WIND Mobile battling TELUS to bring cell service to Vancouver public transit

WIND Mobile’s parent company, Globalive, is bringing the heat to Vancouver over allegations that TELUS is acting in a monopolistic way by preventing the new entrant from accessing cell service along the city’s public transit system.

In 2008, TELUS entered into an agreement with the City of Vancouver and InTransit BC to build out in-tunnel wireless service. Globalive is accusing TELUS of having a “local monopoly” by charging exorbitant rates to access the existing infrastructure. The conditions of TELUS’ original agreement stated that they must provide access to the system for at least three other wireless carriers but at rates that would allow them to recuperate expenses and allow for regular upgrades to the system.

Agreements with Rogers and Bell are already in place, so there is space for WIND to enter the market. Talks broke down in April, however, due to TELUS’ high asking prices. The City of Vancouver and TELUS argue that Globalive’s missive to the CRTC is “premature,” stating that nothing is preventing the company from negotiating reasonably-priced entry into the system. WIND argues, however, that “this is simply an example of an institutional issue that we have across this country, which is that the incumbents have had a 30-year head start on new entrants.”

TELUS, on the other hand, dismisses Globalive’s claim, stating they are “colourful and hyperbolic, [and] somewhat outrageous.”

Source: The Globe & Mail