: Would a loosening of foreign ownership restrictions result in even more competitive s


Ottawaman
Jun 28th, 2008, 10:18 AM
Would a loosening of foreign ownership restrictions result in even more competitive service providers?

Almost $4 billion
At the end of the day on Thursday, bidding for AWS spectrum cracked through $3.9B and it seems to keep creeping up almost $5M per round. At that pace, we will get close to, but not quite at the $4B level before the week is through. I have already written about my thoughts on how the government might reinvest its windfall in enhancing accessibility to broadband by lower income Canadians. I noticed coverage in Tech Media Reports as well.

At the Canadian Telecom Summit on Tuesday, Ken Engelhart did some quick arithmetic to show that the amounts are in line with valuations in recent auctions in other countries - it's just that his comparables were for different frequency bands.

Still, we can be confident that the business plans still justify the levels. The question of where will all the capital come from remains. How many global players have stayed away because of foreign ownership restrictions?

While there are certainly legal constructs that can allow companies to satisfy a license review, how many companies have stayed clear of such games because they tend to believe that if they are putting up most of the bucks, they should get to control the board?

Would a loosening of foreign ownership restrictions result in even more competitive service providers?

Telecom Trends (http://www.mhgoldberg.com/blog/)

It is not Rogers to blame as it is just by-product of the system. It is the protectionist regime promoted by various Canadian governments that is promoted at the behest of such corporates such as Rogers which would just not allow competition. That is the very reason, that Canada even though is a developed nation but its p
olicies are still anarchaic in practice. Be it phone plans, internet access plans, insurance etc. when compared to any other G8 nations. Canada needs to open up and become global in true mode and allow completion which benefits its people, fosters development and its own innovations, creates its own economy force and not just benefit 100 odd individuals (owners of these corporates) in Canada. Problem is to figure out as to how to make this happen by forcing the review of strategies of the government and corporates of Canada & achieve desired objectives
Canadian iPhone 3G plans lack unlimited data (http://crave.cnet.com/8601-1_105-9979657.html?communityId=2007&targetCommunityId=2007&messageId=749454#749454)

I think that there will be an election this fall. I wonder if these types of issues will come into play.

chas_m
Jun 28th, 2008, 04:42 PM
FINALLY someone comes up with an effective way to protest Rogers' unwillingness to match the US contracts!

WELL DONE, Ottawaman!

Make the argument that Rogers is HOLDING BACK CANADA from being a global player on the BUSINESS stage and you have in your hands an issue that will not only get attention but TRANSCENDS which company (Apple or RIM) you are talking about!

Call your MP!

EvanPitts
Jun 28th, 2008, 08:53 PM
Canada is far lagging the world, with the fact that the adoption of GSM is perhaps ten years or more too late, coupled with the fact that we pay among the highest charges for cell phones and data transfers.

The problem we have is that we moved from a regulated regime where prices were fair and services were provided to everyone; to a regime where the ogilarchs still own their virtual monopolies, and can punish their customers, customers that do not have recourse. Outside competition could help, but I think it may have the adverse effect of forcing "consolidations", and that we will end up with even less choice than now.

It is a fact that, in a given area, you can only connect to one phone company. There are a variety of cellular companies, but really, they are just a set of monopolies that offer different "brands" to fool the customer. They also are not interested in serving the population at large, just on the people that live within a select area.

It is like Internet, where most people do not have access to high speed services, and even people that do have it are not getting the real speed because of throttling and capping and etc.

I, for one, would like to see some real competition, and not some schlock corporates from the US, but real companies from progressive minded countries like Israel..

chas_m
Jun 28th, 2008, 09:03 PM
I should have added my collary for wishing for more US intrusion on the Canadian cell phone: be really careful what you wish for. Allowing US companies to compete here would open the door to US companies competing in all areas of Canadian life, and would cement Canada's reputation as "American Lite."

iJohnHenry
Jun 28th, 2008, 09:15 PM
Well then, excuse me for saying so, but perhaps a fresh wind is necessary.

I abhor the current government's rule by what they must perceive as divine intervention.

SINC
Jun 28th, 2008, 09:43 PM
I should have added my collary for wishing for more US intrusion on the Canadian cell phone: be really careful what you wish for. Allowing US companies to compete here would open the door to US companies competing in all areas of Canadian life, and would cement Canada's reputation as "American Lite."

