Telecom Commission Letter addressed to the Distribution List

Ottawa, 5 July 2019

Our reference:  1011-NOC2019-0057

BY EMAIL

Distribution list

RE: Review of mobile wireless services, Telecom Notice of Consultation 2019-57 – Requests for information

Dear Madams, Sirs:

Pursuant to paragraph 62 of Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-57,Footnote1 attached are requests for information related to that proceeding. The parties identified in each set of questions in the attachment are to file responses to those questions by 12 September 2019. These submissions must be received, not merely sent, by that date.

The Governor-in-Council has registered Order Issuing a Direction to the CRTC on Implementing the Canadian Telecommunications Policy Objectives to Promote Competition, Affordability, Consumer Interests and Innovation, SOR/2019-0227.  This Order, which came into effect on the date of its registration, complements the 2006 Order (SOR/2006-0355).  In responding to the attached requests for information, parties should address whether and how their submissions and requested regulatory measures, as appropriate, are in line with these orders.  Furthermore, in all subsequent filings as part of this proceeding, parties should explain how their requested regulatory measures would serve to promote competition, affordability, consumer interests and innovation while relying on competition to attain these objectives to the maximum extent feasible.

As set out in section 39 of the Telecommunications Act and in Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-961, Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings, persons may designate certain information as confidential. A person designating information as confidential must provide a detailed explanation on why the designated information is confidential and why its disclosure would not be in the public interest, including why the specific direct harm that would be likely to result from the disclosure would outweigh the public interest in disclosure. Furthermore, a person designating information as confidential must either file an abridged version of the document omitting only the information designated as confidential or provide reasons why an abridged version cannot be filed.

Sincerely,

Original signed by

Philippe Kent
Director, Policy
Telecommunications Sector

c.c.:  Jeremy Lendvay, CRTC, 819-997-4946, jeremy.lendvay@crtc.gc.ca
Adam Mills, CRTC, 819-995-4574, adam.mills@crtc.gc.ca
Sylvie Labbé, CRTC, 819-953-4945, sylvie.labbe@crtc.gc.ca
Allison McLean, CRTC, 819-635-8099, allison.mclean@crtc.gc.ca

Attach. (1)

Distribution List

Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg, the Consumers' Association of Canada (Manitoba), Winnipeg Harvest (Manitoba Coalition); kadil@legalaid.mb.ca;
Bell Mobility Inc. (Bell), bell.regulatory@bell.ca;
Bragg Communications Incorporated (Eastlink), regulatory.matters@corp.eastlink.ca;
British Columbia Broadband Association (BCBA), regulatory@bcba.ca;
Canadian Electricity Association (CEA), kent@electricity.ca;
Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic and OpenMedia (CIPPIC and OpenMedia), tisrael@cippic.ca;
Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc. (CNOC), regulatory@cnoc.ca;
Coalition for Cheaper Wireless Service (CCWS), jlawford@piac.ca;
Cogeco Communications Inc. (Cogeco), telecom.regulatory@cogeco.com;
Competition Bureau, matthew.boswell@canada.ca; laura.sonley@canada.ca;
Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), jhowes@ccianet.org;
Data On Tap Inc. (Data On Tap), regulatory@dotmobile.app;
Distributel Communications Limited (Distributel); christopher.hickey@distributel.ca;  
Ecotel Inc. (Ecotel), eric@eco-tel.co;
Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), nchristy@fcm.ca; fcmpresident@fcm.ca;
Forum for Research and Policy in Communications (FRCP), execdir@frpc.net;
Ice Wireless Inc. (Ice Wireless), regulatory@icewireless.ca;
Independent Telecommunications Providers Association (ITPA), jonathan.holmes@itpa.ca;
Province of British Columbia, roman.mateyko@gov.bc.ca; roman.mateyko@gov.bc.ca;
Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (Rogers), rwi_gr@rci.rogers.com;
Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel), document.control@sasktel.com;
Shaw Telecom Inc (Shaw), regulatory@sjrb.ca;
SSi Micro Ltd. (SSi Micro), regulatory@ssimicro.com;
Tbaytel, rob.olenick@tbaytel.com;
TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (TekSavvy), akaplanmyrth@teksavvy.ca;
TELUS Communications Inc. (TELUS), regulatory.affairs@telus.com;
TNW Wireless Inc. (TNW Wireless), lawry.trevor@tnwcorp.com;
Tucows Inc. (Tucows), enoss@tucows.com;
Videotron Ltd. (Videotron), regaffairs@quebecor.com;
Ville de Montréal (Montréal), jessyca.laurin@ville.montreal.qc.ca;
Xplornet Communications Inc. (Xplornet), xplornet.legal@corp.xplornet.com

Requests for information

Questions for Bell Mobility, Rogers, TELUS, Eastlink, Sasktel, Shaw, SSi Micro, TBayTel, Videotron, Xplornet, BCBA, CNOC, Cogeco, Data On Tap, Ecotel, Distributel, ITPA, Ice Wireless, TekSavvy, TNW Wireless, and Tucows

