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Canadian Incumbents Fight to Keep Verizon Wireless Away
Telus Whines About 'Level Playing Fields' and Fairness
by Karl Bode 12:33PM Friday Jul 19 2013
As we noted yesterday, Verizon Wireless is putting out feelers and exploring the option of an expansion into Canada, specifically in the form of buying up one of the nation's struggling smaller carriers. Not too surprisingly, incumbent operators there don't want this to happen. Telus CEO Darren Entwistle has spent the last week complaining about how there needs to be a "level playing field" if Verizon enters the market (pro tip: the majority of people complaining about "level playing fields" want the exact opposite).

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In the Financial Post, Entwistle warns of a "bloodbath" if Verizon Wireless is allowed to enter the Canadian market, and actually went so far as to insist that more competition would result in things getting worse for the country:
quote:
Darren Entwistle, chief executive of Telus Corp., told the Financial Post during an editorial board meeting Thursday that the government’s campaign to have at least four wireless carriers in a every market will lead to overspending by the incumbents, could leave one of them behind technology-wise, and even threaten investment in services for rural communities.
Of course competition usually does the exact opposite, but who needs facts? Over at the Globe and Mail, Entwistle complains that all they really want is a "level playing field" (again, read: unlevel playing field):
quote:
"All we are asking for is not to be punished. And if we are going to compete against foreign entrants such as Verizon, we feel we have earned the right to a level playing field by the investments that we have made in this country," he said in an interview Thursday, noting the cumulative operating investments of the big three telcos have totalled $420-billion since 2000. Telus alone has invested $100-billion in Canada over the last 13 years.
Whine about unlevel playing fields, tout your often-massaged network investment stats, then malign regulation (unless it's regulation you wrote specifically to screw the other guy). Sound familiar? Under Canadian regulations, while Verizon can own 100% of a company, the company at the time of purchase can't have more than a 10% market share. It also can only grow naturally, and can't engage in further mergers or acquisitions.

Like in the States, the playing field is already tilted in favor of incumbent operators, and most regulators are equally beholden to the biggest, wealthiest companies.

While Bell and Rogers will likely join Telus in crying like toddlers about Verizon Wireless entering the Canadian market and creating more competition, this is a kind of fight Verizon's all too familiar with -- since here in the States, they're usually the ones fighting to keep competition at bay. Unlike Canada's smaller, dying cellular providers, it's a battle Verizon can certainly afford to fight.

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mazhurg
Premium
join:2004-05-02
Brighton, ON

Crocodile tears....

Boo boo Telus, suck it up and actually ... compete?

Make it so that folks _want_ to get on with your company via better service, prices, promotions, reach.

I can keep dreaming no?
camelot

join:2008-04-12
Whitby, ON

Cry babies.

What this actually means, is that Telus is running scared sh*tless with the thought of actual competition starting to ramp up. Hopefully the CRTC gets this one right.

elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2

Re: Cry babies.

They are indeed running scared, the stock prices of Robellus are expected to take another 18-20% hit (on top of the recent "it's a rumour" hit).

Stockholders would revolt and all those CEOs would be looking for work elsewhere.
Beans5

join:2005-07-16
united state

I disagree...

I think that once Verizon hits the market, Verizon and the Bells will come together to somehow make a 4 way monopoly so Verizon can magically grow but have no real competition.

J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Rogers Portable ..

Re: I disagree...

said by Beans5:

I think that once Verizon hits the market, Verizon and the Bells will come together to somehow make a 4 way monopoly so Verizon can magically grow but have no real competition.

Not sure if it would be Bell. More likely Rogers.

Whatever the case, though, I really can't see it going well for Canadians if Verizon were to acquire WIND Mobile. They're the only ones that have a decent monthly plan. Verizon would want to change it to be marginally cheaper than Rogers/Bell/Telus. (Robelus)
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein

ChuckcZar

@teksavvy.com
More like the Bell and Telus executives will be shining the shoes and boots of the Verizon executives.
Mike_C

join:2007-07-19
Vancouver, BC

...

Telus is just worried their massive profit margins will be reduced and have to compete. Their employee cell plan is quite generous and only $15 which they STILL make a profit on. The same package would cost a regular user minimum $70 (promotional rate, not regular rate) and that's with just local minutes only. The employee one has nationwide minutes.
en103

join:2011-05-02

Re: ...

