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Rogers Says Federal Government Officials Flew to NYC to Court Verizon

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Image via The Toronto Star

The media war has ensued by our wireless incumbents to sway public opinion in their favour about the Federal Governement’s actions to introduce a fourth wireless carrier in Canada, in this case, Verizon from the U.S.

Members of the Rogers executive team met with the Toronto Star’s Editorial Board to discuss actions Ottawa is doing to court Verizon.

According to Philip Lind, regulatory vice-president and vice-chair of Rogers, he claims federal government officials flew to New York City ‘offering favours’ to Verizon to enter Canada’s wireless foray. Lind says “everything that they could possibly ask for they’re doing for Verizon.”

Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed added “without favours we know they would not be coming,” as according to him, U.S. wireless companies originally did not want to compete in Canada, but after Ottawa approached them, “now (Verizon is) exploring options.”

Again, Mohamed echoed the answer for Canadians is not a fourth wireless carrier:

“Ultimately maybe the answer isn’t a fourth player, it’s something else,” Mohamed said, adding that “a certain amount of light regulation . . . will provide checks and balances.

“Yes, there are flash points; nobody’s suggesting the market is perfect. (But the) solution contemplated offers a worse situation,” he said, adding that market conditions for the consumer “are significantly better than five years ago.”

As for these improved market conditions for the consumer, Mohamed says they are the result of organic market forces and would have occurred even without discount wireless entrants like Mobilicity.

Mohamed also said the improvement is primarily a result of organic market forces, and would have happened for the most part without the arrival of discount rivals such as Mobilicity. He ended with: “We have to win in markets,” he said. “There’s no going back.”

Industry Minister James Moore did not comment, but earlier an spokesperson said the following to the Star:

“Our view has been clear, we want effective competition across Canada…Greater competition means better prices for Canadian consumers.”

Our wireless incumbents have argued the arrival of Verizon would not be fair since the latter is not on the same level playing field when it comes to the upcoming wireless spectrum. Bell’s CEO took out a two-page advertisement in the Toronto Star yesterday to write a compassionate plea to Canadians warning them against Verizon. Rogers has long claimed a fourth wireless carrier is unnecessary and unsustainable in Canada, while TELUS has said a “bloodbath” would ensue if Verizon entered wireless spectrum bidding.

Do you want Verizon to come to Canada? Or should it stay out like what our incumbents are suggesting?

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  • Jared

    anybody who says an extra charge brings more “Value” to a product obviously doesn’t have the consumer interest in mind. Sure from there point of view a 4th player is bad but its a good one for everybody else

  • The media pressure the Big 3 is putting out there right now is interesting to see. We don’t know if the Verizon experiment will work, but we need to try.

  • K3

    Wasn’t Verizon the company with the “can you hear me now” commercials?

    Maybe someone actually heard about the problem that has been monopolizing ???? in the Canadian wireless industry for years now.

  • jabohn

    Maybe if the big three were ACTUALLY competing then the government wouldn’t be set on having a fourth carrier?

  • No Rogers

    I agree, we don’t need 4 providers so lets bring in Verizon and get rid of Rogers.

  • exaro

    Harper government has completely botched the wireless file. Reliable research – and any reading of the ads in the New York Times – confirm Canada’s prices are competitive with or lower than US rates. Verizon has a reputation for “add-ons” to its customers bills making its services more expensive than first appears. There is insufficient demand in Canada for 4 major carriers as the crisis facing Wind and Mobilicity shows. Allowing Verizon to come in and snap up spectrum at bankruptcy prices will damage Bell/Rogers/Telus and result in lost jobs in Canada’s telcom industry, not to mention negative impact on Canadians’ pension and retirement savings. Harper government has put us in a lose-lose predicament.

  • Chrome262

    For all we know, Verizon will never come, this might of been a simple ploy from the CRTC to tell the big three to watch out. All they had to do is go to Verizon and say “look we know that you will make your own decision about coming or not, but we will say that you are thinking about it with a bid, and all you have to do is not deny it” done the big three are shitting bricks.

  • Chrome262

    Don’t they realize its only making them look like they are scared, and that Verizon looks like some sheriff that’s going to clean up town lol.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    brought to you by, robellus

  • Sven L

    Reminds me of when number portability was first introduced and the big 3 pushed back. I especially remember Bell whining that they wanted customers to have to “check” with them before being permitted to port.

    This is no different.

    Bring in the competition!

  • rmonster

    If the incumbents don’t like it, I’m all for it. Any patriotic good will I ever had for them has long since been beaten out of me. The sooner their CEOs are on the street begging for change, the better.

  • Don

    What do you expect Robelus to say? They are scared. And they should be. The big three here say things have gotten a lot better over the last 5 years. True. But only because they were forced to change by regulators, things like losing the system access fee, 2 year contracts, to name a few. Plus the new regional carriers forced them to lower prices. But with all three new entrants now for sale, we need Verizon here!

