Shaw argues against mandated resale MVNO access, says it would threaten competition

It says it would be difficult to compete with resellers that have the advantages of regulated MVNO access

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Shaw Communications has argued against mandated resale MVNO access, saying that it would threaten competition and innovation in the wireless market.

“We are not opposed to MVNOs naturally evolving, but mandated resale access is not required for this to happen. Canadians won’t gain anything from rules that destroy Freedom’s ability to continue pressuring the Big Three,” the carrier said during the CRTC’s public hearing.

As part of the public hearings, the CRTC is considering whether MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) should have mandated access to wireless service providers’ networks. MVNOs are providers that don’t have an established network, and instead rent access to existing networks.

Shaw says that MVNO resale regulation doesn’t make sense, and that it would hurt Freedom much more than it would disrupt the Big Three.

The company says that its Big Gig plans would not have been possible if Freedom did not have its own network. It states that Shaw invested billions of dollars to build a new LTE-Advanced network, and that its network independence is the reason it successfully disrupted the market.

Shaw claims that MVNO resellers could not replicate this level of innovation because they are dependent on the Big Three’s networks.

The company says that it would be difficult to compete with resellers that have the advantages of regulated MVNO access. It says that resellers would focus on short-term profits and enter and exit the market as they please while enjoying regulated access to extensive national networks, without having to deal with any of the burdens facing Freedom because they don’t have to build anything or undertake any risk.

On a separate note, Shaw is concerned that too many Freedom calls get dropped when a user is outside of its network area. The company is asking for mandated seamless handoffs, which would require the Big Three to provide a handoff to their networks.