing structure it is that people like about Wind and Mobilicity that is causing those businesses to falter will be changed.

      If Verizon just comes in to serve a few large urban markets and the federal government dictates rates at which the incumbents have to allow Verizon to use their physical plant, then sure: Verizon will be able to offer cheaper rates. And I could save money by selling my pickup and not paying for insurance if the government told my neighbour he had to rent me his pickup at a government-set rate whenever I needed it.

      This is all about naked greed: people want a few bucks a month off their plans, or had a bad customer experience, and don’t care who else has to pay for it. Costs don’t go away: they just get transferred. Companies don’t just accept profit losses: they cut less utilized services, cut staff, and reduce investment in the business to reduce costs. Very few people are willing to think through far enough to see who will bear the costs (and fewer are capable). So the decision “for/against” is made on the basis of that quintessential Canadian value, self-interest.

      • It’s funny that you label Canadians (including lots of stretched working families) greedy for wanting to save a few dollars a month while saying nothing of Canadian telcos that have the highest average revenue per user (ARPU) and third highest margin in the OECD (developed world). Who’s really being greedy?

        So which of the Big 3 do you work for or invest in?

        • Invest in all of them, through mutual funds. Most Canadians with mutual funds or a pension based on a pension fund have investments in the big 3. Ontario Teachers fund and some partners almost bought Bell a few years back.

          There’s nothing wrong with wanting a few bucks off the purchase of luxury goods – unless you want it to be bought with taxpayer dollars.

          • 1. The only people who are going to lose in the coming price war are shareholders. But then again, they’ve enjoyed outsized returns for years.

            2. Ownership of a stock by pension funds has thankfully never precluded our government from making a public policy decision. Thankfully, they can separate the private interests of a pension or mutual fund and the broader public and national interests. You don’t make economic and industrial policy to benefit elites and narrow interests.

            3. The funds that lose out on Big 3 holdings (if they haven’t smartly divested yet) will see gains on other fronts as other sectors benefit from improved productivity. If Videotron is right and we see $14 billion in GDP gains, that would more than compensate for any capitalization loss of the Big 3.

            4. The Big 3 always have the option of actually taking their talents on the road and investing elsewhere just like Orascom did here. If they’re so good, why aren’t they competing with Orange, Vodafone, 3, etc.? Given our ties in the Caribbean, why can’t they do what our banks did there?

            5. Public interest also includes the taxpayer, who will make out handsomely from the Big 3 and the regionals fighting over 2 blocks in every region. As a taxpayer, I look forward to that.

            6. The very fact that you consider a wireless device a luxury item in the 21st century says a lot about you. We will never reduce our productivity gap with such fossilized thinking.

    • Work with the incumbents to a get true and meaningful competition? You can’t be serious.

      We tried that. Here’s out it worked out:

      They refused to co-operate with small like Fido in the 90s. No network sharing at all. Your Fido phone has zero service outside the GTA. Fido couldn’t grow and was eventually bought by Rogers. Ditto for Clearnet by Telus.

      So the government mandated network access and tower sharing when Wind and Mobilicity came along. The Big 3 responded by putting up inactive antennas and claiming the towers were full or offering the new guys worse antenna positions. The Big 3 then run ads against the little guys claiming their networks and reception is worse.

      Keep in mind that the law says Verizon can only buy a company with less than 10% marketshare. If the Big 3 had let Wind and Mobilicity grow to 10% of the market, they wouldn’t be in this position today. Their shenanigans are why they are where they are today. It’s Karma.

      As for discouraging future entrants, far from it. Next time we have an auction, we’ll treat Verizon like an incumbent and hand out spectrum to another new guy. This auction will set a nice precedent for regularly letting in fresh blood.

  69. If you all think by Verizion coming here a $50 plan will become a $20 plan. Think again.
    This is how business works.
    Verizion > Wow! The big3 are making a killing on their plans.
    I think we need a piece of the pie.

    • But if Verizon wants marketshare they cant come in with the same or higher prices as the big three. I’m not going jump ship from a well “established” big carrier like Bell and go to a newbie like Verizon unless they offer me a good deal. If they offer good deals, the big three will have no choice but to follow or lose marketshare.

    • Verizon’s isn’t going to spend billions to not get marketshare or a return. They don’t have TV and internet bundles to sell. They will have wireless and that’s it. They will have to offer a better product at a better price or they’ll be writing off the billions they invested in Canada.

  70. Certainly Canada is for sale by the Harper government,.. we watch our oil, lumber, natural gas, minerals,… water? heading out the door to profit foreign companies & coutries.
    How many large Canadian companies actually exist? These companies treat their employees reasonably well, pay benefits, give to their communites, & PAY TAXES in OUR COUNTRY. Cheaper isn’t always BETTER,.. Any of you give a crap about our environment, fair wages, Occupy movement, etc..
    Our home grown companies are hardly the pinnacle of integrity (with jobs farmed out to India, Asia, etc), but you know what you have with a modicum of transparency,.. This is a HUGE country by area that is covered by the big three,..
    What interest is Verizon going to have in providing service to Low/No-profit areas that our companies are obliged to service?
    Careful what you wish for,.. its already happened to many of our other industries, & here comes the FEDERAL government opening the door for another Collapse of Canadian Companies.

    • These Canadian companies have been ripping us off for years. I feel the exact same way. I would 100% love to stay with a Canadian company and I wouldn’t mind paying the prices they have now if they kept all jobs in Canada. All three of these companies have outsourced jobs. How can you say they care about Canada if they can’t even employ us? I give my communications business to Shaw since they are Canadian company who decides to employ our citizens.

