As speculation mounts that the Conservative government will make an announcement related to Canadian foreign ownership restrictions, a new report by Forrester Research says the restrictions threaten Canada's wireless market innovation and pricing. Brownlee Thomas, a Montreal-based analyst with Forrester Research, wrote the report, called “Foreign Ownership Rules Threaten Vibrant Canadian Wireless Competition and Pricing.” It was released this week. Thomas concludes, “The lack of competition means that Canadians currently have very limited choices among wireless service providers, and as a result, between wireless service plans.” The report states that Canada’s wireless sector is still dominated by three players: Rogers Wireless, Bell Mobility and Telus. Thomas cites 2009 data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that places Canada 28 out of 30 industrialized countries for the cost of medium-usage wireless plans. Canada fared a little better for low-usage and high-usage plans where it ranked 20th and 19th, respectively. According to surveys by Forrester Research, Canada has a little more than 22 million active mobile phone subscribers, with national wireless penetration of about 67 per cent. It’s a number that’s much lower than many other developed countries, Thomas writes. The Forrester report comes as observers speculate that the Conservative government will announce a relaxation of the restrictions next week in the Speech from the Throne or the federal budget. All three opposition parties are now calling for a parliamentary debate and a clarification of the foreign ownership restrictions following the government’s decision to overturn a CRTC ruling that had denied Globalive Communications Corp. entry into the Canadian market. Globalive is 65 per cent owned by Egyptian company Orascom Telecom Holding SAE. Michael Hennessy, senior vice-president of government and regulatory affairs at Telus Corp. predicted via Twitter Friday that, given the opposition parties’ demands, the “odds of for ownership reference in Throne Speech” are greater than 60 per cent.