  1. Provide a definition of a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service provider.
    1. Specify whether you consider brand resellers (i.e. those that rely on the underlying carrier for all services except for billing and sales) to be MVNO service providers.
    2. In a report filed by Telus, Dippon submits that MNO-owned flanker brands are a type of MVNO. Do you agree or disagree with this position? Why or why not?
    3. Discuss whether, when two carriers enter into a network sharing arrangement, those carriers are effectively MVNOs in areas where they rely on the radio access network (RAN) of their sharing partners to provide service (i.e. in geographic areas where they do not have spectrum licenses)?
  2. At paragraph 93 of its submission CNOC stated that the definition of a full MVNO should follow the definition used by MVNO Europe with some modifications.  Explain with supporting rationale whether you agree with this view, and with the definition used by MVNO Europe including each of the modifications proposed by CNOC.
  3. Cogeco proposed a hybrid mobile network operator (HMNO) model that would enable eligible carriers to access national wireless carrier networks on a mandated basis. Comment on this proposal. What are its strengths and weaknesses, irrespective of your views on the broader policy question of whether wholesale MVNO access ought to be mandated?
  4. Other than Cogeco itself, what other telecommunications companies would qualify for or be likely to make use of the proposed HMNO service?
  5. At paragraph 197 of its submission, Cogeco submitted that RAN services that the large mobile network operators (MNOs) must provide to HMNOs, under its proposal, must support the following network and technical capabilities:
    1. Access enabling the origination and termination of voice, data, Short Message Service (SMS), and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) to the HMNO’s customers;
    2. Connection to the RAN service via the fewest number of aggregated points of interconnection (POI) as possible, but through at least two POIs for redundancy purposes;
    3. Access enabling the provision of value added services to the HMNO’s customers, including Location Based Services;
    4. Access enabling enhanced emergency call delivery services to the HMNO’s customers;
    5. Access enabling the delivery of lawful access/interception of services by the HMNO;
    6. Access, in real time, to call and data session detail information for services provided to the HMNO; and
    7. Any other RAN capabilities that are needed by HMNOs in order to compete with the large MNOs on an equal footing in the retail market.
    8. Upon receipt of a formal written request for RAN services from an eligible HMNO, a large MNO shall enter into technical discussions for the interconnection of that MNO’s RAN network with the network of the HMNO.
      Irrespective of your views on the broader policy question of whether wholesale MVNO access ought to be mandated, explain with supporting rationale whether you agree that each of the above network and technical capabilities must or otherwise should be provided if the HMNO model were to be implemented.
  6. With respect to Cogeco’s HMNO proposal, would a requirement for eligible carriers to invest in wireline broadband infrastructure mitigate any concerns regarding the risk to investment allssociated with mandating wholesale MVNO access to the networks of national wireless carriers? Explain why or why not.
  7. If the Cogeco proposal were to be implemented, are the proposed eligibility criteria sufficient? Should eligible HMNOs be limited to servicing residential customers, or should facilities-based carriers serving business markets also be eligible for the HMNO service?
  8. Irrespective of your views on the broader policy question of whether wholesale MVNO access ought to be mandated, is Cogeco’s proposal that eligible HMNOs be granted access to national wireless carriers’ networks by Tier 4 regionFootnote2 appropriate?  If not, propose alternatives.
  9. Explain how a prospective MVNO would interconnect with a MNO’s RAN at a tier 4 level.
    1. Do MNOs have a mechanism in place to allow interconnection at this level?
    2. What changes would be required by the MNOs to support such a scheme?
    3. Do MNOs currently interconnect by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) spectrum tier, or a similar system of subdividing spectrum?
    4. Are you aware of any international jurisdictions where MNOs support interconnection in accordance with a system of spectrum tiers?  
  10. If Cogeco’s proposal were to be implemented, would it be appropriate for the Commission to make mandated access to national carriers’ networks contingent on an HMNO meeting certain targets (e.g. investment, network expansion, homes passed, etc.) over time?  What would be the most appropriate targets for the Commission to adopt and why?
  11. If the Commission were to impose network investment or network expansion conditions of access:
    1. What would be the most appropriate way to measure and track investment activity or network expansion over time?
    2. What would be an appropriate timeframe over which to review and assess HMNO investment activity and network expansion? 
    3. How could the Commission address a failure of an HMNO to meet targets (e.g. revocation of wholesale access, moratorium on new subscribers, etc.)?
  12. Several parties have submitted tables showing various MVNO models (e.g. Teksavvy provides a table at paragraph 25 of its submission). Parties have also indicated that it is important that the Full MVNO model be mandated and made available at tariffed rates. Teksavvy indicated that access to all other MNO services should be commercially negotiated between parties.
    1. In the event that wholesale MVNO access is mandated, would it be sufficient for the Commission to mandate access to the RAN only, (Full MVNO model) and leave other MNO services to commercial negotiation?  Explain why or why not.
    2. If there is a need to mandate other MVNO models, identify which other MVNO models should be mandated and explain why this is necessary.  Should these other models be mandated in addition to the full MVNO model?
    3. Demonstrate how the various other components of an MVNO service (beyond RAN access) satisfy or do not satisfy the essential facility test outlined in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2015-326.Footnote3
    4. If, instead of a Full MVNO model, the Commission were to mandate an MVNO model where, in addition to managing the RAN, the MNO also manages other MVNO services, how would this affect the likelihood of entry of MVNOs?
    5. In paragraphs 42 – 48 of its submission the ITPA proposed two baskets of services that it argued should be mandated and made available at tariffed rates. Provide your views on this proposal.
  13. If wholesale MVNO access were to be mandated, should access to national wireless carrier networks be mandated at the national level or at a sub-national level (e.g. at a provincial level or on the basis of the spectrum tiers created by ISED)?
  14. If MVNO access is mandated and the Commission sets aside national wireless carrier network capacity for exclusive use by MVNOs at commercially negotiated rates:
    1. What steps would need to be taken by national wireless carriers to set aside capacity?
    2. What would be the impact on national wireless carriers of setting aside a portion of their network capacity for the exclusive use of MVNOs?
    3. What would be an appropriate amount of capacity to set aside or how should it be determined?
    4. Is there a need for the Commission to establish default tariffed rates as a backstop in the event that negotiations fail? Explain why or why not.
  15. If MVNOs are mandated, should a full MVNO be permitted to resell its wholesale access to the MNO’s networks on a wholesale basis to other entities that wish to operate as “lighter MVNOs”? Explain why or why not.
  16. If the Commission were to require the national wireless carriers to make MVNO access available, discuss, with supporting rationale:
    1. Whether it would be appropriate to do so on the basis of commercial negotiations between carriers and MVNOs, rather than setting a tariffed rate.
    2. Whether, in the absence of a wholesale MVNO tariff, the Commission should establish an arbitration process as a recourse if negotiations fail. If so, discuss what type of arbitration should be used (e.g. final offer arbitration, binding vs. non-binding, etc.).
    3. Whether there should be specific conditions that must be met (e.g. evidence of failed negotiations over a certain time frame) before a request can be made to the Commission for arbitration.
    4. Whether each national wireless carrier should be required to have a minimum number of independent MVNOs operating on their network by a certain date. If so, what would that minimum number be, and by when?
  17. In its submission Shaw argues that network sharing arrangements between national wireless carriers provide incentives to foreclose competition from new entrants, and that these companies are unwilling to enter into network or spectrum sharing arrangements with companies other than other national wireless carriers.
    CNOC also indicated in its submission that “[t]he Commission should review the content of any network sharing arrangements to assess whether they contain terms that may affect the development of competition negatively. This is particularly a concern when MNOs with market power, such as Bell and TELUS, enter into network sharing arrangements.”
    1. What are the benefits of network sharing?
    2. What impacts do existing network sharing arrangements between wireless carriers have on competition in wireless telecommunications markets?
    3. Does sharing a network add to the risk of coordinated behaviour which in turn reduces competition? Is there evidence of coordinated behaviour in the Canadian market?
    4. What impact does spectrum pooling between partners in a network sharing arrangement have on the Canadian wireless telecommunications market?
    5. How will current and possible future network sharing arrangements impact the development of 5G networks?
    6. Will the potential proliferation of 5G small cells encourage network sharing?
    7. If, in your view, network sharing is having or will have a negative impact on wireless telecommunications markets, identify all measures the Commission could take to address your concerns. What would be the jurisdictional basis for the Commission to impose these measures?
  18. In its submission (para 202), Halton Police describes how multiple wireless carriers may be used to meet the resiliency needs for Public Safety. For example, if carrier A fails, they can switch to carrier B. If carrier A and B are sharing the RAN (or core) how is this model impacted?
  19. With respect to defining relevant product markets for the purpose of assessing the state of competition in the retail mobile wireless services market, discuss, with supporting rationale, whether:
    1. Mobile wireless services offered over different network technologies (i.e. 3G, LTE, LTE-A and/or 5G mobile wireless services) are part of the same product market;
    2. Prepaid and postpaid mobile wireless services are part of the same product market;
    3. Phone and tablet plans are part of the same product market;
    4. Mobile wireless services for the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications are in the same product market as retail mobile wireless phone plans; and
    5. Residential and business mobile wireless services are in the same product market.

Questions for Bell Mobility, Rogers, TELUS, Eastlink, Sasktel, Shaw, SSi Micro, TBayTel, Videotron, and Xplornet

