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    CANADA'S WIRELESS WONDERLAND  
    Portable Numbers as Pistons of Progress  
   

October 2003- IGB Grant +1 514 849 3508
& Brian Sharwood +1 416 413 9381

 

 
    KEY HIGHLIGHTS:  
 

  • SeaBoard contends that local number portability between wireless carriers is a distraction – the only number portability that really matters, the only portability that gives consumers real choice and will drive the telecom industry forward, is portability between wireless and wireline. The U.S. market fascination with ‘number portability’ is really a nonissue in Canada. Canada’s regulators have already acted to make ‘ portable numbers’ a feature of the Canadian telecom landscape.
  • Portable numbers in action: companies like Sprint Canada and Microcell are what are as known as Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs)– they have gone through a formal process set up by Canada’s telecom regulator, the CRTC, to enable local number portability. Sprint is already active in the market, offering Canadians choice in local communications services – choice that is not hampered by ‘giving-up’ your local telephone number. That number makes the journey from old provider to Sprint Canada if you do.
  • What’s new: Microcell, a Canadian wireless provider, has just introduced CityFido™ in the Vancouver, and lower B.C. mainland market. CityFido offers wireline-like quantity of service (unlimited number of minutes) and a free regional calling area for only about a 50% premium over wireline services. It also represents a savings, at least for heavy cell users, from other mobile carrier services.
  • What’s important: the Microcell offer is focussed on migrating wireline users to wireless. Number portability is a key feature. SeaBoard thinks this is an important innovation. An innovation that Canada’s telecom regulators have been waiting for, for five long years.
  • What’s next: We caution the other wireless carriers not to react too quickly. This is not (really) a focussed provocation to you and your present plans: Microcell is, we think, after bigger fish. Other wireless companies need to keep their eyes on the bigger picture; the wireline base (retaining or eroding, as the case may be) is the true prize. Rogers should watch the CityFido action closely – don’t be afraid to emulate, but avoid the missteps that may haunt the first mover. Rogers has little to lose in the short term and much to gain as the local competition wireless alternative develops.
 
   

 

 

 

   


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Thursday, 13 December 2018

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