Will Rogers Be the Next Wireless Carrier to Leave the CWTA?


Last week in a surprise move Telus pulled out of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), a wireless lobby group which earlier saw Wind Mobile, Public Mobile and Mobilicity withdraw its membership as well.

The future of the CWTA could be in jeopardy depending on how you look into comments made by Rogers, reports The Canadian Press.

When asked whether Rogers would remain within the CWTA, spokesperson Patricia Trott said on Friday “We’ve been reviewing our options and we’ll make a decision that’s right for our customers.” Does that mean a yes or a no?

If it’s a yes, telecom analysts see doom for the CWTA, such as Iain Grant, managing director of the SeaBoard Group, who said “This could mean the end of the CWTA,” and followed up with “I’m not sure the CWTA ever enjoyed a lot credibility,” seen as a “mouthpiece” for the Big 3.

Grant noted the CWTA should focus as a resource group and “stick to recycling” cellphones and maintaining wireless stats rather than jumping on political positions and attempting to create policy, as seen when the organization worked with Rogers, Telus and Bell last summer in its fight against Verizon coming to Canada.

Analyst Eamon Hoey from Hoey Associates Management Consultants in Toronto believes the CWTA will eventually just “dwindle out”, like another lobby group from the 1990s known as the Stentor Alliance, which fizzled when it lost key members.

He also says not all the CWTA’s roughly 110 members supported the organization’s position on Verizon last year, saying “It (the association) has no credibility to begin with and I think Telus finally arrived at that conclusion.”

Despite the non-answer from Rogers, a Bell spokesperson clarified they have no plans to leave the CWTA, noting as a long time partner they have worked together on numerous projects such as the stolen phone registry and Amber Alert program to name a couple examples.

It’s clear Telus is trying to pave its own path through improving its customer service in the highly competitive wireless marketplace. Chief corporate officer Josh Blair said at Telus “We feel that taking our own position on the customer service front, customers-first front, is the right thing for us to do.”

Last November’s annual CCTS report noted Rogers and Bell made up 56% of total wireless complaints, while Telus only had 7.9%.


  • kkritsilas

    Just as an opinion, but what does the CWTA do? As a PR machine for the Big 3, it is sort of redundant, as the Big 3 have their own marketing/PR departments. The new entrants, Wind and Mobilicity (and the recently departed Public Mobility) really never were part of the CWTA. So it cannot say it was representing the wireless industry in Canada with any legitimacy. For whatever membership fees/contributions, the Big 3 put into the CWTA, I don’t see how they could have gotten much benefit. The CWTA really never had a shred of credibility with consumers in any way, shape, or form. So its function was what, exactly. The stolen phone registry could have bee structured a different way to eliminate the need for the CWTA, and it would have been more efficient, probably, as could have the Amber Alert program.


  • Tony

    I hate the new ads the Big 3 are putting out. They don’t make much sense.

    If three super corporations owned all of Canada’s water supply, and all three of them charged outrageous rates (and fixed those rates so they’re the same across all three companies) I’d be more than happy if a giant foreign corporation came in to stir up some competition.

  • Jamie

    Wait wait wait… Did you seriously type ” in the highly competitive wireless marketplace”. You are hereby banned from penning further telecomm articles until you get your eyes checked

  • Yes I did. I was trying to say how the Big 3 are fighting hard amongst each other to earn your dollars, and in Telus’ case they are doing it with customer service. Looks like it came out the wrong way 😉

  • Rob

    Rogers and Bell collude and offer the same packages to a T, If you have missed that, you must think oil companies do not collude to set prices at every single outlet at the same price.

    When Rogers changes their package plans, Bell changes it to the exact same plan the same day at the same rate.

    That is not an open market. That is collusion.

    Why compete if they can set the market rate together with little to no competition.

  • Of course I’m aware of the ‘similarities’ in pricing amongst big carriers…there’s not much consumers can do other than speak with their wallets.

  • Jamie

    “Big 3 are fighting hard amongst each other”
    Nope. Came out the right way. Still very wrong.