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Rogers Asks Ottawa for “Fair and Level Playing Field” in Wireless Sector

Rogers has issued a press release asking the Federal Government for a fair wireless sector and has outlined three specific requests:

  • Offer equal bidding rights in the 700 MHz auction – give Canadian carriers the same rights as large foreign incumbents
  • Create an open environment – if a Canadian wireless player seeks a buyer, everyone should be able to bid
  • Strengthen auction rollout requirements – ensure foreign carriers invest and build a national network in rural areas

Nadir Mohamed, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers Communications, had this to say:

“We share the government’s goal of a competitive, world leading wireless sector,”

“Unfortunately the government’s current policies have resulted in unintended consequences that allow massive foreign companies like Verizon to take advantage of loopholes and get special advantages over Canadian companies. We welcome competition, we’re just asking for a fair and level playing field.”

Rogers argues the situation has put our existing wireless sector in jeopardy, in particular the 280,000 Canadians in high value jobs and the $50 billion contributed to the national economy from the incumbents combined.

The company and its Board of Directors say they have taken “unprecedented action” of composing a joint letter to Prime Minster Harper to seek further talks on the matter. The company also recently called on its employees to write to the Federal Government and their local MPs as well.

Yesterday, Industry Minister James Moore released a statement reaffirming Ottawa’s wireless policy will go ahead as planned, despite the recent vocal public opposition by Rogers, TELUS and Bell, which some consumer groups have labeled as “trying to scare Canadians with misinformation.”

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

  • Jay

    Kind of like how we canadians have been asking for EQUAL plans compared to other countries. Nice to see Rogers complaining that they wont be able to gouge us anymore ^^

  • trancen

    “280,000 Canadians in high value jobs” that Rogers has NO ISSUE with outsourcing to India when it works for their pocket books. I know, because my job at Rogers was one of them.

    I’m getting pretty darn tired of this cry me a river.

    You know that the big three are scared sh**less if they are putting this much effort to sway people to think that Verizon coming in is a bad idea.

    What I don’t understand is this, they keep saying that Verizon coming in would end up taking a free ride on the infrastructure that they have built up for the past 25 yrs.

    So my question is this. WHY, Doesn’t Mobilicity or Wind have access to that network? Why Can’t TING buy wholesale access either?

  • ward09

    “Rogers argues the situation has put our existing wireless sector in jeopardy…”

    Yup, that’s the plan!

    “The company and its Board of Directors say they have taken “unprecedented action” of composing a joint letter to Prime Minster Harper to seek further talks on the matter.”

    You should have taken the unprecedented action of competing with the other two companies. Enjoy bleeding away customers you basards!

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    Yeah, Ting is killing it in the USA, and as a Canadian company it’s a shame they can’t setup here due to the Big 3 not selling them spectrum to use.

  • Miko

    It sounds like Rogers wants it all.

    The public needs to go after the CRTC. The CRTC knew exactly what it was doing by changing the contract term from 3 to 2 years. They deliberately excluded any provisions preventing the carriers from inflating the prices of their devices eg. iPhone. The pricing of the iPhone (in theory) is suppose to be set by Apple, yet Rogers et al is raising the price of that device. The CRTC only gave people the false impression it was listening to the public when in fact, they always will first and foremost look out for the carriers best interest.

    I think what the public should do is not renew their contracts. They should go on a month to month basis and buy your own device. This won’t stop the carriers from the crazy fees but it’ll send a message that the public doesn’t like what they’re doing. At the same time, the public as a whole needs to write to the CRTC that they are still protecting the big 3, not the consumers and that public insist on the carriers being transparent (which they are not now) and not to give us bs lines.

  • Cyrus

    Absolutely nobody in Canada will side with Rogers or the other two on this.

    Nobody feels sorry for Rogers AT ALL

  • K3

    Nadir Mohamed ????????????, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers Communications, had this to say:

    “Unfortunately the government’s current policies have resulted in unintended consequences”…”that have allowed the individuals like myself to personally walk away with close to $20 million when I leave in January”.

    —————

    It’s come to an end Nadir, don’t jump from the window just yet. Stay and watch the party we’re about have now.

