An interesting debate between Kevin Crull, President Bell Media vs Keith Pelley, President Rogers Media plus — Kirstine Stewart, CBC and Paul Robertson, Shaw Media at 2012 Banff World Media Festival. Have a watch of the debate. This debate is particularly interesting in light of Gary Carter’s presentation at MPJC 2012.
From WIND’s Tony, “The 700 MHZ Spectrum Auction: What it means for you”
“The upcoming 700 MHZ auction will continue to shape the future of wireless competition in Canada. Every stakeholder wants to influence how the auction will be held and on Monday, all parties were invited to file submissions with Industry Canada outlining how they felt the spectrum should be divided.
In our case, we argued that all of the 700MHZ spectrum should be set aside for only new entrants to bid on (like last time). Why? Because the Big Three don’t need it, and we do, and they will do anything, and pay anything, to keep us from getting it. The Big Three are among the most spectrum-rich operators in the entire world and are already sitting on vast amounts of unused spectrum (we call it warehousing). The Big Three acquiring and sitting on all this spectrum doesn’t do you, the consumers, any good. In fact, it hurts because it is yet another way they seek to limit competition.
The spectrum they are sitting on, by the way, includes all of the spectrum they bought in the 2008 auction. Good thing there was spectrum set aside in that auction and good for the Government for resisting the Big Three’s arguments (they are making the same arguments this time around, of course).
We want to see this spectrum benefit consumers. Spectrum in the hands of new entrants like WIND Mobile will help take Canada (finally!) out of the dark ages of wireless. Competition is the #1 key to better wireless choice and value in Canada, but new entrants like us need spectrum. Oh, and we’ll use it!
Industry Canada is expected to set the auction rules later this year so we will keep you posted.”
According to G&M, Apr. 27, 2011 “Rogers to launch LTE wireless by end of year”
“Rogers and other major phone companies are concerned the 700 MHz spectrum will be reserved for new entrants in the market as part of the federal government’s efforts to open the market to greater competition.
“It would be a shame if our nine million wireless customers were denied the benefit of this low-band spectrum,” Mr. Mohamed told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting. “Put simply, we need rules that apply equally to everyone.””
For the record.
G&M, Apr. 27, 2011 “Rogers to launch LTE wireless by end of year”
Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI.B-T35.260.521.50%) will launch the next generation of wireless technology in four major Canadian cities by the end of the year, promising high-speed Internet access on mobile devices will be as fast as is currently available on home and office computers. Read the rest of this entry »
Check out Globe and Mail’s article “Wind Mobile lodges complaint against Rogers over Chatr” and video interview about this story. Here is an excerpt from WIND Mobile Chairman Tony Lacavera’ blog entry “Healthy Competition in Canada” (emphasis added),
There is a policy issue related to Chatr’s claims about dropped calls that I’d like to address. In most countries around the world when a customer moves from one carrier’s network to another, there is a seamless transition for the caller. That means that when a customer moves from one carrier to another while conducting a call, the call continues and doesn’t drop. It’s called a seamless hand-off. In Canada however, the government does not obligate carriers to provide seamless handoff and our roaming partner has refused to give our customers the benefit of seamless handoff. The result is that when one of our customers moves from our Wind home zone to our roaming partner’s network, (we call it an “Away” zone) her call drops. When it decided to introduce competition into the telecom sector, the federal government thought about requiring incumbents to give new entrants seamless hand-off. The incumbents lobbied hard and successfully against this. As a result, our customers do have some dropped calls that they would not otherwise have. This is not because of any issues with the quality of our network but because the incumbents are taking advantage of a government policy which gives them a competitive advantage.