  1. With respect to international comparisons, indicate, with supporting rationale, which criteria of a demographic, socio-economic, geographic or other nature should be taken into account to select comparable jurisdictions for benchmarking purposes. Also provide a list of countries that would best meet these criteria.
  2. Several parties, including Cogeco (see paragraphs 161-165 of its intervention), have referred to the Australian wireless market as an example of a market that is similar to the Canadian market (i.e. three national wireless carriers, large land mass with low population density), but where wireless rates are significantly lower than those seen in Canada (and in most other countries for that matter) and where there are as many as 60 MVNOs operating.  Provide any insights or evidence you might have about the Australian wireless market and regulatory environment that might explain why retail mobile wireless prices appear to be so low compared to those in other countries.
  3. In their interventions, certain consumer groups, for example the CCWS and the Manitoba Coalition, as well as several individual Canadians, submitted that there was a lack of choice for affordable mobile wireless services plans in the market, particularly for individuals and households with low incomes.
    To respond to these concerns, the CCWS proposed, among other things, that the Commission mandate a low-cost wireless plan comprising unlimited Canada-wide voice and text as well as 4GB of data on LTE for $25-$30 per month.Footnote4   The Manitoba Coalition also indicated that it would explore, as part of this proceeding, the merits of imposing a $20-$25 basic wireless package including voice, text and data on all wireless carriers as a condition of service.
    In order to permit the Commission to explore such proposals, please respond to the following:
    1. Indicate whether low-cost wireless plans similar to the one proposed by the CCWS or envisioned by the Manitoba Coalition ought to be considered a relevant product market for the purposes of an assessment under section 34 of the Telecommunications Act (the Act). If not, what would the relevant product market be in this context?
    2. Irrespective of your answer to a., answer the following questions based on the assumption that low-cost wireless plans constitute the relevant product market. If you consider that there is another relevant product market, you may also answer the following questions in respect of that product market:
      1. What is the relevant geographic market for low-cost wireless plans?
      2. Is competition for low-cost wireless plans sufficient to protect the interests of users?
      3. Would continued forbearance from regulation of low-cost wireless plans be consistent with the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives?
      4. Would continued forbearance from regulation of low-cost wireless plans be likely to impair unduly the establishment or continuance of a competitive market for such services?
    3. Indicate, with supporting rationale, whether it would be appropriate for the Commission to mandate the provision of low-cost wireless plans. Refer, where applicable, to the criteria set out in Telecom Decision 94-19,Footnote5 including the market shares of the largest and of the other firms, demand and supply conditions, the likelihood of entry into the market, barriers to entry into the market, and evidence of rivalrous behaviour.
    4. If the Commission were to find that it was appropriate to mandate the provision of low-cost wireless plans, discuss whether it would be appropriate for the Commission to:
      1. Establish conditions (e.g. amount of data, data overage charge restrictions, no bundling required, price ceiling, etc.) for these plans using its powers under sections 24 and 27 of the Act; or
      2. Require wireless carriers to file tariffs for these plans pursuant to section 25 of the Act.
    If the answer to either question is “yes” discuss how the Commission should determine an appropriate amount for a price ceiling or an appropriate rate or method for determining the rate under subsections 27(1) and 27(5) of the Act.
  4. Refer to paragraph 36 of Shaw’s intervention, in which it indicated that new Freedom customers are subject to retention tactics by the national wireless carriers specifically targeted to these new subscribers.
    1. Provide a description, including all relevant details, of the activities and procedures established by your company to win back customers, including those that are targeted to customers that were migrating, or had migrated, to regional wireless carriers.
    2. Does your company use different win back tactics depending on the competitor? If so, identify the competitors and explain how.
    3. In your view, are win back activities indicative of a competitive market, or are they a sign of market power in the sense that service providers are holding back their best offers until a customer threatens to leave?
    4. Indicate, with supporting rationale, whether it would be appropriate to establish any measures to limit win back activities from the national wireless carriers, including any limitations on non-advertised offers. Should you be of the view that it would be appropriate for the Commission to implement such measures, provide, with supporting rationale, a description of the specific limitations that should be established and an explanation as to how they are properly tailored to address the market concern you consider needs to be addressed.
  5. Bell Mobility, Rogers and TELUS all operate a variety of flanker brands and certain parties including TELUS have argued that these flankers operate as de facto MVNOs in the Canadian market. Please provide your views on the role flanker brands play in the Canadian market. Are they a sign of healthy competition or are they indicative of market power? Should the Commission consider any rules preventing or limiting flanker brands in some way to encourage the entry of independent MVNOs?
  6. Refer to paragraph 91 of the Competition Bureau’s intervention in which it indicated that separating the handset purchase from the service plan purchase could encourage competition by reducing switching costs for customers.
    1. Provide your view as to whether it would be appropriate to establish such an obligation as a way to facilitate switching. Include discussion on the impacts for consumers, the impacts on service providers, and any legal or technical issues the Commission should consider.
    2. Should the Commission decide to implement this measure, discuss:
      1. The steps that would be involved in implementing such a measure.
      2. How long it would take to implement.
      3. The estimated financial impacts on your company.
  7. Refer to paragraph 72 of CNOC’s intervention in which it indicated that 5% of total mobile wireless revenues in 2017, which represents about $1.22 billion, were generated from data overage charges.Footnote6
    1. Indicate, with supporting rationale, whether it would be appropriate for the Commission to regulate wireless data overage charges either through the establishment of a price ceiling or through the establishment of a tariffed rate. Refer, where applicable, to the criteria set out in Telecom Decision 94-19.Footnote7 In answering this question, address, among other relevant matters, the following:
      1. What is the relevant product market when considering wireless data overage charges?
      2. Is competition for the relevant product market sufficient to protect the interest of users with respect to the charging of overage charges?
      3. Would continued forbearance from regulation of wireless charges for data overage be consistent with the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives?
    2. Indicate, along with all supporting rationale, whether it would be appropriate for the Commission to establish any conditions of service under section 24 with regards to overage charges either in addition to or instead of any measures that could be adopted under sections 25 and/or 27(1) and addressed in your response to (a) above.
  8. Indicate whether your company offers unlimited mobile wireless data plans, or “no overage” plans. If so, provide, for each province and territory and for each brand your company operates, the price, as well as the major terms and conditions associated with these plans. Also indicate whether these plans are offered on a permanent or promotional basis. To the extent that some or all of your brands do not offer such plans or does not offer them in all areas of the country, explain why? What plans, if any, do you have to introduce unlimited plans in the future?
  9. Comment on the view expressed by the CCWS, CIPPIC and OpenMedia, and the Manitoba Coalition, among others, that mobile wireless penetration and mobile wireless data usage is lower in Canada compared to other jurisdictions. In particular, comment on whether you agree with the view that wireless penetration and data usage is generally lower in Canada than in other jurisdictions) Footnote8 and, if yes, what factors contribute to this situation.
  10. Provide, for each of the years 2014 to 2018, the number and percentages of your retail customers that subscribed to a bundled offer comprising mobile wireless services and non-mobile wireless services. Provide separate totals for each province/territory where your company and/or any of your affiliates provide mobile wireless and other telecommunications services. Also provide a description of the different incentives that were made available to consumers to bundle mobile wireless services with non-mobile wireless services, and indicate if any of these incentives were made available to your flanker brand subscribers. If your company operates a flanker brand, indicate whether flanker brand customers can get bundle discounts if they subscribe to other retail services from your main and/or flanker brands.
  11. A number of interventions contain the observation that price per GB has fallen continually over the last number of years. ) Footnote9 Is this an appropriate measure of the price of wireless services and their changes over time? Given the various types and sizes of plans, what is the best way to calculate price per GB?
  12. At paragraphs 21 – 26 of its submission CEA describes a Private Virtual Network Operator (PVNO). The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) made a similar request for a PVNO service.
    1. Have you ever been approached to offer such a service or one that is substantially similar?
    2. Do you offer such a service, or one that is substantially similar, to other utilities or in other industries such as mining or oil and gas markets?
    3. What services would a PVNO require wireless carriers to provide to them?
      1. Would these services be retail or wholesale services?
      2. If these services are retail services, why has the market not already made them available? Is there not a need for a condition requiring the provision of the services?
      3. If these are wholesale services, using the wholesale essentiality test outlined in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2015-326, indicate whether they would be essential.
    4. What, if anything, is preventing PVNO arrangements from occurring now? Is there a need for the Commission to make regulatory changes in order to implement the PVNO proposal? Identify all changes that are required.
    5. Identify any significant MNO network changes or arrangements that would be required to implement the PVNO proposal.
    6. What are the benefits or challenges with implementing this type of proposed PVNO?
      1. From the point of view of potential PVNOs
      2. From the MNOs providing these capabilities to the proposed PVNO
    7. Do you make your SIM profile available to customers who wish to use a multi-profile SIM? If so, what technical or commercial terms do you impose? If not why not?
  13. Provide your views on the feasibility of the MVNO solution put forward by the Halton Regional Police.
    1. What are the advantages and disadvantages?
    2. Halton Regional Police propose a MVNO which would allow their mission critical traffic to be prioritized over other commercial traffic through priority roaming. Does your network support such a capability to prioritize mission critical traffic over commercial traffic? Please explain.
    3. Is such prioritization currently deployed in your network? Please explain.
    4. Do you have the capability to support this type of prioritization in the future?
  14. At paragraph 34 of a report filed by Rogers, Imobix describes the network growth and capacity planning steps that a MNO should undertake once it is presented with an MVNO’s business plan.
    1. Do you currently support MVNOs on your network? If yes,
      1. Explain how you factor in subscriber growth projections into your overall network growth strategy and capacity planning to ensure that there is sufficient capacity and quality of service (QoS) to serve all users of your network (i.e. the MNO’s own subscribers and all retail and wholesale (MVNO and roaming) customers).