  • PRSHAN

    No, they are not right to ask for the ‘same rules’ that they took advantage of themselves while setting up shop in the last 20 years
    The Big 3 have plenty of spectrum already.
    This is not tilting the playing field. This is giving a new entrant (Verizon) a fighting chance to have a business plan that actually offers a return on investment, and a reason to invest in Canada.

    The Big 3 want nothing more than the status quo, which means that they’ll swallow up Wind and Mobilicity in due course that monopoly not competition , just like they do any new entrants eventually (remember Clearnet and Microcell AKA FIDO?).

    WIND & Mobilicity are all ready on board discussions with Verizon in close doors

    one of investor said on CNBC

    If Verizon purchases Wind Mobile and Mobilicity it could use its ample
    cash to build a cutting edge 4G LTE network similar to the one it
    operates in the U.S., and give Canada’s big three wireless providers the
    competition Canadian consumers are looking for. Verizon currently
    offers the biggest 4G LTE network in the U.S. and has 119 million
    customers. The company could use its cash and know-how to create a
    similarly fast network for Canadian customers, and offer discounts on
    high-end smartphone models. like the iPhone U.S AND CANADA roaming free

    Verizon will attack first Rogers home turf there can only be one RED color in Ontario bye bye Rogers DONT LET BOOT KICK YEA OH WAIT IT DID
    than Telus B.C
    last the empire BELL Québec

    in Canada

    AT&T (FAILED)

    SPRINT (FAILED)

    VERIZON (DROP OUT 2004/BACK IN 2013)

    this time there here to stay
    WELCOME BACK TO CANADA VERIZON :)

  • Corey Hoffarth

    Thats funny because the Canadian public has been asking for a fari deal for a long time too. Keep this up Rogers/Bell/Telus it only makes it easier for me to switch when we are finally released from the monopoly you call a “competitive market”

  • Chrome262

    Well the government stepped in and forced cable companies to sell access to other perviders and now we do have cable internet competition, it might be time to do the same with exsiting spectrum. I heard by the way that Fido and Telus have been telling new customers to get the best deals they can now and lock it in, because Rogers and the rest are going to raise prices to deal with the CRTC’s mandate, of two year contracts and unlocking of phones. if thats the case then bring on any other company in the world man, its got to be better then this. dreading Feb when i have to renew my contract, or go month by month but will loose my 35 bucks for 6 gigs I just know it

  • FragilityG4

    iPhone prices in Canada were actually cheaper than the States when we were on three year plans … Now they’re in line … But the plans are through the roof.

  • FragilityG4

    So no one here agrees with Rogers?!

  • trancen

    Rogers is Fido.

  • trancen

    NOPE!

  • 1His_Nibs1

    I’m not shedding ANY tears for the Big 3 with this negative media blitz going on against Verizon. It makes me even more determined than ever to tell Fido to fuck off and sign up with Verizon. Penalties be damned & prices for Verizon plans be damned, I’m going to do this out of spite and by judging by most comments on here, I’ll have plenty of company. I also don’t understand how the Big 3 could “compete” with Verizon even if the government did allow them to bid on all available spectrum as Verizon is 4x bigger than Canada’s wireless sector combined and have much deeper pockets to purchase said spectrum if the auction became a bidding war. To me, this is all just smoke and mirrors on the Big 3’s CEO’s part and using scare tactics makes me hate them that much more!

  • Chrome262

    yeah I know, but my two friends renewed or changed plans at fido and telus. And I said rogers and the rest. but I find with Fido, things take a bit of time to trickle down, or don’t come down at all, like data sharing.

  • Chrome262

    @Gary if Verizon does make a final bid, and its accepted how long do you think before we start seeing actually offers to customers. Or do you think that won’t happen till after the auction

  • kuku

    I think you’ve got your info wrong. The new prices announced for the iPhone 5 are $249 compared to $199 I’m te USA

  • Frank

    Haha by by big 3

  • FragilityG4

    You’re right! Rogers is charging $50 more than the US and Belus!

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    People are saying it’ll take some time to get things set up. Probably a year or two at least.

  • Roger Payne

    Typical ignorance of somebody who doesn’t see outside his own bubble.

    Let me try and break it down for you a bit:

    You have a population of 10 people and one unit of infrastructure at said cost, lets say $10,000. Ignoring all the other variables of labor, maintenance, administrative costs and what else, you would essentially have to charge $1000 per customer to recoup your costs. If that population on the other hand was 1000 people, you would only have to charge them $100.

