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Canadian Big 3 Telecoms Scramble to Defend Against New Rivals

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Canadian Big 3 Telecoms Scramble to Defend Against New Rivals

Only offering Neapolitan ice cream in a country as big as Canada is outrageous; so why has it taken so long for more than 3 wireless providers to offer service in Canada? The Big Three Wireless Providers, Bell (TSE:BCE), Telus (TSE:T), and Rogers (TSE:RCI.B) have controlled the CRTC for far too long and are fighting hard not to lose that control.
Last year it was announced that the Canadian Government decided that times have changed and since Canadians have been gauged by Bell, Rogers and Telus for far too long, an auction would be set to effectively allow other companies to offer wireless service in Canada. That auction came and passed and consumers have been waiting well over a year now to see some results. A previous article on this blog, New Cell Phone Competition: What’s in store for Canadian Telecom Giants, announced the new companies that were successful in their bids for wireless contracts and provided the amount they spent on those contracts.

Bell, Rogers, and Telus have not given up their fight to remain masters and have thrown every trick in their CRTC complaint book to the board. The most notable has been the uproar about a private company called Globalive ( Globalive is thought to be the only real threat to the big 3 as Globalive has the potential to become another national carrier. The Bell, Telus, Rogers oligopoly went so far as to try to force the CRTC to forbid Globalive from operating in Canada for a bunch of insignificant details. To read more about the CRTC’s decisions with reference to this case take a look at ISPs upset with latest CRTC ruling.

The brand name that Globalive is entering the market under is WIND. WIND has a 10 year history of operations in Italy and Greece and has a strong reputation throughout Europe. This should challenge Telus, Rogers and Bell into providing better service in Canada at more affordable rates. WIND is meant to launch in the fall of 2009 so it’s no wonder Bell and Telus recently made a major announcement.

Now Bell, and Telus announced that they will be offering the iPhone starting in November according to an October 5th article in the Globe and Mail titled “Bell, Telus to launch iPhone next month.” This sounds like, looks like and tastes another attempt by 2 of the 3 big wireless providers to lock up some unknowing customers on 3 year deals before some of the new providers can start their major advertising campaigns. If you are not on a contract already then wait it out for a great deal.

If you are an investor in any of the big three wireless providers I warn you one more time, market share is in jeopardy and profits will be cut by price wars.

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