If you’re a customer of Mobilicity, Public Mobile, or Wind Mobile, you have to deal with roaming. In short, if you leave any of their networks, you have to use one of the networks of the big three carriers. And it costs you big. That got the attention of the CRTC and they’ve decided to investigate what the big three charge for roaming and if it provides an “unfair competitive disadvantage”:
Based on information obtained by the CRTC, some of the large providers are charging, or proposing to charge, their smaller Canadian competitors significantly higher wholesale roaming rates than those charged to U.S.-based wireless companies. Wholesale rates are different from, but can impact, the retail rates companies charge to their customers.
“We are concerned that some wireless companies may be making it unfairly difficult for Canadian providers that do not operate a national network to compete in the marketplace,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. “We have the authority to ensure that companies do not give themselves an unfair competitive advantage. This includes charging wholesale wireless roaming rates that are unjustly discriminatory or by insisting on unduly restrictive terms and conditions. If we find that this is happening in the market, we will act to rectify the situation.”
This is a good thing as I’ve always been concerned that new entrants were always were going to be, for lack of a better description, hosed by the big three as a means of keeping them from being real competition. We’ll see if anything comes of it, but I suspect something might as wireless pricing is a priority of the Canadian Government.