    At the most rudimentary level, this is what Verizon or any company has to figure out. How much can we spend on this spectrum in order in order to recoup our costs and STILL be profitable in our returns. That’s the key. Verizon isn’t a charity and just like the other big 3, they’re also in this for profits. And despite what you believe, they’re not single handily going to consume 100% of the market. So they have to estimate and determine how much are we willing to spend, how much is the government going to “kick back” into our pockets (screwing the consumers in the process but smiling at them all the same and telling them we’re working for them) and how many of those customers do we think we can get in order to leverage our costs.

    The advantage Verizon has over smaller start-ups is that they have infrastructure (not towers but more so in terms of labor, operations, processes, intellectual, branding, etc) to leverage which helps to reduce their cost of entry.

    You can have all the disdain in the world for the big 3 and I wouldn’t fault you. What’s hypocritical and senseless to me is that you want to screw Canadian-made profit hungry a–holes in order to help benefit an American-made profit hungry a–hole. Yeah, makes a whole lot of sense to me.

    Just so I’m clear on my position: I have no objection to Verizon entering the game. They will shake up the scenery for a bit and provide more alternatives to Canadian consumers. What I do have a problem with is the government providing this opportunity at the expense of Canadians by giving them exceptional tax break exemptions and special privileges. I’m not down with the government p!ssing on my face and then telling me it’s only rain!!!

  • K3

    Before Verizon Canada is fully functional or before we start seeing current providers attempt to keep customers with incentives?

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    To your argument, I would point to this:
    http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/carriers/ottawas-plan-for-foreign-wireless-competition-looks-normal-compared-to-other-countries-chart/
    What our government is doing is no different than what other nations have done around the world.

  • mcfilmmakers

    First: Verizon would be getting tax breaks. Second: Verizon would FACTUALLY be a canadian startup. Third: It isn’t a loophole. Verizon FACTUALLY has 0% of marketshare. It is allowed to bid on 2 blocks. Buying 2 blocks STILL would not give them 10% market share. There is no loophole. Fourth: It is a level playing field. The big 3 are established. Verizon is NOT. The big 3 have market share above 10%. Verizon does NOT.

  • ????Drnnis

    Pisses me off that I gotta read advertisements from the CWTA whenever I come to this site. Bunch of bullshit propaganda.

  • Mike

    This is a defining moment for consumers. The Big 3 are shaking in their boots for the first time.

  • kuku

    I think you can be sure the CRTC will find a way to void any potential Verizon deal or place heavy-handed restrictions in favor of the big 3

  • Anthony

    To be fair, each nation is different. You can’t act like child and follow what everyone else does. That’s a lot of factors that need to be consider.

  • Anthony

    Since you worked at Rogers before, I am interested to know what department is Rogers outsourcing. Please enlighten me because that’s not what my buddy told me.

    As far as I know beside retails (obviously they are all in Canada), all customer service call centers are located in Canada.

  • Guy

    Rogers wants to “ensure foreign carriers invest and build a national network in rural areas”. Why? Rogers doesn’t do this. Rogers basically covers the big cities out west and nothing more. Check out their coverage map.

  • Jack

    Thats because the iPhone costs 50 dollars more in Canada then it does in the U.S. A price set by apple…

  • Sidney R.

    I think Virgin is the one who have workers in another country. When I used to be their client last year I called them twice and twice I spoke with someone who had a tagalog accent.

  • http://wwww.minecraftchannel.net/ Minecraft

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  • FragilityG4

    Incorrect. This price is set by Rogers. Bell and Telus are charging $199. Apples prices are the same in Canada and the US on almost every product if not all.

  • trancen

    I was in development of their CSR application for the cell side of things, this was going back about 6 yrs ago.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    go on

  • Chrome262

    There is a fear that they will basically own the market in the future, but hell if they shut down rogers and bell I am all for it lol

  • kkritsilas

    Not in the sequence that you wrote your posting in:

    “What’s hypocritical and senseless to me is that you want to screw
    Canadian-made profit hungry a–holes in order to help benefit an
    American-made profit hungry a–hole. Yeah, makes a whole lot of sense to
    me.:”

    First of all, if Verizon were to buy Wind, it would change nothing. Wind is owned by Vimpelcom, a foreign company. Verizon is a foreign company, too. So how much of a difference is Wind being owned by Vimpelcom or by Verizon going to make? As for the Big 3 not being allowed to bid on more than one block, see what others have written. The rules a re pretty specific. below 10% market share, you can bid up to two blocks, over 10%, one block. Wind and Mobilicity, if Verizon were to buy both and combine them are below 10%. Why is this an advantage/tax break to Verizon? It would be no different if Vimpelcom were to make the commitment to buy the bandwidth themselves. Difference is, that Verizon WANTS to invest in Canada, Vimpelcom doesn’t.

