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Bell CEO Optimistic Ottawa Will Change Wireless Policy

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Bell’s George Cope appears to be confident that Ottawa will change its wireless policy. He — alongside other incumbents — will use every available tool to push the government in this direction. And as we witnessed recently, their creativity seems to have no limits.

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“The final decision won’t rest with BCE (TSX:BCE), it’ll rest with our government, and I’m hopeful they’ll see the unfairness to our shareholders, customers and Canadians in this policy,” George Cope told analysts Thursday reports the Montreal Gazette.

“We will use every avenue we can in a professional way to pursue this.”

Cope’s comments come after higher revenues, but declining profits for the wireless player. Also, Bell boosted its wireless subscriber base by 3.5% compared to a year ago, as it now counts 7.9 million subscribers.

As Bell quarterly earnings show, growing smartphone usage has resulted in higher data usage and higher revenues: wireless data revenue grew 21.1% in Q2 and now represents more than 40% of the total wireless service revenues.

From this perspective, it is clear why the big three have launched an aggressive campaign against Verizon, the “red devil”, who may cause job loss and leak out all telephony metadata to the NSA if it enters Canada, as the recent Telus punch post suggests.

Considering that data now accounts for 40% of total wireless revenue, a competitive player would heavily affect the revenue of any of the Big Three. If the deep-pocketed Verizon comes into Canada, there will be a “wireless bloodbath”. Yeah, the big three will finally get a sense of what competition really means.

So they are pushing for the government to change its wireless policy, which, as we pointed out earlier, is a common policy in developed countries that value their citizens.

Thanks Prashanna!

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  • FragilityG4

    Lobby all you want Bell … The Harper government has made it quite clear of their stance on this situation. If they were to change their minds I would be surprised.

  • ward09

    “I’m hopeful they’ll see the unfairness to our SHAREHOLDERS customers and Canadians in this policy.”

    And there it is. It is ALL about the shareholders. Customers and Canadiasn mean nothing to them, after all they’ve had years to improve service and prices but just kept kicking us around.

  • PRSHAN

    We will know in 6 days when VERIZON call for Board of Directors meeting
    on Tuesday Aug 13th 2013 on CNBC

    Canadian telecom history will change if or not

    the Fate of WIND/MOBILICITY is in the hands of VERIZON and there Board of Directors now

    WIND/MOBILICITY will be merge as VERIZON WIRELESS CANADA

    %85 CANADIAN SUPPORT VERIZON
    %15 SUPPORT THE BIG 3 AND THERE 150 C.E.O UNIONS

    Mark your calender you guys and your finger cross 🙂
    THE END IS NEAR FOR THE BIG 3

  • Oron

    Sasktel offers unlimited calling unlimited texting Canada wide with unlimited data (10 gb fair use) call display and call waiting included for only 65 dollars per month on an LTE network and they pay their employees well. If a provincial run profitable company can offer this then surely an efficient privatized company can also offer this type of value as well.

  • ryanrobert

    I’m not convinced that Verizon coming to Canada is going to make the situation better for Canadian consumers but I can guarantee they won’t make the situation any worse. Right now we get screwed by Bell, Rogers & Telus. At the very worst we will get screwed by Bell, Rogers, Telus & Verizon. A potential positive is they could steal customers from the others by offering some perks that the others can’t with minimal pricing difference vs the competition.

  • ryanrobert

    I would consider that to be a decent deal. I’m a little less than $60 with Rogers. I have 200 minutes (barely use them), MY10 (use this most), Unlimited Text and 6GB data. Most months I don’t get anywhere near my 6GB limit but a little Netflix at lunch can get me close to it.

  • websnap

    To be fair, that SHOULD be their main concern – I mean, the shareholders are the owners. They ARE a corporate entity. If the government were more concerned about the shareholders, that would be different – and cause for concern for us as a country. However a company can’t be begrudged for protecting their shareholders and making them more money – it’s the reason they exist as a company. That being said, if you cant strike a balance between them and your customers you will start loosing both. Hopefully, the government will stand their ground – they are the one that have to stand up for US – the companies will figure out how to make money somehow, lol.

