The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved the final terms for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) network access. Within 90 days, the large mobile carriers must open up their networks to virtual operators and negotiate access arrangements.
According to the CRTC, this should result in new regional rivals selling plans soon, giving Canadians additional options in mobile services.
“The CRTC is taking action to promote competition in the cellphone services market. Today’s decision builds on our efforts to ensure that Canadians benefit from lower prices and more choice for telecommunications services,” said CRTC CEO Vicky Eatrides.
In an effort to boost competition and lower retail rates, the CRTC decided in 2021 to make wholesale network access obligatory for large operators. Since then, it has been developing a framework for assuring affordable network access for MVNOs.
The CRTC issued a series of judgments related to the introduction of seamless roaming in 2022 to ensure that this feature is provided to regional cellular operators and their consumers on time. When consumers migrate from one serving area to another, seamless hand-off avoids calls and data sessions from stopping.
The commission also made decisions to ease roaming on 5G stand-alone networks as they are deployed, ensuring that regional wireless providers are not disadvantaged in comparison to national wireless carriers.
The most recent decision affects Bell, Telus, Rogers, and Sasktel. They must have their networks ready for wholesale services within 30 days and offer seamless hand-off to new service providers within 90 days. If they are unable to strike commercial agreements with the newcomers within 90 days, the CRTC has the authority to intervene and arbitrate a settlement.
This comes after CRTC launched a public consultation on whether to ban Fox News from Canadian airwaves following a complaint about incendiary comments made about LGBTQ2 people on the right-wing American network, specifically on the show of former anchor Tucker Carlson.
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