      2. What information do you require MVNOs to provide for the purpose of overall network growth strategy and capacity planning? Does this information include revenue projections, investment, and capital and operational budgets?
    2. Assuming some or all MNOs in the future are required to support new MVNO entrants:
      1. Discuss what information new MVNO entrants should provide to MNOs initially and on an ongoing basis for the purpose of the MNO’s overall network growth strategy and capacity planning? Explain with supporting rationale for each type of information how you would factor it into your network growth strategy and capacity planning.
      2. Explain with supporting rationale how you would factor in MVNOs subscriber and capacity growth projections into your overall network growth strategy and capacity planning to ensure that there is sufficient capacity and quality of service (QoS) to serve all users of your network (i.e. the MNO’s own subscribers and all retail and wholesale (MVNO and roaming) customers).
  15. In its intervention at paragraph 31, Rogers states that :
    “…there is virtually no spare capacity in the system” and in paragraph 116 that “Rogers closely monitors its available capacity at all points of its network”.
    1. Comment on whether you share this or a similar view. If so, identify which parts of your networks have no or limited spare capacity. If it is the access network, identify which part of the access network (i.e. RAN, cell site backhaul or all of them?).
    2. Identify the network metrics you monitor, and at which points of the network the monitoring takes place.
    3. Provide the number and percentage of sites in ISED Tier 4 Service areasFootnote10 where there currently is no spare capacity at peak times. Provide the percent utilization during peak times at these sites based on the average daily, weekly and monthly utilization over the last 12 months (or best estimate).  Identify the Tier 4 areas.
    4. Describe how you assess network utilization, including the peak times, methodology and metrics.
    5. At what percent utilization do you consider it necessary to implement network
    6. What are the types of upgrades to increase network capacity that you plan to implement in the next 10 years (e.g. additional spectrum, cell splitting, MIMO, carrier aggregation, higher backhaul capacity, 5G, etc.)?
      1. Elaborate on how each of these upgrades will increase network capacity
      2. How much additional capacity is typically added for each type of upgrade?
  16. Do you provide one or more wireless service providers, domestic or international, with seamless roaming Footnote11 or other seamless access to your network? If so, identify the wireless service providers for which you have you enabled this functionality.
  17. Provide your view as to whether the Commission’s existing wholesale roaming policy should be updated so that access to seamless roaming and call hand-backFootnote12 is made available to wireless carriers, and to MVNOs in the event that they are mandated, on a mandated basis.
    1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of making this change to roaming policy, including the impacts on investment in mobile wireless networks.
    2. Would the rate for wholesale roaming service be impacted by requiring both call hand-back and seamless roaming to be made available? Explain why or why not.
  18. Certain parties argued that MNOs should be required to offer/support seamless roaming as part of their wholesale roaming service.
    1. Do LTE, LTE-A and 5G network specifications or standards support seamless roaming? If so, what are these standards?
    2. What are the technical challenges and potential solutions to supporting seamless roaming?
    3. What are your plans for supporting support seamless roaming in the future, and in what timeframe?
    4. Are you aware of any MNOs in Canada or internationally that currently support seamless roaming of customers either between two MNOs’ networks, or between the networks used by a MNO and an MVNO?
  19. Certain parties argued that MNOs should be required to offer/support call hand-back as part of their wholesale roaming service.
    1. Can your network support call hand-back of MVNO traffic to another MVNO’s network?
    2. Do you currently support call hand-back for any roaming partners/customers?
    3. Have you ever received a request for call hand back from a partner or wholesale roaming customer and what was the response and why?
    4. What are the technical challenges and potential solutions to support call hand-back for MVNOs?
    5. What are your plans to support call hand-back in the future, and in what timeframe?
  20. The CEA stated that E-SIMs could potentially eliminate “SIM lock-in”, which makes it difficult for MVNOs to switch to a different underlying MNO.
    1. Does your network currently support devices with E-SIMs? If not, why not?
    2. What percentage of your current subscribers use E-SIMs?
    3. What are your plans to support E-SIMs and over what timeframe?
    4. What are your plans to provide for the capability to remotely update the International Mobile Subscriber Identity on a device?
    5. What network or operational changes are required to support E-SIM functionality?
    6. What mechanism is in place to allow customers to activate and de-activate devices with E-SIMs, or, alternatively, what mechanisms are in place to prevent customers from making use of E-SIM functionality?
    7. Do the locking provisions in the wireless code apply to E-SIMs?
  21. Several parties have discussed the possibility of 5G network slicing in order to service various consumer needs from the same network.
    1. Describe the ways that networks may need to be sliced to serve various client needs.
    2. b. Will any of these potential slicing methods implicate Telecom Regulatory Policy 2017-104 Note de bas de page13 or Telecom Regulatory Policy 2009-657? Note de bas de page14 If so, describe how.
  22. Cogeco in its submission states (at paragraph 216) that “Network slicing will facilitate among other things the provision of service to HMNOs as it will make it easier for MNOs to structure capacity deals”. Comment on this statement and on how this may impact the emergence of new MVNOs, including HMNOs.
  23. A report filed by the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) states that “[the] RAC should initiate discussions with potential partners outside the railway industry. Through a LTE capability known as “network slicing”, which allows multiple logical networks to be created on top of a common shared physical infrastructure, networks can be shared seamlessly amongst different service and competing entities (such as CN and CP).” Comment on this statement and on how network slicing may support MVNOs, including PVNOs.
  24. Several parties have raised concerns with respect to 5G transition and the impact it may have on consumers with non-compatible plans and/or devices.
    1. Which 5G transition option do you intend to deploy. Stand-Alone (SA) or Non-Stand Alone (NSA)? What is the rationale for using that model?
    2. What are your plans for consumers with devices that are not 5G compatible?
    3. Do you have a phase-out plan for plans (including flanker brand plans) on 3G and 4G networks? If so, provide the details of your plan.
    4. Do you have any plans to phase out non-compatible equipment such as devices that only support 4G? If so, provide the details of any such plan.
  25. Comment on the concerns raised by Halton Police with respect to the coverage and resiliency of 5G networks especially in rural areas and its view that 4G/LTE networks are preferable in terms of both resiliency and coverage.
  26. Shaw recommends (at paragraph 106) that the Commission “initiate and lead a broad-based multi-stakeholder working group comprising stakeholders from industry, interested regulatory bodies, and municipalities to work through the various issues associated with the deployment of 5G wireless network infrastructure.” Comment on this proposal.
  27. If the Commission were to initiate a working group on the deployment of 5G wireless infrastructure:
    1. Which organizations should be members of the group?
    2. What should the Commission task the group to do?
    3. What specific questions should the Commission ask the group to investigate?
  28. Some parties discussed the need for a more coordinated approach to municipal approvals.
    1. FCM proposed that 5G will require a more coordinated approach. Would it be feasible for carriers to give advanced notice and proceed on a coordinated basis to seek municipal approvals? Explain why or why not.
    2. SaskTel proposed that blanket agreements with municipalities with long term partnerships and master licence agreements should be encouraged. Would this be feasible? Explain why or why not.
    3. Would it be appropriate to refer these issue to a 5G working group, if one is created?
  29. Comment on the applicability of section 43 of the Telecommunications Act to wireless technologies with respect to the following:
    1. What measures do you consider that the Commission should adopt with respect to municipal access to address any concerns you have identified?
    2. With regards to any measure proposed, provide, along with all supporting reasoning, the jurisdictional basis for these measures. Your answer should address, among other matters, the implications to be drawn from:
      1. the meaning of the phrase “highway or other public place” in section 43
      2. the use of the term “transmission wire” in subsection 43(5) of the Telecommunications Act; the use of the term “transmission facility” elsewhere in that Act; and, the powers provided the Minister of ISED under section 5 of the Radiocommunications Act, RSC 1985, c R-2.
      3. To the extent that the jurisdictional basis is not grounded in s.43 of the Telecommunications Act, explain why this section does not serve to bar recourse of the provision relied upon.
  30. Some parties proposed that the Commission implement a policy similar to FCC 18-133: Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment and Accelerating Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment. . Note de bas de page15
    1. In your view, would such an approach be feasible in Canada? Why or why not?
    2. To what extent should the Commission adopt an approach similar to the FCC?
      1. In particular, would an expedited dispute resolution process be feasible?
      2. Should timelines (“shot clocks”) be implemented?
    3. Are there any jurisdictional considerations that inform your answer to sub-questions (a) and (b) and, if yes, what are these considerations?
    4. If you consider that the Commission can and should adopt an approach similar to that reflected in FCC 18-133, what regulatory changes would be required?
    5. Would this issue be more appropriately addressed in a follow up proceeding?
    6. Are there any other regulatory approaches or policies regarding infrastructure deployment being used in other jurisdictions in Europe, Asia or elsewhere that could be considered in the Canadian context?
  31. Shaw proposed (at paragraph 113) that the “Commission require ILECs to track reserved capacity on their support structures and document the rationale for reserving capacity including when the capacity is anticipated and required.” Shaw also recommended (at paragraph 112) that the Commission “impose clear and reasonable limits on the length of time that an ILEC may reserve space on its support structures for its futures use. In our view, reasonable limits include a maximum of one month for ILEC small cells and three months for ILEC wireline attachments.”
    1. From 2014 to 2018 have you experienced any significant delays in gaining access to ILEC support structures? If so, describe. 
    2. From 2014 to 2018 have you been denied access to ILEC support structures which were denied on the basis of future use? If so, describe.
      1. Did you use this reserved capacity? If so, when?
    3. From 2014 to 2018 have you been approached for access to support structures which you denied on the basis of future use?
      1. Avez-vous utilisé cette capacité réservée? Dans l’affirmative, à quel moment?
    4. d. Should the Commission impose a limit on the length of time that an ILEC may reserve space on its support structures for future use? If so, what time limit should be imposed? Dans l’affirmative, quelle limite de temps devrait-on imposer?
    5. Should the Commission require ILECs to document reserved capacity on their support structures?
  32. Comment on the Shaw proposal that “the Commission should consider mandating joint operational coordinating committees (or similar working groups) to facilitate regular communication between ILECs and licensees and to provide the parties with a forum to address issues and solve access problems relating to the deployment [of] network facilities on support structures, including new technologies.”
  33. TELUS proposes that wireless service providers (WSPs) should be entitled to access 5G small cell installations through a tariff. TELUS further suggests that WSPs seeking access to ILEC support structures should be required to apply for a permit before and installation, even where a WSP has an existing connection. Comment on this proposal.