That's the single biggest line of BullShite I've read on ehMac since, oh, lemme see, before chas_m?

hhk
Jun 28th, 2008, 10:33 PM
I should have added my collary for wishing for more US intrusion on the Canadian cell phone: be really careful what you wish for. Allowing US companies to compete here would open the door to US companies competing in all areas of Canadian life, and would cement Canada's reputation as "American Lite."

And the problem with that would be...what? That Canadian companies would have to be more efficient to survive? Do you like dealing with Canadian telcos? Or Canadian banks?

Bring on the Americans and Euros and Asians. Please.

iJohnHenry
Jun 28th, 2008, 10:37 PM
Bring on the Americans and Euros and Asians. Please.

And kiss our cushy life-style good-bye.

Such is the nature of Global Trade.

hhk
Jun 28th, 2008, 11:06 PM
And kiss our cushy life-style good-bye.

Such is the nature of Global Trade.

How so? Global Trade is what allows us to purchase our cheap consumer goods, clothing and food.

Protectionism is short-sighted and is supported mostly by those with direct self-interest.

kb244
Jun 28th, 2008, 11:21 PM
That's the single biggest line of BullShite I've read on ehMac since, oh, lemme see, before chas_m?

Could always combat it with the whole "Made in Canada" slogan.. oh wait that didn't work quite as well as we hoped down here in the US. (god everything like made in ... china, taiwan, mexico...)

Course if foreign companies started competing in Canada... they have to pay some kind of tax to Canada, right? (if they're providing a service in Canada that is).

broken_g3
Jun 29th, 2008, 12:15 AM
The telecommunications companies keep foreign competition at bay by wrapping themselves in the flag, and Canadians are stupid enough to believe their "be wary of the evil Americans" bullshit. Personally, I am sick and tired of the second-rate service these telcos can get away with simply because there aren't any better, more efficient companies to compete against them. The data rates in this country are some of the highest in the world, and the service quality is nothing less than pathetic. Open up the industry. See if someone else can do a better job than the Canadian oligarchs.

johnb1
Jun 30th, 2008, 07:51 PM
I suppose you have to be careful that the Canadian Companies aren't swallowed up. After all, you don't dangle a steak in front of a shark and expect it to be there, do you? Other than that I'm all for it. My mom's on telus, which used to be EdTel
until it branched out. I have a landline phone with call answer, caller ID, and one other service-that'll be $48 a month, please... Internet service-goes out about once a week, maybe more. Shaw? Haven't had a problem with them. Mind you, telus may be getting better about moves. It used to take about 3-4 days after you'd disconnected your service...oh, and there's that whole crtc thing. Have to protect "Canadian Culture" , y'know. I think it's all about who can get the job done better and for fairer value. Shaw isn't perfect though-the tv guide info I need to program my dvd recorder isn't transmitted by shaw, so it's day to day recording for me, thanks...then again, pretty much no Canadian cable/sat company does
because they all have their own pvr's
just my opinion
John B

EvanPitts
Jul 1st, 2008, 12:00 PM
I suppose you have to be careful that the Canadian Companies aren't swallowed up.

That would be easy - just ban mergers! I have never seen a merger between any two companies in the past sixty years that was worth anything. Mergers tend to destroy the companies. Think of the great mergers like Morris and Austin into British Leyland; or Studebaker and Packard; or Hudson and Nash into AMC. Or how about the great computer mergers, like HP and Compaq, both companies that made trashy but expensive machines in the day that merged, is just a reseller for shoddy Chinese goods that are less quality than Lenovo... In Cell phones, they had Cingular which was high class (and the carrier I wanted), which folded into AT&T which is just another Corporate America rip off. I have yet to see a merger that was worthwhile in any industry...

I worked at a place that bought out a competitor - and boy, was that a mess. Talk about the wars between the different empires and principalities. Talk about the millions of dollars lost on bad decisions (trying to run the warehouse on that SAP software garbage was a total disaster). And all of the money wasted in painting the buildings with the new corporate colour schemes, oh, and changing the uniforms from the dress code that we had that was comfortable, to the all new uniforms that everyone got stiffed with. It was endless. The problems the company previously had were merged by all of the new imported brain damage: the new regulations that changed every month, customers that went to the competition simply because the competition answered the phone, while the "new" company was so focused on customer service first that they fired all of the receptionists in lieu of a dysfunctional voice mail system that regularly trashed the messages that people didn't just erase because they were too lazy to come up with an answer. Then to fix that, they brought in these crazy new phones that had all of these fancy features that no one knew how to use, oh, and the management had these dumb headset phones so they would end up with fifteen questions at the same time that they couldn't answer - bringing the entire production to a screeching halt because nothing could be fixed without a decision. It ended up that anyone with talent fled, and even half the people with no talent left because of the frustration in working in such a crummy workplace.

