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Competition Bureau has a new plan to help lower your cell phone bill

Last Updated Nov 25, 2019 at 7:11 am PDT

(iStock Photo)
Summary

Canadians could save on their cellphone bills if the Big Three were faced with more competition from regional carriers

Competition Bureau tells CRTC customers could see savings if Rogers, Bell, Telus sold temporary access

Bureau believes MVNO policy would spur price competition in short term, avoid risk of declining quality in long term

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Competition Bureau has an idea that could help lower your cell phone bill.

The watchdog has told the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) it’s time to increase competition in this country, and explains forcing the Big Three carriers — Rogers, Bell and Telus — to sell network access to smaller carriers would do the trick.

It says the savings could be “substantial,” and in a report to the regulator, the agency says when you look at where it’s already happening, like here in Vancouver, prices are a much as 40 per cent lower.

However, it adds wireless disruptors like Freedom Mobile and Videotron are only in certain parts of the country, so too few Canadians are benefiting from their impact.

The idea is for the CRTC to pursue a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) policy, which would see Rogers, Bell, and Telus have to sell temporary access to their networks to the little guys, who would then invest and further expand their own networks.

It believes this would spur additional price competition in the short term, while avoiding the risk of declining network quality in the long term.

“While there are promising signs of greater competition from wireless disruptors, many Canadians have not yet fully experienced those benefits,” a release reads.

Rogers is the parent company of this station.