Distributel argues for mandating wholesale services required by ‘Full MVNOs’

It says measures focused on promoting facilities-based competition have not led to sustainable competition

Distributel argued in favour of mandating wholesale services required by ‘Full MVNOs’ to enter and compete in the retail market.

It says that a Full MVNO “is a service-based wireless provider that does not own spectrum or operate its own radio access network. It instead relies on wholesale services purchased from an underlying wireless carrier to provide wireless services to customers in the retail market.”

During the CRTC’s public hearings, the company argued that regulatory measures focused on promoting facilities-based competition have not led to sustainable competition, and that a new approach is required.

It suggested that the wholesale services would be subject to reasonable rates, terms and conditions that allow Full MVNOs to compete while ensuring that the national wireless carriers earn a fair return on their investment.

Distributel says that except for the operation of a radio access network, Full MVNOs are responsible for all other aspects of their operations such as sales, marketing, billing and the operation of a core network.

“To use the existing wholesale wireline broadband framework as an analogy – Distributel and other ISPs that use aggregated wholesale high-speed access services to provide retail broadband offerings are the wireline equivalent of a Full MVNO,” the company said.

It explained that in this context, Distributel is responsible for all aspects of its network except those related to last mile wireless access.

“Full MVNOs provide the greatest competitive benefits to the retail market as they are able to control all aspects of their operations,” the company claimed. “For this reason, we believe the focus should be on mandating only the wholesale services that are required by Full MVNOs to enter and compete in the retail market.”

Distributel also says it should be required that mandated wholesale services be provided at the same quality, level of service, and using the same technology that the national wireless carriers use to provide their own retail services.

Further, it says that Full MVNOs should have control over how their customers’ data and voice traffic is routed and handled by requiring the national wireless carriers to hand back that traffic to the Full MVNO.

Both Bell and Telus have presented their arguments against mandating MVNO access, while Rogers is scheduled to make its appearance on February 26th.


  • Aisha Malik

    Aisha is a telecom and technology reporter for MobileSyrup. She holds a Master of Media in Journalism and Communication from Western University and obtained her Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. She’s passionate about all things tech, especially artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.