    “The advantage Verizon has over smaller start-ups is that they have
    infrastructure (not towers but more so in terms of labor, operations,
    processes, intellectual, branding, etc) to leverage which helps to
    reduce their cost of entry.”

    Verizon’s big advantage is that they are willing to invest in Canada, and have the financial resources to do so. Verizon will bid big on the same spectrum blocks here that they have in the US. Despite the scare tactics of the clueless scare mongers at the Big 3, Verizon doesn’t need any spectrum outside of what they have in the US. Buying up more spectrum is a waste of money; money that would be better spend expanding their network. Thier cost of entry will depend on if they are willing to buy Wind, Mobiicity, or both, or for that matter, niether, and just come in as a new entrant from ground zero.

    “At the most rudimentary level, this is what Verizon or any company has
    to figure out. How much can we spend on this spectrum in order in order
    to recoup our costs and STILL be profitable
    in our returns. That’s the key. Verizon isn’t a charity and just like
    the other big 3, they’re also in this for profits. And despite what you
    believe, they’re not single handily going to consume 100% of the market.
    So they have to estimate and determine how much are we willing to
    spend, how much is the government going to “kick back” into our pockets
    (screwing the consumers in the process but smiling at them all the same
    and telling them we’re working for them) and how many of those customers
    do we think we can get in order to leverage our costs.”

    All this has already been done, and is known by Verizon. They need this in place before the board meeting next week. They will be presenting projections for star tup costs (including costs for buying Wind, Wind and Mobilicity, or starting from ground zero, costs for spectrum licensing, etc.), 1, 3 and 5 year projections for costs, revenues and profits.The other thing to note that is Verizon always plays the long game. They have enough cash flow and profit to be able to take some amount of loss in Canada for a period if they can make a profit long term. Bidding on spectrum outside of what they have in the US will not be of financial benefit, so will not be pursued, despite what the Big 3 are saying.

    ‘What I do have a problem with is the government providing this
    opportunity at the expense of Canadians by giving them exceptional tax
    break exemptions and special privileges.”

    Verizon has asked for nothing yet. The Big 3 are the ones asking for special exemptions (see Telus trying to buy out Mobilicity’s spectrum ahead of the 5 year expiry, Rogers trying to buy spectrum from Shaw and Videotron (in the GTA)). Verizon will not have any issues abiding by the rules as they were set in the AWS spectrum auction. The Big 3, have ccomplained, cried, and played dirty all along (see Mobilicity lawsuit against Telus, see the flanker brands (Koodo, VIrgin, Fido, Chatr, etc.) coming into existence, see the inability of Wind or Mobilicity to tower share with any of the Big3, even though it was part of the AWS Spectrum auction rules). I don’t see any “tax breaks” for Verizon, I do see 20+ years of “system access fees” being collected by the Big 3.

    Kostas.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    *slow golf clap*

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Umm sorry….I wasn’t paying attention. Can you restate that?

  • chickeee

    Telus has expanded IT in Phillipines

  • Nightfly

    Please define Rogers definition of a “fair and level playing field”? I think Rogers insult the public every time they go whining and crying to the CRTC.

  • crasucks

    I 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.

  • Kuzia

    Really?! Do they think that we Canadians are complete morons? Rogers and Bell have outsourced 80% of their high paying IT jobs to India. Now, the CSR’s salary is between $25K and $40K/year, IT jobs pay $65K/year and up and we are not talking about contractors, so do the math and see how much tax just slipped away to Bangalore.
    My job also went to an outsourced agent for whatever unknown reason working inside of Rogers campus on 8200 Dixie Road
    I am a Harper hater but this is the first time when his government did something useful.
    Bring on Verizon please, we won’t get our jobs back but will at least get a shot at better prices!