As it has been shown in the past... Canadian wireless rates are some of the highest in the world, and the telcos are the most profitable.

elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2

Re: ...

According to Entwistle, we're the third cheapest in the G7.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by Mike_C:

Their employee cell plan is quite generous and only $15 which they STILL make a profit on.

How do you know? Do you have access to proprietary cost info? Otherwise, you are merely guessing.
--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: ...

VZW used to charge their direct employees $50 for unlimited services. Not sure if this has changed any, but still was a great deal; no contracts, always the best phones at below retail/promo costs and cheap services.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Telus is probably worried about 700MHz

Not sure if 700MHz has been auctioned off yet in CA, but if it hasn't, Verizon can afford to bid more for it than the CA carriers, specifically in the upper C block, because they already have phones and base stations (at scale) that work on that band. Their costs will be lower, though they'll probably wait for VoLTE to switch stuff to the Verizon banner, since none of their phones Stateside support WCDMA in AWS (only LTE).

Assuming Verizon buys Mobilicity, Wind or both (Public Mobile could be an acquisition target due to PCS-G working for slightly modded CDMA devices), Verizon could basically extend Share Everything north of the border and price it $20 lower than in the US for the 1GB plan...and actually get some customers. It won't be the typical Verizon way of doing things, since they won't have an expansive network out of the gate, but they could build one within a year or two.

Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23

Re: Telus is probably worried about 700MHz

There are four desirable 700MHz blocks that will be the most contested (they're presumably the same blocks as in the US). The rules, if memory serves, are that incumbents (such as Telus) can get at most one block, while new entrants (as Verizon would be) are limited to two. This means that even if Verizon decided to throw money at the problem and outbid everybody else, there are still two blocks available in every spectrum region. Verizon couldn't buy out the whole auction even if they wanted to.

Couple this with the fact that Bell and Telus have spectrum/network sharing agreements and that there are only three incumbent carriers, this means that even if Verizon buys the maximum allowable spectrum, all existing incumbents can still get 700 MHz spectrum.

Even in Quebec, where one of the new entrants (Videotron, a cable provider) is basically an incumbent, they have an agreement with Rogers, so still all four incumbents can get 700 MHz spectrum.
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iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Telus is probably worried about 700MHz

Yeah, I figured that Rogers and Bellus would bid as two entities rather than three. They'd just rather not have to compete with a new entrant that can do anything useful.

Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23

Re: Telus is probably worried about 700MHz

Oh, no, they still bid separately. That way, they get twice as much spectrum. It's a nice little loophole in the rules.
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Latest version of CapSavvy systray usage checker: »CapSavvy v4.2 released!

pfak
Premium
join:2002-12-29
Vancouver, BC

Pricing...

The prices will all be the same between the providers, to remain "competitive" in the market. Like they do now. What's the difference?
--
The more I C, the less I see.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: Pricing...

The same as with the USA. You have countless resellers that offer better pricing but people are quick to say "no" because resellers arent options.

Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
The difference is that even if general pricing all remains exactly the same, we could end up with the elimination of US roaming and long distance fees, which would be pretty darned nice.
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TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: Pricing...

that would never happen! that's how they'd make their money back!

Eddy120876

join:2009-02-16
Bronx, NY

"level playing field"

Telus CEO Darren Entwistle has spent the last week complaining about how there needs to be a "level playing field" if Verizon enters the market .

LOL ,LOL ,LOL...hold on i can't stop laughing...LOL....did he really said "level playing field" LMAO
TheRogueX

join:2003-03-26
Springfield, MO
Reviews:
·Mediacom

Admittedly..

We are talking about Verizon, an American company with more customers than Canada has people, and who makes more revenue in a year than every single Canadian wireless operator combined.

I can see why they'd be upset. That's not competition; that's letting loose the angry 800lb gorilla in a room full of baby monkeys.

Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23

Re: Admittedly..

While this is largely just an excuse to avoid having more competition, they do have a point; the 10% marketshare limit on foreign investment means that Verizon can buy their way into the market and end up with a large marketshare through organic growth, while incumbents can't.