So ban mergers - let the companies go head to head, and let the losers go bankrupt, with no special huge stock deals for the pathetic scum who pollute the directorships of companies with their greed and corruption. This is survival of the fittest. The merger mentality leaves us entirely open to the Japanese and Koreans who actually know how to run a business. And if the Japanese or Koreans ever did see to walk into our Cell phone market (or any market for that matter) - they will gobble it up in moments.

MacGYVER
Jul 2nd, 2008, 02:53 AM
Well before we think about what the OP has listed in the title, we need to look at fixing the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in North America. When Canada and the US decide to adhere to the FTA then maybe we can talk about the OP's topic.

I honestly don't see why we can't just work together as a whole when it comes to telecommunications in North America. Europeans decided to stick to one technology and that was GSM for the entire European nation. Here in North America we have CDMA and GSM and whatever else exists ;). Also, when you go to any European country, you will not find cell phone towers period. I can be in the highest altitude of the Alps and get clear GSM network signals without any problems. Something you can't do here in Canada or in the US as easily.

What should happen is that we agree on one standard like GSM and let companies like Bell, Telus, Rogers being the big three compete against each other. This would be an amazing technological break through to have all cellular companies on GSM in Canada. We could then compete not only within Canada, but also with Europe and other countries that use GSM. Imagine your relatives coming from a country outside of Canada who then could use their GSM cell phone without problems across Canada, and the same for Canadians when you were away on travels.

In Canada we are seeing now that GSM is the way to go with current technological advancements in this country. Thanks to Apple and perhaps others like RIM we will see much more to come in the future. So where does this leave CDMA? Pretty darn far away and will become a lost leader in the industry as time goes on (In technological advancements only).

I look forward to the day where there is one standard across North America for cell phone usage.

MacGYVER
Jul 2nd, 2008, 03:00 AM
That would be easy - just ban mergers! I have never seen a merger between any two companies in the past sixty years that was worth anything. Mergers tend to destroy the companies. Think of the great mergers like Morris and Austin into British Leyland; or Studebaker and Packard; or Hudson and Nash into AMC. Or how about the great computer mergers, like HP and Compaq, both companies that made trashy but expensive machines in the day that merged, is just a reseller for shoddy Chinese goods that are less quality than Lenovo... In Cell phones, they had Cingular which was high class (and the carrier I wanted), which folded into AT&T which is just another Corporate America rip off. I have yet to see a merger that was worthwhile in any industry...

I worked at a place that bought out a competitor - and boy, was that a mess. Talk about the wars between the different empires and principalities. Talk about the millions of dollars lost on bad decisions (trying to run the warehouse on that SAP software garbage was a total disaster). And all of the money wasted in painting the buildings with the new corporate colour schemes, oh, and changing the uniforms from the dress code that we had that was comfortable, to the all new uniforms that everyone got stiffed with. It was endless. The problems the company previously had were merged by all of the new imported brain damage: the new regulations that changed every month, customers that went to the competition simply because the competition answered the phone, while the "new" company was so focused on customer service first that they fired all of the receptionists in lieu of a dysfunctional voice mail system that regularly trashed the messages that people didn't just erase because they were too lazy to come up with an answer. Then to fix that, they brought in these crazy new phones that had all of these fancy features that no one knew how to use, oh, and the management had these dumb headset phones so they would end up with fifteen questions at the same time that they couldn't answer - bringing the entire production to a screeching halt because nothing could be fixed without a decision. It ended up that anyone with talent fled, and even half the people with no talent left because of the frustration in working in such a crummy workplace.

So ban mergers - let the companies go head to head, and let the losers go bankrupt, with no special huge stock deals for the pathetic scum who pollute the directorships of companies with their greed and corruption. This is survival of the fittest. The merger mentality leaves us entirely open to the Japanese and Koreans who actually know how to run a business. And if the Japanese or Koreans ever did see to walk into our Cell phone market (or any market for that matter) - they will gobble it up in moments.

