Canadians shoulder among the highest cost for mobile phone service in the developed world.
The Canadian mobile service market has been divvied up between the “big three” wireless companies; Rogers, Bell and Telus. Collectively and colloquially known as Robelus. Yes here in Canada, our oligopolies are so entrenched that they have cute, short-hand names. “Value” wireless brands like Chatr, Public, Koodo—all owned by the big three— only serve to create the illusion of choice.
Back in 2014, the CRTC, Canada’s regulatory body for all things telecommunications, opted not to force the incumbents into offering service to “mobile virtual network operators” (MVNOs). It deemed that the quasi-competition seen in the Canadian mobile market, wholly dominated by three major carriers, was sufficient. It pointed to a far distant fourth carrier, then Wind Mobile now Freedom Mobile, as a panacea for what ails Canadian mobile customers.
In short, it’s not a terribly vibrant competitive landscape.
We’ve spoken often and at length about how much we’d like to offer service in Canada. Canada is home not just to our headquarters but also to the majority of our workforce. The anti-competitive mobile market has never offered an opening.