Briefing

Bell tells the CRTC consumers won’t really benefit from MVNOs

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Company representatives told the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s wireless hearings that a resale model—under which mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) without their own infrastructure or spectrum would get regulated access at set rates to existing networks—would lead to reduced investment, innovation and service quality. CEO Mirko Bibic said the proposed policy would mark a major regulatory change as firms start to roll out 5G networks. (MobileSyrup, The Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: The Big Three carriers have repeated their arguments against MVNOs—primarily that the wireless market is already competitive, and requiring them to sell space disincentivizes investment—frequently since the CRTC indicated a shift in its position in March 2019. Bibic has been particularly outspoken on the issue, calling it “really bad public policy” to set a regulatory objective of having “the cheapest communications services in the world.” The presence of the new CEO at the CRTC hearing underscores the importance of the MVNO outcome for major telecom firms.