Regarding your last comment on Japan and Korea. If Canada was to embrace the technology that exists in Japan alone with regards to cellular? We wouldn't have all these iPhone threads :lmao: As long as Canada sits on its ass with regards to loosening up when it comes to advancing in technology and embracing what exists in other nations worldwide, we will never have or the ability to utilize how the Japanese use their cell phones in every day life.

kps
Jul 2nd, 2008, 09:12 AM
Okay, no time to google right now, so this is from my failing memory, but didn't Sprint try to enter the Canadian market a few years ago --failed miserably, packed its bags and went back south?

With any sort of deregulation, the incoming carriers would still have to piggyback on Bell's, Rogers, etc. infrastructure. There is only so much of a market here, managing such a diverse infrastructure wouldn't drive prices down or improve services to any great degree. Large amounts of competition doesn't always drive prices down, if they are, they are usually traded-off elsewhere.

EvanPitts
Jul 2nd, 2008, 09:45 AM
Regarding your last comment on Japan and Korea. If Canada was to embrace the technology that exists in Japan alone with regards to cellular? We wouldn't have all these iPhone threads :lmao: As long as Canada sits on its ass with regards to loosening up when it comes to advancing in technology and embracing what exists in other nations worldwide, we will never have or the ability to utilize how the Japanese use their cell phones in every day life.
It is more by implication, that Japanese production methods have been superior to our methods - even though those methods were imported to Japan by the American "advisors" after the War. Mr. Toyoda didn't learn how to build a car on his own, he simply took the methods that Ford was using and adapted it to the lean markets that existed in Japan while making basic clones of British cars. All of this while Detroit forgot the methods that had made it so successful in the first place. The same could be said when Sony introduced the first transistor radio, which in it's day took the market like a storm like Apple did with the iPod.

It would follow that since the automobile industry is not longer centered on Detroit but on the Far East, and that other consumer products like televisions, stereos and etc. are deceased as industries here (except for Japanese and Korean branch plants) - the same would be done if the Japanese and Koreans entered the cellular industry in a big way. If they came here using the same methods, dinosaurs like Bell and Rogers would be extinct within five years.

We are not talking about these companies being technically retrograde, but rather, comapnies that have made endless short term profit reaping decisions that are detrimental to their long term survival. GSM was not just a "European" standard, but that which was supported by the entire industry, and the only reason that it was not adopted here is that the players here had a plan, of first selling the bill of goods with regards to Digital PCS, then "obsoleting" it in order to stiff us with CDMA, then "obsoleting" it once again - to give us in essence what they have had not only in Europe for the past fifteen years - but they have had in Third World countries for the past decade. In all regards, the "standards" that were adopted here were inferior to those promulgated by the technocrats elsewhere.

If it follows Japanese practice, there would be no "secret terms" or "infintesimally small fine print". A cell phone would cost so much, and the service would cost so much, and of story. They wouldn't be pushing out $32,000 billing errors, nor would they give the customer the run around. How much money does Bell waste just transfering a customer from line to line for five hours, without providing a single real answer?

Yes, if there was Japanese competition here, we would have had the iPhone for the past year, and not some cheap disabled iPhone that would have to be unlocked or jailbroken to be useful - but the real goods, with real billing. Oh, and the Japanese cell phone dealership would have courteous staff that know the product - not just some workfare dude that is just there to score some booze money, like the hacks that populate Hell World stores.

EvanPitts
Jul 2nd, 2008, 09:52 AM
Okay, no time to google right now, so this is from my failing memory, but didn't Sprint try to enter the Canadian market a few years ago --failed miserably, packed its bags and went back south?

With any sort of deregulation, the incoming carriers would still have to piggyback on Bell's, Rogers, etc. infrastructure. There is only so much of a market here, managing such a diverse infrastructure wouldn't drive prices down or improve services to any great degree. Large amounts of competition doesn't always drive prices down, if they are, they are usually traded-off elsewhere.
Sprint went el-defuncto when MCI went bankrupt in a spectacular Enronesque business collapse. AT&T attempted to come to Canada, but that never went far.

There is no need to "share" infrastructure with Bell or Rogers, since that infrastructure is obsolete in most places anyways. And that is the problem, is that the current Cellular model is a better fit in places like Toronto, but a bad fit with the nation overall. We were actually in a better position with a regulated phone system (SaskTel is quite successful in that regard) - and we would be in a better position if it wasan unregulated open market (because dinosaurs like Bell would be out of business pretty quickly). The way it is now, we end up with the most expensive and most retrograde telecommunications network in the world, with no actual choice, since all of the "providers" are garbage.