CRTC wants to know if big players charge competition too much for network use

Workers install equipment on a cellular telephone antenna tower in Lakewood, N.J.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Mel Evans

OTTAWA - The federal telecom regulator will look into whether big wireless companies are charging their smaller Canadian competitors too much to use their networks.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission says it wants to know if the big players are putting the competition at an unfair disadvantage.

The CRTC says some of the larger companies are charging — or want to charge — smaller Canadian companies "significantly higher" wholesale roaming rates than they charge wireless companies in the United States.

Smaller wireless providers have to rely on the networks of bigger companies when their customers travel outside their coverage area.

The bigger companies charge the smaller companies to use their networks.

Earlier this year, the CRTC asked wireless companies for information about their roaming arrangements with other Canadian and American competitors.

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