Questions for Bell Mobility, TELUS and Rogers

  1. Indicate whether there are terms or conditions in the network sharing or other agreements between your company and any other carrier that would restrict your ability to enter into wholesale MVNO access agreements. If so, provide details on the nature of the agreement and of the restrictions in question, including a specific page or paragraph reference as to where any such restriction can be found in the agreement document.
  2. Indicate whether there are any technical restrictions that would limit your ability to enter into wholesale MVNO access agreements. If so, provide details on the nature of the technical restrictions in question and their extent (e.g. geographic basis of restriction).
  3. The CEA and Halton Police have raised concerns about the resiliency of commercial wireless networks when they are used to support public safety-related communications. How does network sharing (e.g. RAN sharing) affect the resiliency of your shared network? What steps do you have in place to improve resiliency?
  4. Do you plan to extend your existing network sharing arrangements to 5G? Explain why or why not. What would be the benefits and risks of doing so?
  5. How many of your advertising campaigns in 2018 included a price discount off of the regular rate for the relevant mobile wireless plan? What percentage of your total advertising campaigns does this number represent?
  6. In Telecom Decision 2017-56Footnote16 , the Commission indicated that if the national wireless carriers “were directly interconnecting with each other but not providing a direct interconnection option to other wholesale roaming customers of similar scale, this may indicate preferential treatment.”
    1. Describe your company’s interconnection arrangements with each other Canadian wireless carrier.
    2. Provide copies of the agreements setting out the terms and conditions of each interconnection arrangement that your company has with another Canadian wireless carrier.

Questions for Eastlink, Sasktel, Shaw, SSi Micro, TBayTel, Videotron, and Xplornet

  1. Provide the price per GB paid by your retail mobile wireless customers for each of your brands and plans for each of the years 2014 to 2018, (i) in Canada on average; and (ii) in each province/territory. Provide all assumptions and methodology used to determine the price per GB. Further indicate, with supporting rationale, whether the price paid for retail mobile wireless voice and text services have followed a similar trend over the same period.

Questions for Videotron and SaskTel

  1. Indicate whether there are terms or conditions in the network sharing or other agreements between your company and any other carrier that would restrict your ability to enter into wholesale MVNO access agreements. If so, provide details on the nature of the agreement and of the restrictions in question, including a specific page or paragraph reference as to where any such restriction can be found in the agreement document.
  2. Indicate whether there are any technical restrictions that would limit your ability to enter into wholesale MVNO access agreements. If so, provide details on the nature of the technical restrictions in question and their extent (e.g. geographic basis of restriction).
  3. The CEA and Halton Police have raised concerns about the resiliency of commercial wireless networks when they are used to support public safety-related communications. How does network sharing (e.g. RAN sharing) affect the resiliency of your shared network? What steps do you have in place to improve resiliency?
  4. Do you plan to extend your existing network sharing arrangements to 5G? Explain why or why not. What would be the benefits and risks of doing so?

Questions for Videotron and SaskTel

  1. Indicate whether there are terms or conditions in the network sharing or other agreements between your company and any other carrier that would restrict your ability to enter into wholesale MVNO access agreements. If so, provide details on the nature of the agreement and of the restrictions in question, including a specific page or paragraph reference as to where any such restriction can be found in the agreement document.
  2. Indicate whether there are any technical restrictions that would limit your ability to enter into wholesale MVNO access agreements. If so, provide details on the nature of the technical restrictions in question and their extent (e.g. geographic basis of restriction).
  3. The CEA and Halton Police have raised concerns about the resiliency of commercial wireless networks when they are used to support public safety-related communications. How does network sharing (e.g. RAN sharing) affect the resiliency of your shared network? What steps do you have in place to improve resiliency?
  4. Do you plan to extend your existing network sharing arrangements to 5G? Explain why or why not. What would be the benefits and risks of doing so?

Questions for Bell Mobility

  1. Refer to paragraph 45 of your intervention where you submitted that the new entrants have maintained an average market share of net additions greater than 25%. Provide the source of this information broken down by new entrant.
  2. Refer to paragraph 86 of your intervention where you indicate that the price per GB paid by your customers for data has fallen quickly.
    1. Provide all supporting information, including all assumptions and methodology, to support this assertion. Using the same methodology, provide the price per GB paid by your retail mobile wireless customers for each of your brands and plans and for each of the years 2014 to 2018 (i) in Canada on average; and (ii) in each province/territory.
    2. Indicate, with supporting rationale, whether the price paid for retail mobile wireless voice and text services have declined to a similar extent over the same period. c. Elaborate on how the price decrease in Canada compares with price decreases in other jurisdictions over the same period.
  3. Please provide a summary of the history of Bell Mobility’s Virgin Mobile brand including: how and when Virgin first entered the Canadian market; whether it ever operated as an MVNO in Canada and, if so, on which carrier’s network; when and why it became a brand of Bell Mobility; and the nature of the current relevant arrangement(s) between Bell Mobility Inc. and/or its parent company, on the one hand, and Virgin Group and/or its affiliates, on the other, with respect to the operation and branding of Virgin Mobile in Canada.
  4. At paragraph 39 of your intervention you mention that ISED is considering increasing spectrum licensing fees. Please elaborate on what this is referring to.

The following questions apply to Bell Mobility’s Appendix A (Sanderson report):

  1. Refer to figure 2 of the Sanderson report which provides the average download speed on MTS’ network and in Ontario, and Table 3 which provides LTE coverage by province. Explain why the average download speed in MTS’ territory was higher in 2013 and 2014 than average download speeds in Ontario, despite Manitoba having less LTE coverage and lower prices.
  2. Provide all the regression results, including individual coefficients, standard errors, t statistics, P-value, and 90% confidence intervals for each coefficient in each regression in the report.
  3. What would the results of your analysis be if one were to first run regressions with the competition variable instead of network quality variables?
  4. What would happen if one were to undertake a regression using a dummy variable for robust competition instead of using the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec?
  5. What would happen if one were to undertake a regression using regional competitor market shares instead of HHI in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec?
  6. Refer to page 7 where it is indicated that “in theory, [the lower download and upload speeds and higher latency reported for 2016 for MTS] could be the result of greater demand on the MTS network because of lower pricing rather than being due to a lack of capital investment”.
    1. Provide any demand or capital investment data to support or refute the above.
    2. Provide the data that shows that “wireless technology and cell tower investments were much lower in Manitoba by MTS compared to capital investment levels undertaken by Bell, Rogers and TELUS in other provinces”.

