updated 10:55 pm EST, Wed February 27, 2008
T-Mobile to enter Canada
The ongoing auction for the Canadian 700MHz spectrum may have T-Mobile as a new bidder, representing the German company's first potential interest in a market outside of Europe and the United States. According to MobileInCanada.com, an internal note went around CIBC indicating that it would be a good maneuver for the telecom company, since T-Mobile is reluctant to acquire third-party companies to commence its service.
Supposedly, T-Mobile faces a small roadblock due to a restriction with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), in that it is forbidden for non-Canadian companies to bid in the auction. CIBC suggests that the law could be repealed or changed in several years.
The auction, announced November 29th, 2007, is designed to stimulate competition in the market. The government is reserving 40-percent of the spectrum, however, to ensure that the current "big three" telecom companies – Rogers, Bell, and Telus – do not purposely shut out competition.
The Canadian wireless market is currently in a stranglehold between the three, allowing them to massively overcharge for services that are normally a fraction of the cost. Bell and Telus dropped their rates drastically last November, and Rogers introduced an unlimited data plan, albeit one with many conditions and restrictions.