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Michael Geist's Blog

Why a New Approach To Roaming Could Shake Up the Canadian Wireless Landscape

Having initially dismissed the prospect of Verizon's entry into the Canadian market, telecom analysts are now seeking to downplay the likely impact, questioning whether Verizon would become a consumer-focused competitor and suggesting its focus may be limited to the corporate market. While the Verizon's precise plans remain unknown, it seems likely that much of their interest in Canada stems from roaming costs.

Carrier roaming costs (and revenues) are typically shrouded in secrecy, but it seems likely that Verizon faces a significant imbalance when it comes to roaming costs in Canada. Recent reports from both the OECD and BEREC (the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications) point to the typical model for roaming costs, with carriers preferring to simply swap traffic with no net payments. The OECD discusses this in an international roaming study released last month:


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