Due to the lack of competition among the Canadian wireless industry, Federal Industry Minister James Moore is lobbying for a fourth wireless competitor to step up to the plate to compete against, what is called, the Big Three – Rogers Communications Inc., TELUS Corp. and BCE (Bell of Canada). It seems as though Quebecor’s Videotron Division is ready to do just that – take on the Big Three by expanding their service with a National rollout. Due to the lack of competition at the last spectrum auction, Quebecor took advantage and purchased spectrum in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario just in case the opportunity of expansion presents itself. Newly appointed CEO Pierre Dion, speaking at the Canadian Telecom Summit, rather shocked the audience when he said that they were:
“Contemplating the possibility of consolidation with one or two of the undercapitalized new wireless entrants (read that as WIND Mobile and Mobilicity). If completed, this would allow us to almost triple our customer base. Our vision is to provide Canadians with a new high quality, low-cost wireless choice and real wireless competition. We aim to deliver real low-cost wireless plans for consumers, real wireless competition, and a real new offering in the Canadian marketplace. Under the right conditions, we are ready, willing and able to become Canada’s fourth wireless competitor.”
When Dion says, “under the right conditions,” he is referring to the Government federally regulating roaming charges that currently favors the Big Three. He explains:
“The key unresolved issue is the wholesale roaming prices charged by incumbents to new entrant competitors. If this barrier can be brought into line on a competitive level playing field that is fair to all service providers, we will be standing at the dawn of a new era of wireless competition and expansion in Canada.”
Dion insists that they are in a great position to offer attractive wireless plans to all Canadians looking for high quality service and very competitive pricing. They have invested $1.6 billion in towers and spectrum – including the $233 million recently spent on the highly prized 700Mhz spectrum. This spectrum allows for greater penetration through concrete, assuring better coverage in office buildings, elevators, in basements or parking garages that may be underground. He continued:
“Vid©otron’s plan is based upon achieving meaningful market penetration through offering Canadians outside Quebec the country’s best low-cost subscriber plans. The major investments we have made and intend to make in spectrum, expanded network and consolidation with willing partners, would enable us to deliver genuinely competitive, low cost, high quality wireless services to consumers.”
Dion claims that the Big Three justify their high process by comparing themselves to AT&T and Verizon in the U.S., but says that is not fair because North Americans typically pay 50-percent more for the same data as those in Europe. By looking at the chart below, a much fairer comparison, you can see just how much more the typical Canadian is paying for their service.
Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know if you would like to see Quebecor’s Videotron become part of the Big Four…as always, we would love to hear from you.