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Cozy oligopoly, or risk taking innovators?

In Just how cozy is Canadian Wireless, Mark Goldberg sides with Canadian wireless carriers who assert that the market is competitive. Mark writes "I have a colleague who likes to say that price discounting is a lazy approach to marketing",  and he goes on to repeat the position of the carriers that the new services they are bringing to market is evidence of a competitive market place. 

To be sure, investing in product innovation is costly, and has been the traditional defence offered by network operators when confronted with apparently rich pricing plans.  Another viewpoint worth considering is that the Canadian Wireless market may, in fact, be a cozy oligopoly, and the services and network enhancements being touted have already been pioneered in other markets.  When others blaze the trail the risk is not born by the local carrier, but rather a carrier in a foreign market.  Whether it's video telephony, navigation, or new phones, these are hardly high risk service offerings.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Andrew June 4, 2007, 7:21 am

    Considering we are forced to use US carriers for wireless data (and it is still cheaper than using a CDN carrier even with forwarding costs), as our rates are so out of whack with the rest of the 3rd world, I would say that Mark is 'sipping Koolaid'

  • Jason Yeung June 4, 2007, 5:23 pm

    Agreed. Data rates here are horrendous – which is exactly why I use an American carrier just for this purpose.

    – Jason

  • Hoddo June 5, 2007, 1:39 am

    There will always be risk even in following foreign carriers in their policies and pricing strategies. "Blaze the Trail" I say. If we fall down, we get up again – the same in Business as it is in Life.

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