  • ward09

    I agree with everything you said, and I’ll point out that I don’t believe the big 3 have struck that balance between customers and stakeholders. They never really had to because the industry is so protected.

  • JMCD23

    I completely agree. I think they’ll make things about the way they are for now price wise until they gain some market share. Once they have a foothold I’m sure we’ll see the same collusion we always have, just with a new 4th friend.

  • websnap

    I’m totally with you on that… it’s why they are so shit scared now of actual competition… they are going to have to explain to their shareholders why they will have to cut from profits to actually EARN back their customers.

  • kkritsilas

    The Customers, and the revenue they provide should be your first priority. If you lose 10% of your shareholders, no big deal. If you lose 10% of your revenue, or customer base by extension, you face going out of business. Protecting your shareholders is why companies are run by idiots that drive companies into the ground (see Nortel, the car makers, RIM, etc.). All you need is to keep increasing revenues and keep/reduce internal costs, and the shareholders will come, because the profits will be there. Lose sight of revenue and cost controls, and go out of business, no matter how many shareholders you have, or how protected/happy they are. Keeping the shareholder’s protected/happy as a top priority is the same as trickle down economics: doesn’t work in the long term.

    Kostas

  • websnap

    Unfortunatly, that’s just not how it works. Customers are individuals and if one leaves that’s it… it’s not like a shareholder’s meeting and fielding those questions that will directly effect your stock price. To a company, that has a more direct effect to how that company will run it’s self.

    I don’t agree with it, it’s the truth. Which is why I want Verizon to come and shake things up.

  • kkritsilas

    As an individual customer, yes, that is true. If however, you did something to piss off 10% (or some significant percentage of your customer base, the actual percentage is incidental), and that 10% walked away, both revenues would decline, and shareholders would be upset. As the current status is, going from one Big 3 operator to another really doesn’t get you anywhere. When, however, a non-Big 3 operator becomes a valid alternative (cue Verizon, stage left), and that same 10% of customers walk away, then the Big 3 have issues with not only revenues, but shareholder’s being unhappy.

    Operating your business with the most important goal being keeping your stock price high and your shareholders happy is not the right way to run a business. If you are running your business properly, the shareholders, profits, and customers will be happy, and the share price will follow. Running it the way most businesses are run today, with stock price/shareholders as the top priority leads to short term thinking that has lead to more than one company going under. I don’t expect this to change; after all, for most companies, there is an inherent conflict of interest built into the very structure of the corporation. That conflict is caused when upper management is given stock options; after a while, keeping the stock price high or increasing it is more important than making the long term, complex decisions that will ensure the future of a company.

    Kostas

  • websnap

    I totally agree with you – however we are talking about the canadian wireless sector. It’s easier to lobby against allowing Verizon in to the sector than treating their customers better, because there are no options. I have been on 4 different carriers (Rogers (twice), Telus, MTS and I have my iPad on Bell for the time being). Rogers has point plank refused to help me sort out issues while refusung to let me out of my contract early. They don’t care. If you leave, you’ll be back at some point. I have recently been telling the joke “the worst Cell company is the one you just left” and it’s true.Telus was so bad I couldn’t believe Rogers could top them… then they did.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Oh they can offer it, problem is, they don’t want to and they’re not going to. You see, when oligopolies and collusion rule the day you can pretty much do as you damn well please because you know the company you’re supposed to be competing against isn’t going to up the ante by trying to compete against you. Instead it’s status quo and that’s how the big 3 likes it. Now it’s very possible that Verizon could make it the big 4 BUT I’d still give my business to Verizon just to see Bell, Rogers and Telus go extinct. Yeah, I’m spiteful but I’m not a shareholder in any of those companies and maybe if one of them goes tits up the other two will come crawling back for mine and other peoples business. I hate smug and arrogant corporations who know I have limited options to take my business elsewhere and treat me almost with disdain. Maybe a taste of humble pie might do them some good!

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