  • Morty

    The collusion has to stop and open completion needs to take effect. If it take Verizon coming to Canada so be it. Time for the big 3 to earn their money.

  • No more Rogers

    I hope Verizon comes to Canada! Rogers doesn’t want Verizon to come because Verizon would dominate and rogers would be forced to lower prices and stop scamming Canada

  • James

    Verizon please come to Canada gives us 40.00 unlimited and make the Greedy 3 beg us to come back to them. Canadians have never had any competition all 3 have the exact same plans and pricing, and follow each other always just like BIG OIL. So come on Up to Canada, we are Nice people :^)

  • K3

    I think I understand what your saying BUT…. I dont believe for one minute that you actually work for one of the big three because that would completely go against everything that you just said here today…….???? ????

    “Can you hear me now? ..Good!”

  • K3

    Hey! ..no way man ’cause they’ll switch to stealing hamburgers and we cant have that. ????..???? (it’s who the departing CEO likes to dress up as late at night)

  • ????Dennis

    Get the fuck outta here! Go preach your bullshit in the boardroom at Rogers head office. I send a BIG Thank you to the Harper government!!!! They are the ones that denied Telus’ acquisition of Wind. If it wasn’t for that, we would all be screwed. Fuck you and your fake worry for “Canadian Jobs”. Who’s going to work at Verizon??? Canadians you dummy! And they are going to need lots of workers because the majority of us are switching!!!!

  • mcfilmmakers

    You are such a tool. The problem that Wind and Mobilicity face is that they were not allowed enough spectrum to truly offer enough coverage to offer to customers. They were not allowed to be nationwide. Take your ignorance and shove it where Hell don’t shine cause that’s where your thoughts will take you.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    I can’t speak for Telus’ wireless CSR/tech support BUT their tech support for cable TV is in the Philippines so your scare tactics about lost Canadian jobs has already happened!

  • tpantin

    I welcome Verizon, bring on the real competition for my dollar!

  • Michael Durech

    sounds like the tea party here… My way or the highway, grow up Dennis cant go around bashing people because they state a fact…

  • uniqash

    It’s funny to see companies like Rogers kicking up a fuss when another competitive carrier is looking to enter the market. If Rogers (Bell & Telus included) were in fact competitive & offering Canadians the best deal, then they should have nothing to worry about. After all if the big 3 are taking care of us, why would we all switch to another carrier. Verizon’s entry is going to dent thier profits & they will be forced to start offering better value for all the money they take from us…Like the 35 activation fee they charge….I would switch to Verizon if they came to Canada

  • Roger Payne

    Right…Verizon is going to come marching in like your knight in shinning armour and save the day. Some of you folks are really thick.

    Btw…I beg you to find a $40 unlimited rate from Verizon unless you don’t have a use for data in which case $40 month is very high for a voice only plan.

  • 3robbers

    the efforts of the big 3 robbers in Canada trying to prevent Verizon coming in is just pathetic.
    They’re just worried they can’t rob Canadians anymore.. PATHETIC!!!!

  • WAKE-UP

    Well said I agree 100 percent with your statement.

  • crasucks

    I completely agree.
    For Canada’s quality of life to continue we need to stop selling out resources, businesses and services to other countries.
    When we lose a Canadian company we lose all the jobs that go with it along with all the taxes those jobs paid.
    In the short term it may seem attractive to have more competition, but all your money is going across the border if the competition is not Canadian.
    Unfortunately many people are ignorant in modern society with short term thinking.
    Outside competition is ok, but the local companies should have incentives to keep local jobs.
    Outsourcing is destroying Canada and that is a fact.

    I agree that Bell, Rogers, Telus etc. can afford to lower their pricing structure and some competition will help that, but don’t think that destroying the local companies is ever going to be a good long term strategy.

    Another problem with allowing an outside company to piggyback on cell towers for free is that there is no longer any incentive for the companies putting in the infrastructure to expand and provide the competition with more coverage.

    If Verizon gets into Canada you can guarantee that the coverage growth will come to a stand still. Growing rural communities will be screwed, people in outer areas waiting for enhanced digital coverage will be out of luck.
    Next gen speeds requiring hardware upgrades will be significantly delayed as no one has an incentive to put out the money when outside competition can under cut and beat them in pricing.

    To allow a non-Canadian company to have an advantage over a Canadian company for a Canadian service should be Treason.

    And no, I do not work for a phone company or anything related, I am just not ignorant of the long term picture.

  • James Marshall

    Sven,

    The “check” system is what the UK has for portability and it causes problems for the customer’s new provider as the existing provider uses the request to port as a chance to offer deals the customer has never (would otherwise never) been offered. The current Canadian porting system is the way it should be.

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