Remember when Bell Media (TSX:BCE)(NYSE:BCE) refused to continue 5G broadband expansion efforts in rural Canadian communities after government regulation by the CRTC reduced the price ceiling on wholesale wireless rates?
Meanwhile, Rogers (TSX:RCI)(TSX:RCI.B) expanded its IoT offerings and is loving the Big Three partnership with AT&T.
Every Canadian citizen should add at least one of the Big Three telecom providers to their portfolio before the 5G rollout and capitalize on Canadian technology advancement.
Lucky households in all 25 Nunavut communities now enjoy mobile data speeds up to 100 megabytes per second (mbps). Last week, Bell announced the rollout of wireless broadband service in these communities, a project that took two years to complete.
There are 35,944 residents in the entire territory of Nunavut. Bell had recently threatened to pull the plug on rural broadband projects after the CRTC reduced the wholesale rates Bell may charge third-party resellers.
The CRTC regulates broadcasting and telecommunications providers including prices to prevent monopoly pricing from hurting consumers.
As the project was already underway and nearly complete, Bell completed the Nunavut project, but has planned no further expansions. It is unclear whether Bell reduced investment plans in these communities or whether they continued with its original plans.
Canadian telecom companies Bell, Rogers, and Telus have partnered with U.S. AT&T to provide enterprise customers with addition Internet of Things (IoT) options.
AT&T customers may now roam on any of these Big Three telecommunication providers’ networks, and vice versa. Bell, Rogers, and Telus control 90% of Canada’s wireless networks.
This year, Rogers launched the Narrow-Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT), allowing stationary IoT devices and sensors to communicate small amounts of data over long distances with record low power requirements.
U.S. businesses interested in reducing the number of vendors across geographic segments may not access NB-IoT in Canada or the United States.
Dean Prevost, President of Rogers for Business, commented, “Rogers is leading the way in IoT and with today’s announcements, we are delivering on our commitment to bring Canadian businesses the latest in IoT connectivity and Managed Solutions.”
Managed IoT solutions include Help desk services, telecom expense management, Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) hosting.
Managed solutions are great for small- to medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources to internalize expense management or help desk services for employees.
Alberta will be receiving a $16 billion influx of 5G funds throughout the next five years. Telus wants to give the province more significant access to healthcare technology by laying down more PureFibre and increase IoT and agricultural services.
Telus President and CEO Darren Entwistle emphasized that beneficiaries should also include rural areas despite the CRTC price ceiling:
“Indeed, in the province’s more remote communities, the advent of broadband and wireless networks, ubiquitously deployed, are bridging time and distance, allowing residents to live and work in any community yielding improved productivity and pervasive economic opportunities.”
Telus is the smallest of the three big telecommunications providers in Canada. With less market share, Bell’s refusal to expand in more rural areas was an opportunity for Telus to step in and expand its geographic scope.
Although Alberta is 81% of Alberta’s population is urban, 19% of its citizens are dispersed throughout rural prairies.