Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 02/11/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
MONTREAL -- The hot-button issues Canadians have with cellphone contracts -- roaming fees, ability to unlock handsets and three-year contracts -- will get another opportunity to be heard this week.
The CRTC will hold a week of public hearings starting today on its proposed wireless code. The regulator is aiming for a set of national standards for the content and clarity of cellphone contracts.
In the lead-up to the hearings, Canadians have again made it clear they don't want three-year contracts offered by wireless carriers.
"Eliminate three-year contracts," said a comment submitted by a user identified as Celli041 on the online forum for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission's draft wireless code.
"Eliminate onerous processes that make it harder to get out of a contract and go elsewhere for cellphone services."
The CRTC has said it heard a lot of "anger" from Canadians about three-year contracts when it was putting together the draft version of the national code for wireless services, released last month.
So far, the CRTC hasn't taken up the idea to get rid of such contracts and has instead dealt with such issues as early termination fees, allowing the consumer to cancel service at any time.
Telecom analyst Iain Grant said the CRTC should ban three-year contracts because they don't foster competition and prevent consumers from easily moving to another carrier.
"You lock them in and you get them into some sort of auto-renewal cycle forever," said Grant, managing director at the SeaBoard Group.
"What does that do to a vibrant marketplace?"
He also said it makes it htougher for new wireless companies like Public Mobile, Wind Mobile and Mobilicity to win customers.
Grant said the CRTC has chosen to "treat the symptoms and not the disease," noting Canada is the exception with its three-year cellphone contracts while two-year contracts are the norm in the United States and Europe.
Consumers can also get stuck with aging devices.
"In the land of technological innovation, which is the smartphone world, three years is an eternity," Grant said.
A participant in the CRTC's online forum agreed. "Maximum two-year contracts," wrote Yeti.
However, consumers don't always like paying up front for their iPhone, Android or BlackBerry smartphones.
-- The Canadian Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 11, 2013 B5
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Credit Suisse has $779M loss in 2Q due US tax case
Scraping together a handsome bottom line
Manufacturing rebound seen
Imax, Shanghai Film to open 19 screens in China
Maine city vote effectively bans tar sands oil
China, Venezuela deepen economic ties during visit
Choice Properties reports $1.5M Q2 net loss
Tallest Poppy blooms again
B.C. ordered to pay mining company 335,000
Judge: FDA can't use tobacco panel menthol report
Widow: Jury sent tobacco company a $23B message
Securities commission goes after blogger
PrairieSky posts $23.9-million profit
Bureau Ok's sale of Loblaw, Shoppers outlets
Agreements signed for Nova Scotia LNG plant
Yahoo buying app and analytics company Flurry
Most actively traded companies on the TSX
Wave of media mergers may be in wings
Netflix tops 50M subscribers as 2Q earnings soar
Brookfield Canada Office Q2 profit rises
5 things Atlantic City is doing to reverse slide
A history of casino revenue, jobs in Atlantic City
CN earns $847 million in Q2 on higher revenue
Six Flags and Hasbro are big market movers
Ackman says he can prove Herbalife is a 'fraud'
New Orleans putting smoked butts in a better place
Entrepreneurs can be key to youth jobs
US Treasury bill rates mixed at weekly auction
Mississippi's Margaritaville casino closing
GO Transit not affected by pay hikes: Matthews
US says airlines add jobs for 6th straight month
German supermarket tycoon Albrecht dead at 94
BlackBerry appoints new chief operating officer
Oil prices above US$104; natural gas sinks
Valeant takes action on Allergan claims
Former Sino-Forest CFO settles with OSC
WestJet offers new direct flights to Florida