Questions for Rogers

  1. Refer to paragraph 82 and Figure 4 of your intervention where you indicate that the price per megabyte of data in Rogers’ wireless data prices has declined by more than 60% over the last 6 years and provided per-unit prices for your mobile wireless data for these years.
    1. Provide all supporting information, including all assumptions and methodology, to support this assertion. Using the same methodology, provide the price per GB paid by your retail mobile wireless customers for each of your brands and plans and for each of the years 2014 to 2018 (i) in Canada on average; and (ii) in each province/territory.
    2. Indicate, with supporting rationale, whether the price paid for retail mobile wireless voice and text services have declined to a similar extent over the same period.
    3. Elaborate on how the price decrease in Canada compares with price decreases in other jurisdictions over the same period.

The following question applies to Roger’s Appendix A (the Imobix report):

  1. The Imobix report provides an analysis of MVNO activity and regulatory policy in the US and indicates that a competitive MVNO market has developed without regulatory intervention. It concludes (see paragraphs 65-67) that the Commission should not mandate wholesale access to MVNOs. Discuss why, in your view, a similar competitive MVNO market has not developed in Canada.

Questions for TELUS

  1. Provide the price per GB paid by your retail mobile wireless customers for each of your brands and plans for each of the years 2014 to 2018, (i) in Canada on average; and (ii) in each province/territory. Provide all assumptions and the methodology used to determine the price per GB. Further indicate, with supporting rationale, whether the price paid for retail mobile wireless voice and text services have followed a similar trend over the same period.

The following questions apply to TELUS’ Appendix A (the Crandall report):

  1. The Crandall report indicates that a connection to a mobile wireless network and data usage on that network are in separate product markets. Provide evidence of consumer usage patterns to support this position.
  2. The Crandall report indicates that prepaid and postpaid plans form part of the same product market. Provide evidence of consumer usage patterns to support this position.
  3. In the Crandall report, a number of comparisons are made between Canada, the United States and European countries. Indicate why several factors, such as mobile wireless HHI, LTE coverage, subscriptions, and investment, were aggregated and considered at the European level and not at country level.
  4. Explain why the report does not address coordinated behaviours. Are any of the factors associated with coordinated behavioursFootnote17 present in the Canadian wireless market?
  5. Explain why the report does not address barriers to entry in the mobile wireless market. How significant are they in the context of the Canadian market?
  6. Refer to paragraph 22 where you indicate that the HHI is relatively low in Canada. Provide the individual company market shares used in calculating the Canadian industry HHI for 2018

The following questions apply to TELUS’ Appendix B (The Dippon Price Comparison Report):

  1. Were 3G flanker brand prices included in the price survey? If so, explain why, given the differences in performance between 3G and other network technologies.
  2. Were prepaid plans included in the price survey? If so, explain why, given differences in the terms and conditions, and popularity, between prepaid and postpaid plans.
  3. Of the 246 Canadian wireless plans included in the price survey, only 54 (or 22%) are from the national wireless carriers’ main brands, which would appear to significantly underrepresent the main brands’ market share. Does this apparent under-representation skew the results of the survey such that prices would appear to be lower than they actually are for the majority of Canadian wireless customers? Explain with supporting rationale.
  4. Refer to page 28 where it indicates that for mobile wireless baskets, for each provider in each city, the analysis used the plans with the lowest data allowance, the highest data allowance and a plan in between. Explain how this methodology for selecting mobile wireless plans ensures consistency and comparability across plans, cities, and other jurisdictions. Also explain how the “plans in between” have been selected.

The following questions apply to TELUS’s Appendix C (the Dippon MVNO report):

  1. In the correlations you undertook, explain why you did not correlate the number of MVNOs (or their market shares) in a country with some measures of pricing (such as the OECD price index)?
  2. Refer to section II. B. of your report where you examined whether the size of the MVNO market is correlated with consumers benefits. Explain why correlating the number of MVNOs with churn rates and ARPU is a valid measure of their competitive impact.

Questions for Cogeco

  1. In your HMNO proposal, would a carrier be eligible for mandated access to other carriers’ mobile wireless networks in the same Tier 4 area where they already provide mobile wireless service using their own RAN? If so, explain why this would be necessary.
  2. In your submission you indicate that roaming policy changes are required to implement wholesale MVNO access.
    1. Identify and describe in detail all modifications that would need to be made to roaming policy to enable wholesale MVNO access.
    2. Would wholesale MVNO access be subject to the same rates, terms, and conditions as wholesale roaming? If yes, explain how this would be just and reasonable given the different intended uses of the two types of wholesale access.

Question for ITPA

  1. Comment on the view expressed by the CCWS, CIPPIC and OpenMedia, and the Manitoba Coalition, among others, that mobile wireless penetration and mobile wireless data usage is lower in Canada compared to other jurisdictions. In particular, comment on whether you agree with the view that wireless penetration and data usage is generally lower in Canada than in other jurisdictions Footnote18 and, if yes, what factors contribute to this situation.

Questions for Tucows

  1. At paragraph 3 of your submission you argue that MVNOs are frequently able to offer unserved or underserved communities better service than they would otherwise get. Provide all evidence you have that supports this claim.
  2. In Appendix A of your submission you proposed rates for MVNO access services. Provide a detailed explanation of how you determined these rates.

Questions for the CCWS, CIPPIC and OpenMedia, the FRCP, and the Manitoba Coalition

  1. With respect to international comparisons, indicate, with supporting rationale, which criteria of a demographic, socio-economic, geographic or other nature should be taken into account to select comparable jurisdictions for benchmarking purposes. Also provide a list of countries that would best meet these criteria.
  2. Several parties, including Cogeco (see paragraphs 161-165 of its intervention), have referred to the Australian wireless market as an example of a market that is similar to the Canadian market (i.e. three national wireless carriers, large land mass with low population density), but where wireless rates are significantly lower than those seen in Canada (and in most other countries for that matter) and where there are as many as 60 MVNOs operating. Provide any insights or evidence you might have about the Australian wireless market and regulatory environment that might explain why retail mobile wireless prices appear to be so low compared to those in other countries.
  3. In their interventions, certain consumer groups, for example the CCWS and the Manitoba Coalition, as well as several individual Canadians, submitted that there was a lack of choice for affordable mobile wireless services plans in the market, particularly for individuals and households with low incomes.
    To respond to these concerns, the CCWS proposed, among other things, that the Commission mandate a low-cost wireless plan comprising unlimited Canada-wide voice and text as well as 4GB of data on LTE for $25-$30 per month.Footnote19 The Manitoba Coalition also indicated that it would explore, as part of this proceeding, the merits of imposing a $20-$25 basic wireless package including voice, text and data on all wireless carriers as a condition of service.
    In order to permit the Commission to explore such proposals, please respond to the following:
    1. Indicate whether low-cost wireless plans similar to the one proposed by the CCWS or envisioned by the Manitoba Coalition ought to be considered a relevant product market for the purposes of an assessment under section 34 of the Telecommunications Act (the Act). If not, what would the relevant product market be in this context?
    2. Irrespective of your answer to a., answer the following questions based on the assumption that low-cost wireless plans constitute the relevant product market. If you consider that there is another relevant product market, you may also answer the following questions in respect of that product market:
      1. What is the relevant geographic market for low-cost wireless plans?
      2. Is competition for low-cost wireless plans sufficient to protect the interests of users?
      3. ould continued forbearance from regulation of low-cost wireless plans be consistent with the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives?
      4. Would continued forbearance from regulation of low-cost wireless plans be likely to impair unduly the establishment or continuance of a competitive market for such services?
    3. Indicate, with supporting rationale, whether it would be appropriate for the Commission to mandate the provision of low-cost wireless plans. Refer, where applicable, to the criteria set out in Telecom Decision 94-19Footnote20 , including the market shares of the largest and of the other firms, demand and supply conditions, the likelihood of entry into the market, barriers to entry into the market, and evidence of rivalrous behaviour.
    4. If the Commission were to find that it was appropriate to mandate the provision of low-cost wireless plans, discuss whether it would be appropriate for the Commission to:
      1. Establish conditions (e.g. amount of data, data overage charge restrictions, no bundling required, price ceiling, etc.) for these plans using its powers under sections 24 and 27 of the Act; or
      2. ii. Require wireless carriers to file tariffs for these plans pursuant to section 25 of the Act.

