Rogers CEO: Canada Does Not Need a Fourth Wireless Carrier

Earlier today Rogers released its 2013 second quarter financials to reveal $3.2 billion in total revenue for its wireless, cable and media divisions. Its wireless segment added 98,000 wireless postpaid subscribers (for a total of 9,418,000 overall users) and an adjusted operating profit of $821 million, growth of 3 percent compared to the year ago quarter. Blended average revenue per user (ARPU) increased slightly to $59.30, up 20 cents from a year ago. Sounds like a decent second quarter for the company.

With that being said, Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed told analysts today (via The Star) he doesn’t believe Canada needs a fourth wireless carrier, which the Federal government is pushing for.

“I’ve never seen how a four-player market can work in a country like Canada,” Mohamed said, noting Canada’s “geographic expanse.”

In particular, Mohamed echoes what TELUS CEO Darren Entwistle said a while ago: Verizon is getting special treatment compared to Canadian incumbents, should the U.S. wireless giant enter our country:

“What we’re absolutely against is a tilted or stacked playing field where you have a massive incumbent U.S. carrier that would be given favourable treatment, and frankly better treatment than Canadian incumbents,” Mohamed said Wednesday.

Mohamed says due to our large geography, four wireless carriers is just not sustainable, let alone having three, which he stated is the norm globally for the number of carriers in one country:

“I’ve never thought of it as a sustainable model. If you think of what has happened in Canada consistently over a period of time, it has been proven out that in this country it’s difficult enough, frankly, to work with three players.”

The CEO also said if Verizon were to enter Canada, urban markets would benefit more compared to rural markets.

Nadir Mohamed is set to retire from the company in January 2014 and will be entitled to a $18.5 million retirement package; he is currently part of the process in finding a replacement for Rogers.

What do you think? Does Canada need a fourth wireless carrier or not? Reading the comments from the recently announced two-year term pricing plans from our incumbents, it appears we do.

 

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Jay

    ” U.S. carrier that would be given favourable treatment, and frankly better treatment than Canadian incumbents” I have no problem with that if that means the damn plan prices are in line with US carriers

  • crosseyed_mofo

    the telcos lash out against eliminating 3 year deals by jacking the prices, in unison, then this guy has the nads to say that not only do we not need a fourth carrier, and that “it’s difficult enough, frankly, to work with three players.”

    pardon me but with the level of collusion that clearly on display, in what possible facet could they be having any difficulty working together?

  • Michael Moniz

    Ok then, have it your way! 2 wireless carriers with HEAVILY government regulated pricing. Yeah, that’s what I thought. Bring on Verizon if for no other reason than that it will make Bell offer me the moon when I go to renew.
    Keep it up telcos! CRTC made Bell offer its infrastructure when we were under a landline monopoly. Keep bitching and heres’ hoping they force you to allow ALL new competitors to use your towers to ensure competition. Citizens own the spectrum, we just allow you privilege of leasing it through our mostly inept regulator.

  • sukisszoze

    Didn’t someone say we don’t need another cell phone maker when Apple introduced iPhone!

  • That’s corporate GreedSpeak for “We’d be forced to lower prices and compete”.

  • flabeo

    Pfft. Who needs progress? We’re getting rich just fine here without competition.

  • ryanrobert

    I don’t know if Canada needs a fourth wireless carrier but if they think that it will have a positive effect on prices for the consumer then I’m all for it. That said, I highly doubt that Verizon will charge a penny (or I guess it should now be a nickel) less than the other three. They know the way the market is and if it wasn’t attractive then they wouldn’t entertain the idea of coming here. They are in the business to make money and if they think they can charge $100 a month for a basic plan then they will do it. The wireless industry is one big collusion and although they’re seperate companies, they still work together to ensure profitability.

  • Brian

    They won’t make any money by charging more than the incumbent carriers. Think about that for a second. They will be heavily reliable on people switching carriers in order to have any customers. To get people to change, they need to charge LESS money, and offer MORE in return, such as reasonable US roaming. And clearly there is room to make a profit in charging less, when you look at the standard cell phone plans they offer south of the border.

  • MS

    Hey Canada, Big Telco is NOT your friend. All they care about is offering up the least amount of service they can possibly get away with and charge the maximum amount possible they can get away with. They would collectively sell their mothers if it would net them an extra nickle. Bring in Verizon, if only so that we can have the satisfaction of seeing The incumbent players get done to them what they’ve been doing to us for all these years. what goes around, comes around – Karma’s a bitch.

  • simon

    a very very small country like ireland can have 5 carriers, yhis guy saying canada shud only have 3 is a joke..he scared of more compition

  • mrideas

    The $18.5 million retirement bonus says it all…another carrier lowers my disgusting giant bonus potentially.

  • Simon B

    Luckily it is not up to him to decide. If it were, it would be just 1 carrier. Rogers.
    I would also add that he would be right to say that having 3 carriers in Canada is enough IF those 3 carriers are not colluding with one another to set the prices.

    Canada really doesn’t need another carrier – we need one of the existing carriers to break the price-control and become competitive in terms of products and services.

  • holly

    Two-page, spread, ad in the Toronto Star today from Bell arguing against Version as well. Assume this means that Version is showing real interest. Has them running scared. 🙂

  • chickeee

    “Mohamed … is currently part of the process in finding a replacement for Rogers.” Well how about big V ?

  • Toy lover

    For the record: we only have TWO national carriers. All Rogers employees in the Maritimes use Bell and Telus phones. Nuf said