      • Certainly they all outsource, & I identified that they do indeed farm jobs abroad, but can you actually believe that there will be more of your dollars will go towards employing Canadians thru Verizon? It’s my feeling that at the core of the average US citizens’ financial woe’s has been the successful assault on the benefits of the working class. There has been a systemic attack on wages & basic benefits of the vast majority of American workers for years. Their percentage of unionized workers has been in a steady decline for decades. I call as my first witness,.. the entirety of the Walmart “Family”. Did you know that the Harper government (our government) is pushing forward a bill (c-377) to help break unions in Canada? The People are so pissed about the state of our finances, but the vast majority of us have not the wisdom to give it proper & influential direction.. We can’t all find the perfect fit for the totality of our individual views, but this current government has been selling our resource rights, and the ownership of these rights which should belong to Canadian citizens and our children for generations to come, but instead,.. could they pull it out of the ground and sell it any faster?

        • Wait. So because Verizon will employ the same practices that the Big 3 employ now, that should disqualify them? What nonsense.

          As for the unions. They dropped the ball by targeting easy to organize sectors (like the public service, education, health care) while not working hard at getting into places where employees truly need protection (like retail and fast food). They are making themselves irrelevant.

    • 1) The Big 3 don’t even cover most of Canada. You think your cellphone will get service on Ellesmere Island? On the other hand, Verizon actually covers most of the geography of the USA. It has more rural coverage in the USA than the Big 3 would ever dream of offering in Canada.

      2) Even if Verizon has no interest in covering rural areas, please explain to me why 80% of the country that lives in urban areas should be held hostage and forced to pay higher prices to support the 20%. You live in the countryside? That’s your choice. I have no obligation to financially support you (directly or through protectionist policies).

      3) I would have had a pro-Canadian stance if the companies were actually pro-Canadian. Instead they outsource low wage jobs to Asia and hire Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) to replace high wage Canadians. And this comes after having the highest average revenue per user and third highest operating margins in the developed world. They don’t care about Canada or Canadians. Why should Canadians care about them? I’ll glad support keeping out foreign competition if the Big 3 agree to only hire Canadians citizens or residents, source only from Canadian vendors and cap their profit margins and revenue to the OECD average. Would they ever agree to something like that? I doubt it.

  71. Canadians pay way too much for their cell phone service. Lots of other countries pay a lot less.

  72. How much longer do we Canadians have to wait until there is more competition in this market, better service, useful Internet speeds and reasonable pricing? It’s a joke ! The other day TelUs managed to delete mine and my wife’s email accounts – they didn’t even apologize or try to recover it. Just pure incompetence ! I welcome any competitor to this market, no matter where they come from !!!

  73. Welcome to canada verizon ! I welcome you
    with my subscription.

  74. This is no different then when Canadians started to buy Foreign brand cars when our wonderful government cancelled the Auto Pact. The consumer doesn’t care. It’s the bottom line that matters no matter who they hurt. Now these three giants will know what it feels like when foreign companies get an unfair advantage. The very same thing happened in Canada’s top industry. People only got poorer. Thanks to you foreign car buyers. Nice going!

    • FUD. And now “foreign” cars like Toyota and Honda are made in Canada.

      The Big 3 automakers lost marketshare because they sold sub-par products or gas guzzlers and refused to respond to changing market conditions. The Big 3 telcos are now doing the same thing. Instead of responding to the Verizon threat by rapidly expanding their networks and dropping prices (making Canada look less palatable for Verizon), they insist on trying to fight off Verizon through lobbying. They deserve the whooping coming to them.

  75. rogers, telus and bell are robbing us!
    Verizon should come sooner!
    my friends from USA laugh when they hear about our(canadian phone company) rates!

  76. Please explain:
    1. WHen in the last 15 years big 3 have received ‘free’ spectrum
    2. What ‘usable’ spectrum blocks are being hoarded (no, not the wimax ones)
    3. Canada is still leading the pack with LTE deployments. Lots of european countries have yet to deploy it. Explain how we’re lagging speed wise

    • 1. See the 80s and 90s when spectrum was allocated with a “beauty contest”. No need to bid in auction for an allocation. The Big 3 now want us to believe the spectrum wasn’t free because they paid the annual license fees like everybody else. Nobody buys that tosh.

      2. The Big 3 have 85% of all allocated wireless spectrum in Canada. And Rogers alone has three times the spectrum that Verizon has in the USA. Why don’t we have plans with massive talk time and data buckets? What exactly are they hoarding the spectrum for?

      3. Leading the pack with LTE deployments? Compared to a Europe in heavy recession maybe. Now compare to the LTE maps of the American carriers. Meanwhile, let me know when the Big 3 all plan to cover even places near the GTA like Coburg/Port Hope.

      You’re either a Big 3 employee or shareholder. Which is it?

  77. The 3 amigos can bundle wired internet and TV. Verizon would be restricted to no more than 10% total market share which is more than enough to keep them out of that space. So who is the one being treated unfairly?

  78. The 3 amigos can bundle wired internet and TV. Verizon would be restricted to no more than 10% total market share which is more than enough to keep them out of that space. So who is the one being treated unfairly?

  79. I have a Ver.US cell phone plan now, and the cost and advantages are huge. This Canadian oligopoly has had their way too long to our disadvantage, and we have paid big time. We need more REAL competition. A free enterprise Canadian.