Following the imposition of sanctions against the “big four” Russian mobile operators in July, Canadian operators began in September to disconnect MTS, MegaFon, T2 RTK Holding (which offers services under the Tele2 brand) and VimpelCom from roaming services. (Beeline brand). The Canadian companies only notified the sanctioned telecommunications operators of the interruption of service; other mobile phone companies, for example, Ekaterinburg-2000, were not affected by the problem.

Canada breaks relations with MTS, MegaFon, Tele2 and Beeline

RBC sources from two different companies say the Big Four had not faced this problem before: if one of the foreign operators refused to cooperate, the companies switched to another.

Now all Canadian mobile operators are breaking service relationships with MTS, MegaFon, Tele2 and Beeline, and this is an unusual precedent.

“We just had a problem, we just don’t have time to apply the option to work through operators from other countries, subscribers will definitely face a loss of communication,” the publication’s source says, explaining that the situation is definitely caused by the desire of companies to comply with the anti-Russian sanctions of the authorities.

The restrictions of the sanctions suggest that it is impossible to transact with the “big four” of the field of telecommunications, provide consulting, services and financial services and, in general, participate in any activity related to their property.

Despite the rather low official figures on the entry of Russians into Canada (in the first half of 2023 – 1.46 thousand people, according to the FSB), in general, the problem can affect about 10 thousand subscribers of the Federation of Russia who need roaming in the North American country.

The service still works, but in the near future the functionality will be blocked: the corresponding warning letters have already been received from the three largest Canadian mobile operators: Rogers Communications Inc., BCE Inc. (Bell) and TELUS Corporation are the companies of the Russian telecommunications group four.

Smaller companies like Vidéotron ltée, Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel), Freedom Mobile, Eastlink Inc. etc. they are also unwilling to work with the main national operators that have been subject to sanctions. At the same time, the same

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BCE Inc. continues to cooperate with Yekaterinburg-2000 (provides services under the Motiv brand in the Sverdlovsk and Kurgan regions, in the Khanty-Mansiysk and Yamalo-Nenets autonomous regions).

A partial solution to the problem may be to connect to Wi-Fi and buy SIM cards from local operators, but you still can’t use a number of services without roaming: for example, when authorizing or confirming bank transactions, SMS will not come.


Ekaterina Alipova

Source: RB

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I am a professional journalist and content creator with extensive experience writing for news websites. I currently work as an author at Gadget Onus, where I specialize in covering hot news topics. My written pieces have been published on some of the biggest media outlets around the world, including The Guardian and BBC News.


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