2016 Carrier News in Review

Our year-end retrospective continues with a look back at the notable carrier-related stories of 2016. Note the strong bias towards the Canadian market in what follows, as that’s where I happen to live. Sorry, eh?

CANADA

Bell Acquires MTS

Our biggest story of the year had to be Bell’s takeover of Manitoba Telecom Services, a deal that was recently approved by the CRTC. This regional carrier was at least partly responsible for one of the most popular Canadian plans on Howard Forums, the $55 (now $48) Manitoba/Saskatchewan (now just MB) plan from Koodo. Some links:

BCE Buys MTS: Some Notable Quotes

Winseck and Klass Weigh in on BCE and MTS

How The Colony Could Learn from The Empire

Competition

Wireless plans in Canada continue to mimic gas prices; the guy on one corner continues to raise or lower prices (mostly raise them) to match the guy on the opposite corner. The one bit of good news: WIND—I mean, Freedom Mobile now supports LTE data, albeit on only two devices.

This is What Wireless Competition Looks Like in Canada

Egregious New Data Overages Coming to Fido; Other Carriers to Follow?

Freedom Mobile’s LTE Network Now Live in Toronto and Vancouver

S**t Guy Laurence Says

Notable Plans

Queuing for SIM cards? Only in Canada.

USA

Zero-Rated Data

In studying the U.S. wireless market from afar it seems to me that this was the most contentious issue of the year. I myself am a strong believer in net neutrality; zero-rated services are awesome if you’re subscribed to the carrier that offers them, and awful if you’re not… which is kind of the point.

The Dangers of Zero-Rated Data

Netflix Video Throttled on AT&T and Verizon

Ars Technica Profiles FCC Chair Tom Wheeler

Notable Plans

How to get Unlimited Internet on Sprint for $500/year (tax-deductible)

If there are any big carrier-related stories that I’ve missed—particularly from the United States—feel free to add them below!

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