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Canada Launches Wholesale Mobile Consultation
Source: totaltele.com
Source Date: Friday, February 21, 2014
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Canada
Created: Feb 24, 2014

Canada has opened a public consultation to review whether its wholesale mobile services sector is sufficiently competitive.

The Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has invited comments about the current state of the wholesale market, including wholesale roaming and tower sharing. The regulator also wants to gauge opinion on whether greater regulatory oversight would be appropriate in the event that the level of competition is found wanting.

"Through this consultation, we are reviewing whether the wholesale wireless services market is fostering a sustainable level of competition in the retail market, both today and in the future," said CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais, in a statement on Thursday.

"This is an important question. Sustainable competition between wireless service providers can offer many benefits to Canadians, including access to high-quality networks, innovative services and reasonable prices," he said.

The consultation is due to close on 1 May, and the CRTC has scheduled a public hearing on the subject for 29 September.

The move follows the conclusion earlier this week of Canada's 700-MHz auction, which as well as providing existing players with additional spectrum was designed to sow the seeds of stiffer competition.

While Canada's big three – BCE, Rogers and Telus – spent big on frequencies, smaller players also won spectrum. Videotron picked up the most, securing licences in seven regions.

In total, the auction process raised C$5.27 billion ($4.7 billion).
(By Nick Wood)

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