      If the answer to either question is “yes” discuss how the Commission should determine an appropriate amount for a price ceiling or an appropriate rate or method for determining the rate under subsections 27(1) and 27(5) of the Act.
  4. Refer to paragraph 36 of Shaw’s intervention, in which it indicated that new Freedom customers are subject to retention tactics by the national wireless carriers specifically targeted to these new subscribers.
    1. In your view, are win back activities indicative of a competitive market, or are they a sign of market power in the sense that service providers are holding back their best offers until a customer threatens to leave?
    2. Indicate, with supporting rationale, whether it would be appropriate to establish any measures to limit win back activities from the national wireless carriers, including any limitations on non-advertised offers. Should you be of the view that it would be appropriate for the Commission to implement such measures, provide, with supporting rationale, a description of the specific limitations that should be established and an explanation as to how they are properly tailored to address the market concern you consider needs to be addressed.
  5. Bell Mobility, Rogers and TELUS all operate a variety of flanker brands and certain parties including TELUS have argued that these flankers operate as de facto MVNOs in the Canadian market. Please provide your views on the role flanker brands play in the Canadian market. Are they a sign of healthy competition or are they indicative of market power? Should the Commission consider any rules preventing or limiting flanker brands in some way to encourage the entry of independent MVNOs?
  6. Refer to paragraph 91 of the Competition Bureau’s intervention in which it indicated that separating the handset purchase from the service plan purchase could encourage competition by reducing switching costs for customers. Provide your view as to whether it would be appropriate to establish such an obligation as a way to facilitate switching. Include discussion on the benefits to consumers, the impacts on service providers, and any legal or technical issues the Commission should consider.
  7. Refer to paragraph 72 of CNOC’s intervention in which it indicated that 5% of total mobile wireless revenues in 2017, which represents about $1.22 billion, were generated from data overage charges. Footnote21
    1. Indicate, with supporting rationale, whether it would be appropriate for the Commission to regulate wireless data overage charges either through the establishment of a price ceiling or through the establishment of a tariffed rate. Refer, where applicable, to the criteria set out in Telecom Decision 94-19. Footnote22 In answering this question, address, amongst other relevant matters, the following:
      1. What is the relevant product market when considering wireless data overage charges?
      2. Is competition for the relevant product market sufficient to protect the interest of users with respect to the charging of overage charges?
      3. Would continued forbearance from regulation of wireless charges for data overage be consistent with the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives?
    2. Indicate, along with all supporting rationale, whether it would be appropriate for the Commission to establish any conditions of service under section 24 with regards to overage charges either in addition to or instead of any measures that could be adopted under sections 25 and/or 27(1) and addressed in your response to (a) above.
  8. In its submission Shaw argues that network sharing arrangements between national wireless carriers provide incentives to foreclose competition from new entrants, and that these companies are unwilling to enter into network or spectrum sharing arrangements with companies other than other national wireless carriers.
    CNOC also indicated in its submission that “the The Commission should review the content of any network sharing arrangements to assess whether they contain terms that may affect the development of competition negatively. This is particularly a concern when MNOs with market power, such as Bell and TELUS, enter into network sharing arrangements.”
    1. What are the benefits of network sharing?
    2. What impacts do existing network sharing arrangements between wireless carriers have on competition in wireless telecommunications markets?
    3. Does sharing a network add to the risk of coordinated behaviour which reduces competition? Is there evidence of coordinated behaviour in the Canadian market?
    4. What impact does spectrum pooling between partners in a network sharing arrangement have on the Canadian wireless telecommunications market?
    5. How will current and possible future network sharing arrangements impact the development of 5G networks?
    6. Will the potential proliferation of 5G small cells encourage network sharing?
    7. If, in your view, network sharing is having or will have a negative impact on wireless telecommunications markets, identify all measures the Commission could take to address your concerns. What would be the jurisdictional basis for the Commission to impose these measures?
  9. With respect to defining relevant product markets for the purpose of assessing the state of competition in the retail mobile wireless services market, discuss, with supporting rationale, whether:
    1. Mobile wireless services offered over different network technologies (i.e. 3G, LTE, LTE-A and/or 5G mobile wireless services) are part of the same product market;
    2. Prepaid and postpaid mobile wireless services are part of the same product market;
    3. Phone and tablet plans are part of the same product market;
    4. Mobile wireless services for the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications are in the same product market as retail mobile wireless phone plans; and
    5. Residential and business mobile wireless services are in the same product market.

Questions for the Competition Bureau

  1. With respect to international comparisons, indicate, with supporting rationale, which criteria of a demographic, socio-economic, geographic or other nature should be taken into account to select comparable jurisdictions for benchmarking purposes. Also provide a list of countries that would best meet these criteria.
  2. Several parties, including Cogeco (see paragraphs 161-165 of its intervention), have referred to the Australian wireless market as an example of a market that is similar to the Canadian market (i.e. three national wireless carriers, large land mass with low population density), but where wireless rates are significantly lower than those seen in Canada (and in most other countries for that matter) and where there are as many as 60 MVNOs operating. Provide any insights or evidence you might have about the Australian wireless market and regulatory environment that might explain why retail mobile wireless prices appear to be so low compared to those in other countries.
  3. In their interventions, certain consumer groups, for example the CCWS and the Manitoba Coalition, as well as several individual Canadians, submitted that there was a lack of choice for affordable mobile wireless services plans in the market, particularly for individuals and households with low incomes.
    To respond to these concerns, the CCWS proposed, among other things, that the Commission mandate a low-cost wireless plan comprising unlimited Canada-wide voice and text as well as 4GB of data on LTE for $25-$30 per month. Footnote23 The Manitoba Coalition also indicated that it would explore, as part of this proceeding, the merits of imposing a $20-$25 basic wireless package including voice, text and data on all wireless carriers as a condition of service.
    In order to permit the Commission to explore such proposals, please respond to the following:
    1. Indicate whether low-cost wireless plans similar to the one proposed by the CCWS or envisioned by the Manitoba Coalition ought to be considered a relevant product market for the purposes of an assessment under section 34 of the Telecommunications Act (the Act). If not, what would the relevant product market be in this context?
    2. Irrespective of your answer to a., answer the following questions based on the assumption that low-cost wireless plans constitute the relevant product market. If you consider that there is another relevant product market, you may also answer the following questions in respect of that product market:
      1. What is the relevant geographic market for low-cost wireless plans?
      2. Is competition for low-cost wireless plans sufficient to protect the interests of users?
      3. Would continued forbearance from regulation of low-cost wireless plans be consistent with the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives?
      4. Would continued forbearance from regulation of low-cost wireless plans be likely to impair unduly the establishment or continuance of a competitive market for such services?
    3. Indicate, with supporting rationale, whether it would be appropriate for the Commission to mandate the provision of low-cost wireless plans. Refer, where applicable, to the criteria set out in Telecom Decision 94-19, Footnote24 including the market shares of the largest and of the other firms, demand and supply conditions, the likelihood of entry into the market, barriers to entry into the market, and evidence of rivalrous behaviour.
    4. If the Commission were to find that it was appropriate to mandate the provision of low-cost wireless plans, discuss whether it would be appropriate for the Commission to:
      1. Establish conditions (e.g. amount of data, data overage charge restrictions, no bundling required, price ceiling, etc.) for these plans using its powers under sections 24 and 27 of the Act; or
      2. Require wireless carriers to file tariffs for these plans pursuant to section 25 of the Act.