This means that under the current rules, you could have the hypothetical situation where Verizon Canada is 100% foreign owned and has the same market share as Bell, while Bell is not allowed to be foreign owned.

I actually agree with the incumbents in that respect. The solution here is not to ban Verizon from entering the market, it's to remove the foreign ownership restriction entirely.
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Treegravy
Premium
join:2011-04-21
canada
Reviews:
·Rogers Hi-Speed

Re: Admittedly..

Foreign ownership restrictions then become an area of National Security as telecommunications are part of the essential infrastructure and the state doesn't want dirty furriners having the off switch or spying on our senators.

elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
I tend to disagree with that, I personally don't want to see Robellus become AT&T/Sprint/Verizon, which is effectively what you will get.

So the US oligopoly will extend to Canada.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1
That makes no sense. Nothing is stopping the incumbents from growing organically. And what does being foreign owned have to do with anything? How is that a "point"? 10% of the market is the max, and that's a difficult restriction for Verizon who is used to "competing" by buying up competition.

chlen
Ethically Challenged
Premium
join:2001-01-16
Saratoga, NY
And VZ is also 45% Vodafone a British firm one of the largest in the world.

I'm not sure why the overall size of the firm would matter in competition? If VZ offers a better product in Canada at a lower price, how is this bad? It would force Telus, Bell, etc... to be more competitive.

We let DT (TMobile in the US), Softbank acquired sprint for all purposes.

The US and Canada are both full of foreign corporations, why should this segment be any different?

Vodafone presence.... »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vodaf···rint.jpg
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This is not the greatest post in the world, no, this is just a tribute!

-
eco
Premium
join:2001-11-28
Wilmington, DE

Re: Admittedly..

Point of quibble, Verizon Wireless is 45% owned by Vodafone, not all of Verizon.

In any case, I agree with you. AT&T Wireless is our only completely domestically owned major wireless network. I suspect Verizon will by out Vodafone's share sooner or later though as has been perennially rumored.

This all sounds to me like fear of competition with people with more resources than them [the Canadian carriers]. What's the point if protecting national carriers from foreign competition if foreign competition could mean better pricing and service for customers?
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: Admittedly..

said by eco:

In any case, I agree with you. AT&T Wireless is our only completely domestically owned major wireless network.

Not really.... 'T' is a public corporation that anyone (with the $$$) can buy into. They are not wholly American owned by any means.

said by eco:

What's the point if protecting national carriers from foreign competition if foreign competition could mean better pricing and service for customers?

Protectionism. Sounds great on paper, never works out in the long run....
eco
Premium
join:2001-11-28
Wilmington, DE

Re: Admittedly..

My point was AT&T is the only major wireless carrier that is not a subsidiary of a foreign based corporation.
xtachx

join:2005-11-19
canada
Reviews:
·voip.ms
BABY MONKEYS? Try a "sly fox" maybe, R/B/T are NOT baby monkeys in any sense. They used to be the 400 lb gorilla in the house, but now an 800lb one is coming, they are scared. Remember how they dissed at Wind/Mobilicity? Verizon would do the same to them.
--
Bell Canada: It is “Preposterous" that consumers should get content they want on their cellphones.

Probitas

@teksavvy.com

this sounds familiar

So the big company comes into the market, drops fees to undercut because they can, then once competition is smothered, up go the fees again due to a lack of competition. We definitely don't need that. Not only that, I wonder how happy Verizon would be to be forced into following the new rules recently passed regarding wireless operators. I would imagine they'd try to hide behind US regs regarding foreign lands where they provide service attempting to force them to abide by those foreign rules. I've already seen that with certain other companies pulling out brick and mortar to avoid consumer friendly laws, and most of those companies are HQ'd in the USA.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Good Luck Canada!

Both AT&T and Verizon are the worst abusers of customers in the United States. I do not see Verizon offering any relief to Canadian customers should they get a foothold into Canada. They would have been much better off with T-Mobile. They might initially shake the tree a little to get market share, but in the end they will be just as nasty and anti-consumer as Robbers, Bellus or Hell.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH

verizon

telus are you don't want Verizon in Canada you could team up like Verizon and At&t did and charge a lot of money for small amounts of data!(share everything plans)
DanteX

join:2010-09-09
kudos:1

Re: verizon

Or do what they are doing in the Areas Affected by Hurricane Sandy and replace downed lines with Crappy Wireless phone solution that doesn't included data or 911

Seriously Verizon is a company who sees a future in cutting data lines to move people to costly small data plans.
xtachx

join:2005-11-19
canada

Re: verizon

And telus is a company who can justify $155 for a 6GB plan. Riiiight, telus the the same crap as verizon.

