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 March 2015 - Moore's Law
 June 2014 - Get it Wholesale!
 December 2013 - The Quest to Drive Consumer Benefit
 August 2013 - Why Canada? Why Now?
 April 2013 - Withering on Vine
 February 2013 - Mad as Hell!!
 March 2012 - Visiting Martians Shop for Broadband!
 February 2012 - Long Term Evolutionary Challenge: Limiting Wireless Carrier Gluttony
 November 2011 - Aide-Memoire: Foreign Investment in Canadian Telecommunications
 September 2011 - Pirates of the Arctic
 July 2011 - Some Notes for Canada’s Newest Industry Minister – An Open Letter
 May 2011 – A Tide in the Affairs of Men
 April 2011 – The Woods are Lovely, Dark and Deep: The Case for a Remote-Rural Exception in Frequency
 March 2011 – Hertz Much? Canadian Wireless Spectrum Valuation
 February 2011 – Over the Rainbow: Thoughts on the Canadian 700 MHz Discussion
 December 2010 - Strategic Air Commands: Mobile Carriers Embrace On-demand Activation
 October 2010 - There be Dragons: Canada’s Xenophobia in Telecoms Ownership
 July 2010 - Death Grip
 March 2010 - Wind in the Willows
 December 2009 - Gone with the Wind? Wireless Entrant Faces Arctic Reception in Canada
 November 2009 - Herding Cats: Managing a Wireless Community
 October 2009 - It's In The Air: Wireless Delivers the Promise of Broadband – Without the Wait
 August 2009 - Heart of [Wireless] Darkness: A SeaBoard Look At Wireless International Roaming
 April 2009 – A Giant Step Backwards: Canada’s CRTC Moves to Re-Monopolize Communications Marketplace
 March 2009 - Canadian Wireless Stakes:The Shape Of A Market To Come
 January 2009 - Paradise Lost
 December 2008 - Internet Hot Like Laval's
 October 2008 - Sow's Ear into a Silk Purse: Exploiting the Potential of the G-block
 October 2008 - Reason, Not Romance: A Better Internet in the Balance
 September 2008 - Start Your Engines:Canada’s Wireless Challengers Hit The Road
 May 2008 - Champagne Tastes: Beer Budgets
 March 2008 - So, You Want To Become A Wireless Services Provider?
 February 2008 - It Isn’t About Paying Paul Without Robbing Peter:Reflections on the CTF Debate
 February 2008 - The Race is On! Toronto Hydro Puts Toronto Hydro Telecom on the Block
 SeaBoard Group - 2007 Year End Review
 November 2007 - Wireless Data Prices, How do Canadians fare?
 August 2007 - SeaBoard Market Update & Outlook
 March 2007 - Lament For A Wireless Nation - A Cross-National Survey of Wireless Service Prices
 January 2007 - Looking Back Looking Forward
 November 2006 - Whither MVNOs
 September 2006 - Communications Pricing for Consumers 2006
 July 2006 - Knowing Me Knowing You
 June 2006 - Avoiding the Tragedy of Dorothy
 May 2006 - SeaBoard Sentinel - Knowing Thy Neighbour
 April 2006 - Escape Velocity- Videotron Pushes the Limit for Canada
 March 2006 - Leaving Jurassic Park - New Era in Mobile Services
 February 2006 - Coming to a Screen Near You: Telco TV
 Brace Yourself! 2006; Year in Preview
 November 2005 - Vox Populi: The People Speak
 October 2005 - Mobile Instant Messaging: Power of Presence
 September 2005 - Arming the Contenders
 August 2005 - Top of the First - The VoIP Battle Begins
 July 2005 - Lessons for Canada; Wireless Pricing - A Cross National Survey
 April 2005 - The Anarchist Cookbook
 March 2005 - God's Machine
 January 2005 - An Exciting Year Ahead
 December 2004 - The Medium is not the Message!
 December 2004 - Old Bottles, New Wine
 October 2004 - Billing - Beyond Feeds and Speeds
 Sept 2004 - Cabled Canada
 July 2004 - It's Your Call
 May 2004 - Field(s) And Stream
 April 2004 - Through The Portal - Smartly
 March 2004 - VoIP across the Enterprise: Proceeding Cautiously - the CompUSA story
 Feb 2004 - Get Shorty! - Canada's Wireless Market
 November 2003 - The Importance of Being Ernestine
 October 2003 - Wireless Wonderland
 October 2003 - Behind the Veil of Convergence: Lauding Logistics
 Sept 2003 - Beyond Ernestine - Your Call is Important To Us
 August 2003 - Not Your Parents' Phone
 July 2003 - Canadians Cut Their Wires
 May 2003 - Communications Pricing for Consumers
 January 2003 - Catharsis of Penury
 January 2003 - No Worries!
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The Quest to Drive Consumer Benefit

The State of Competition in Canada's Wireless Marketplace


December 2013 - IGB Grant +1 514 849 3508, Amit Kaminer +1 416 413 1636 and Lindsay Shaddy




It has been an eventful year in the Canadian wireless marketplace. Rumours that U.S. telecom giant Verizon might re-enter the Canadian marketplace with a retail presence set off a storm of "save Canadian companies" protests as Canada's incumbent carriers sought shelter from the threatened U.S. juggernaut incursion by cowering behind the maple leaf. The Canadian government responded to the jingoism by reiterating its commitment to its aim of using its powers to design a marketplace framework that would bring consumers more of the benefits of a competitive marketplace — and that design included access to the Canadian marketplace for non-Canadian-owned companies.

In the end, the object of this sturm und drang, Verizon Communications, elected not to proceed with an investment in the Canadian wireless marketplace, but the debate continued.

The debate centred around the Canadian government's focus on broadening competition in the marketplace. The principle of competition is broadly supported — why, even the incumbent carriers were amongst the first to declare their support for a competitive marketplace framework. Yet many observers point to the travails of the AWS-band challengers (companies that were encouraged to enter the marketplace fray with blocks of frequencies that had been set-aside for "challengers" in the 2007 spectrum auction). One company, Public Mobile, sold to Telus; another, Mobilicity, is in the midst of a court-supervised auction-based breakup; and a third, Wind, is owned by a reluctant proprietor who isn't convinced that its Canadian business should be a priority. These are not the most auspicious of developments from Canada's "Wireless Spring."

Does this mean that the government's focus on the wireless marketplace was misplaced? Or does it mean that the mechanisms the government chose to use were flawed?
We argue "No" to the first, and "No" to the second.

Government's focus on the wireless marketplace is important. Canadians have adopted wireless/mobile services in smaller numbers than anywhere in the developed world. As a country, our wireless penetration lags behind the average penetration in the developing world, and our wireless adoption rate is ahead, only, of the African average.

Does that matter? Many economists would argue that it does. There is a direct correlation between mobile/wireless adoption and GDP/capita. Higher mobile adoption equates to higher national income. Canadians are paying a penalty for lower adoption. Indeed, our research suggests that the impact of our closed wireless marketplace structure costs every Canadian at least $8,500/year — a high price to pay to support an oligopoly.

Moreover, there are good news stories from the 2007 marketplace framework initiative. Prices have fallen. Service levels have improved. Network technologies have been upgraded. Artifacts of a constipated marketplace, like system access fees and lengthy contracts, have been removed. And two of the 2007 auction process winners, EastLink and Videotron, are strong and vibrant, offering choice to Canadians in their territories and keeping the incumbent operators from slipping back into their old revenue-maximizing ways.

We urge the Canadian government to stay the course. Don't let the nay-sayers, the vassals of the oligopolists, distract you from your purpose.



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Thursday, 25 February 2021

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