Canada says wireless roaming cap sends signal ahead of auction

OTTAWA Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:58pm EST

OTTAWA Dec 18 (Reuters) - Canada's plan to cap roaming rates that big phone companies charge their rivals sends a strong message encouraging wireless competition ahead of January's auction of wireless spectrum, Industry Minister James Moore told Reuters on Wednesday.

"We think sending this important signal today more than a month ahead of the 700 (MHz) auction, ahead of the 2300 and 3500 auctions that are coming as well, that the status quo is not going to continue and that the gap between wholesale and retail is not appropriate and not conducive to greater competition for consumers," he said in a telephone interview.

"That this is yet another ingredient that we think will help spur more competition in the marketplace, and that's the ultimate goal of our policy."

He said the decision to cap rates would level the playing field and force the big incumbent players to change their polices.

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