Nasri

@rogers.com

Welcomed

Telus and Bell are just scared and this is expected. Entwistle worried about his stock options. Greed knee jerk expected reaction.

Verizon can do a deal with Rogers to share infrastructure just like bell and telus have.
Hmm the incumbent stocks are indicating things...

•••

Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

1 recommendation

LMAO!

said by FFH5:

said by Mike_C:

Their employee cell plan is quite generous and only $15 which they STILL make a profit on.

How do you know? Do you have access to proprietary cost info? Otherwise, you are merely guessing.

I think you're the one out of their depth here, son. Telus has what is known as 'Employee Concession Plans' that are very rich with minutes, features, and data. The cost is minimal. When I worked for Telus, it was $6.95 a month plus tax.

So, STFU unless you know what you're talking about. You obviously don't.
--
"I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots." ~ Albert Einstein
CR123

join:2006-11-04
Vancouver, BC

Re: LMAO!

Poster was referring to making a profit on the plans, not that the plans exist.

Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

Re: LMAO!

Once more again, with feeling. He's out of his depth.
Cloneman

join:2002-08-29
Montreal
kudos:4
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Bell Fibe

telus...

I've always felt telus doesn't take a fair share of flak and public backlast, and tries too much to exhibit a positive image in their advertising, while being no different than the other incumbents in their policies and offerings.

They also tend to carefully craft every press release and CRTC filing, to make sure their point of view and wording is to their advantage.

Perhaps i'm seeing things that aren't there; but I would argue that TELUS, once you read middle management , is the least consumer centric company; focused on cold hard metrics and tugs of war with regulators, the media, and customers.

Rogers and Bell from my perspective will occasionally come out with a nice offering or new innovation for their customers

It's been a while since I've seen Telus give anyone an inch of rope. weren't they the ones whining also when sub brands like chatr and virgin came out?

•••

I_H8_Spam

join:2004-03-10
St Catharines, ON

Not in Kansas anymore

While I applaud any attempt at opening up the markets here, and hope soon to have phone options similar in price to USA; and hopefully EU/Asia in due course.

Let's not forget why Verizon is looking, the ARPU in Canada is significantly higher then the USA. Also it makes sense geographically to have presence here, as they can avoid roaming costs going out the door; and market minute sharing Cross Border plans.
--
AFK: Attack, fight, kill!! The healer is telling you to go pull mobs.
WTF: Way to fight! The healer is applauding your tactical genius
averagecdn

join:2005-03-14
Windsor, ON
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable

Verizon coming to canada can only bring good things

I work in the US and on a daily basis I have dealings with Verizon. A few of the things to note about verizon

1) Amazing customer service. I deal with alot of customer service people at different companies and by far Verizon beats then all.
2) Network capability in the US is amazing and they are always willing to help you out if you experience problems with devices like Network Extenders (even for non business customers)
3) Did I mention customer service is amazing
4) Very competitve rates to all other providers and will to work with the customer to make sure what they are getting is the best that they can offer.

I have never had to threaten Verizon with cutting the number of devices due to service issues, poor customer service or ridiculous pricing. On the other hand I have had to do this with Rogers many times to fnally get what I want.

Verizon coming to Canada means more competition, and not from a small company like Wind Mobile or Mobilicity, you are talking about competition from a company that is more than likely larger than Rogers, Telus or Bell.

ground

join:2008-01-16
Toronto, ON
Reviews:
·Rogers Hi-Speed

Rogers propaganda

The worst part is that 99.9% of the population in Canada don't understand what on earth is going on. Rogers and Bell put their "Fair for Canada" propaganda on TV, radio and all over internet. People are like blind sheep will listen to whatever Rogers is telling them. I really wish Verizon comes to Canada and shows Rogers their place with all the caps, overage charges and bandwidth throttling!!!