      If the answer to either question is “yes” discuss how the Commission should determine an appropriate amount for a price ceiling or an appropriate rate or method for determining the rate under subsections 27(1) and 27(5) of the Act.
  4. Refer to paragraph 36 of Shaw’s intervention, in which it indicated that new Freedom customers are subject to retention tactics by the national wireless carriers specifically targeted to these new subscribers.
    1. In your view, are win back activities indicative of a competitive market, or are they a sign of market power in the sense that service providers are holding back their best offers until a customer threatens to leave?
    2. Indicate, with supporting rationale, whether it would be appropriate to establish any measures to limit win back activities from the national wireless carriers, including any limitations on non-advertised offers. Should you be of the view that it would be appropriate for the Commission decide to implement such measures, provide, with supporting rationale, a description of the specific limitations that should be established and an explanation as to how they are properly tailored to address the market concern you consider needs to be addressed.
  5. Bell Mobility, Rogers and TELUS all operate a variety of flanker brands and certain parties including TELUS have argued that these flankers operate as de facto MVNOs in the Canadian market. Please provide your views on the role flanker brands play in the Canadian market. Are they a sign of healthy competition or are they indicative of market power? Should the Commission consider any rules preventing or limiting flanker brands in some way to encourage the entry of independent MVNOs?
  6. With respect to defining relevant product markets for the purpose of assessing the state of competition in the retail mobile wireless services market, discuss, with supporting rationale, whether:
    1. Mobile wireless services offered over different network technologies (i.e. 3G, LTE, LTE-A and/or 5G mobile wireless services) are part of the same product market;
    2. Prepaid and postpaid mobile wireless services are part of the same product market;
    3. Phone and tablet plans are part of the same product market;
    4. Mobile wireless services for the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications are in the same product market as retail mobile wireless phone plans; and
    5. Residential and business mobile wireless services are in the same product market.
  7. How does the Competition Bureau define a “strong regional competitor”? Please list all wireless service providers that would meet this definition.
  8. The Bureau states in its Intervention that it “has collected publicly available pricing data over the last 20 months” (paragraph 25) and that “factors such as quality, coverage, demographics or geographic characteristics do not explain the provincial price differences. This was confirmed…using publicly available data” (paragraph 27). Please provide:
    1. The public pricing data collected by the Bureau over the last 20 months, in Excel format; and
    2. A technical explanation of the calculations performed using this data to reach the conclusions stated in its intervention.
  9. Refer to section 5.4 of the Merger Enforcement Guidelines ,Footnote25 where it is stated that:

    “When a regulated or historical incumbent firm is facing deregulation or enhanced competition, shares based on new customer acquisitions may be a better indicator of competitive vigor than are shares based on existing customers.”

    1. Please provide a detailed explanation why this is the case.
    2. Do you consider that this applies to the Canadian wireless market? Explain why or why not.
  10. Refer to paragraph 12 of your intervention in which you refer to the pricing analysis you conducted for the Bell/MTS merger.
    1. Please explain the methodology for the pricing analysis conducted in the Bell/MTS merger review conducted by the Bureau, and provide a summary of the analysis omitting any information that the Bureau is precluded from sharing pursuant to the Competition Act.
    2. Please provide any findings or analyses that were made about the impact on competition attributable to Eastlink’s presence in the Maritimes markets. If there are differences with the other markets studied, explain the reasons for these differences.
  11. Refer to “Competition Bureau statement regarding Bell’s acquisition of MTS” Footnote26 where you state that :

    “The relevant product market was found to be postpaid mobile wireless plans sold to consumers. Corporate customers constitute a separate product market as they purchase services through alternate channels and have different requirements. The Bureau’s analysis indicated that consumers who are interested in postpaid mobile wireless plans are unlikely to consider prepaid plans or landline telephones to be a close substitute. The relevant geographic market for assessing the Proposed Transaction was found to be no broader than the province of Manitoba. Mobile wireless carriers can, and do, set different prices for mobile wireless plans in different Canadian provinces.” [Footnotes omitted]

    Please provide more details on how the relevant product and geographic markets were arrived at in this case and indicate if the same analysis with respect to the product and geographic markets would apply in this proceeding.

Question for CEA

  1. At paragraph 58 of your submission, you refer to how mobile network codes (MNC’s) are assigned in the Netherlands including changes that were made to allow shared MNCs.
    1. Are you requesting that a similar scheme be adopted in Canada?
    2. Are regulatory changes that would allow shared MNCs an absolute requirement for your proposed PVNO to operate? Explain with supporting rationale.

Questions for CCIA

  1. With respect to international comparisons, indicate, with supporting rationale, which criteria of a demographic, socio-economic, geographic or other nature should be taken into account to select comparable jurisdictions for benchmarking purposes. Also provide a list of countries that would best meet these criteria.
  2. In your submission you state that under the right set of regulatory approaches, MVNOs potentially can be more innovative with respect to pricing plans:
    1. What regulatory actions could the Commission take to encourage innovative MVNO offerings? b. In your view, why have MVNOs in the US had a greater impact on pricing and competition in the US market (without the need for regulatory intervention) than in Canada, where MVNO competition has been virtually non-existent?
    2. Your association represents some of the largest and most profitable technology companies in the world including Amazon, Facebook and Google. In your view, what is the likelihood that one or more of these large tech companies would enter the Canadian market as an MVNO under the proper regulatory regime?
  3. In the United States the Lifeline program subsidizes the provision of discounted service to eligible low-income subscribers. What role has the Lifeline program had with respect to the proliferation of MVNOs in the United States?

Questions for FCM, Ville de Montréal, and the Province of British Columbia

  1. Shaw recommends (at paragraph 106) that the Commission “initiate and lead a broad-based multi-stakeholder working group comprising stakeholders from industry, interested regulatory bodies, and municipalities to work through the various issues associated with the deployment of 5G wireless network infrastructure.” Comment on this proposal.
  2. If the Commission were to initiate a working group on the deployment of 5G wireless infrastructure:
    1. Which organizations should be members of the group?
    2. What should the Commission task the group to do?
    3. What specific questions should the Commission ask the group to investigate?
  3. Some parties discussed the need for a more coordinated approach to municipal approvals.
    1. FCM proposed that 5G will require a more coordinated approach. Would it be feasible for carriers to give advanced notice and proceed on a coordinated basis to seek municipal approvals? Explain why or why not.
    2. SaskTel proposed that blanket agreements with municipalities with long term partnerships and master licence agreements should be encouraged. Would this be feasible? Explain why or why not.
    3. Would it be appropriate to refer these issue to a 5G working group, if one is created?
  4. Comment on the applicability of section 43 of the Telecommunications Act to wireless technologies with respect to the following:
    1. What measures do you consider that the Commission should adopt with respect to municipal access to address any concerns you have identified?
    2. With regards to any measure proposed, provide, along with all supporting reasoning, the jurisdictional basis for these measures. Your answer should address, amongst other matters, the implications to be drawn from:
      1. the meaning of the phrase “highway or other public place” in section 43
      2. the use of the term “transmission wire” in subsection 43(5) of the Telecommunications Act; the use of the term “transmission facility” elsewhere in that Act; and, the powers provided the Minister of ISED under section 5 of the Radiocommunications Act, RSC 1985, c R-2.
      3. To the extent that the jurisdictional basis is not grounded in s.43 of the Telecommunications Act, explain why this section does not serve to bar recourse of the provision relied upon.
  5. Some parties proposed that the Commission implement a policy similar to FCC 18-133: Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment and Accelerating Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment. Footnote27
    1. In your view, would such an approach be feasible in Canada? Why or why not?
    2. To what extent should the Commission adopt an approach similar to the FCC?
      1. In particular, would an expedited dispute resolution process be feasible?
      2. Should timelines (“shot clocks”) be implemented?
    3. Are there any jurisdictional considerations that inform your answer to sub-questions (a) and (b) and, if yes, what are these considerations?
    4. If you consider that the Commission can and should adopt an approach similar to that reflected in FCC 18-133, what regulatory changes would be required?
    5. Would this issue be more appropriately addressed in a follow up proceeding?
    6. Are there any other regulatory approaches or policies regarding infrastructure deployment being used in other jurisdictions in Europe, Asia or elsewhere that could be considered in the Canadian context?
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