OTTAWA and GATINEAU, QC, July 31, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that it is prohibiting exclusivity provisions in roaming agreements between Canadian wireless service providers to further enhance sustainable competition in the wireless market.
In December 2013, the CRTC initiated a formal public proceeding to examine whether certain wireless service providers were subjecting smaller Canadian competitors to unjustly discriminatory roaming rates, terms and conditions. The CRTC has found clear instances of unjust discrimination by Rogers Communications Partnership (Rogers).
Rogers has imposed exclusivity clauses in roaming agreements that prohibited smaller service providers from using networks from any other carrier. Additionally, they charged some new Canadian service providers significantly higher roaming rates compared to rates for other wireless service providers.
The CRTC is also currently looking at the competitive state of the wireless market and will hold a public hearing on this issue on September 29, 2014.
- The CRTC is concerned that situations of unjust discrimination do not promote fair and sustainable competition in the wholesale wireless market.
- Canadian wireless service providers are now prohibited from using exclusivity provisions in wholesale roaming agreements for service in Canada.
- The CRTC found clear instances of unjust discrimination by Rogers with certain new wireless service providers in agreements regarding wholesale roaming rates.
- In June 2014, the Telecommunications Act was amended to include a formula that service providers must use to calculate caps for wholesale roaming rates. As such, the CRTC will not impose any remedy or rates for wholesale agreements.
- To assist in fulfilling its mandate regarding the amendment to the Telecommunications Act, a letter was sent to wireless service providers on July 28, 2014 requesting information on how they are calculating the roaming caps.
- A proceeding is ongoing to examine the competitive state of the wholesale wireless services market and whether regulatory measures are required in order for Canadians to have more choice for wireless services.
"Competition in the wireless industry benefits society and the economy by providing innovative communications services at reasonable prices. But that is only the case when true and sustainable competition is at play. Today's decision will help promote fairness and a better consumer experience with wireless for Canadians."
Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman
Telecom Decision CRTC 2014-398 - Wholesale mobile wireless roaming in Canada – Unjust discrimination/undue preference
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-685 - Wholesale mobile wireless roaming in Canada – Unjust discrimination/undue preference
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-76 - Review of wholesale mobile wireless services
CRTC invites comments on the state of competition in the wholesale mobile wireless services market
CRTC to take closer look at wholesale roaming rates, terms and conditions in Canada
SOURCE: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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