At the CRTC public hearings on the review of wholesale mobile wireless services, Quebecor reiterated its desire to introduce on the Canadian market new mobile offerings that will bring Canadian consumers top-notch mobile services at highly competitive prices. The company articulated a vision of genuine mobile competition that would benefit all Canadians.
In Québec, Videotron has demonstrated that having a fourth facilities-based competitor gives consumers more choice, better service and lower prices. All Canadians can enjoy the same benefits if the CRTC creates the right conditions.
With respect to those conditions, Quebecor reminded the CRTC that it is vitally important to introduce without delay roaming charges based on real network usage costs.
Currently, the rates stipulated by Bill C-31 are based on costs that include equipment subsidies, marketing, customer acquisition, retail and online distribution channels, customer service and debt collection, noted Ms. Brouillette.
It is unfair and absurd to make new entrants finance the incumbent carriers by supporting their business operations in this way. No new entrant, no matter how financially healthy, can sustain such high roaming charges.
On the subject of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), Quebecor urged the CRTC to focus on new facilities-based players that invest in new technology and stimulate innovation by pushing the incumbents to do likewise.
After all these years of investment in spectrum, infrastructure and development by the new market entrants, it would be illogical and indeed unfair to start favouring MVNOs, said Ms. Brouillette.
To date, Videotron has invested more than $1.8 billion in purchasing spectrum and building out its mobile network.
Ms. Brouillette also discussed the difficulties Videotron has encountered in sharing the incumbent carriers’ transmission towers. Quebecor therefore asked the CRTC to address the inefficiencies that are unduly delaying the expansion of mobile service in Canada and called for stricter regulation.