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Rogers CEO: The Industry Needs to Change its Wireless Data Marketing

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Guy Laurence, the CEO of Rogers Communications, has said at a CIBC conference in Montreal that the telecom industry “needs to stop trying to scare people into buying more data”, and start making it easier for them to know why it’s worth the price. “We need to change the philosophy of how we sell data so it’s as easy as buying petrol”, he added (via The Globe And Mail).

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Laurence, who has been president and chief executive of Toronto-based Rogers since December, drew an analogy between buying gasoline for a car and data for a smartphone, noting that the auto industry does a much better job. “Instead of having a little yellow light on the dashboard, we send out messages going ‘Oh, my God! You’re nearly at your limit!”. Interestingly, Mr. Laurence himself had flatly rejected the idea of selling “unlimited data” packages back in May during a briefing to reporters, an option sold at some smaller carriers but not by the Big Three.

Laurence said that Rogers bought the “appropriate amount” of 700 megahertz wireless spectrum earlier this year when it bought 22 licences across the country for $3.29-billion – by far the largest single purchase in an auction that raised a record $5.27-billion from various bidders.

“We fundamentally believe that Canadians will consume huge amounts of content on their mobile phones. In order to facilitate that, you need big pipes in the sky, spectrum. . . . .And that’s what we bought,” Laurence said.

“It’s a 20-year decision. If you get it wrong, there’s no way back. So therefore it was critical that we got the right amount of spectrum now, just ahead of the demand curve which we expect to monetize when it comes.”

Over the past year, Rogers has spent billions to increase its wireless data capabilities and committed to spend billions more for rights to content, such as National Hockey League games for 12 years starting with the 2014-15 season.

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  • Jasle

    When prices go down and data caps go up, I will agree. As of now, Mr. Laurence is dead wrong. Especially since he probably doesn’t have to pay for his own phone bill.

  • John Moyer

    Canadians like myself don’t use a lot of data because compared to other nations our data rates are extremely over priced. With wifi so readily available cellular data isn’t as important. The big 3 have been pricing themselves out of the market and most users have adjusted to a mainly wifi existence.

  • AEdouard

    How about stopping this horrible price gouging oligopoly we have in Canada? Insane prices for so-so service is what we have. We need competition big time.

    You can rent phones pretty easily for a stay in Korea. Data? 1 GB per DAY. In Europe they get, for what we pay only for our freaking phone bill : cable, home internet and a mobile plan with enough data. We’re getting screwed.

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  • Salinger

    When I first saw the headline, I thought he was going to bring some of the sanity of the UK model to Canada. Upon reading the story, I realize he’s just talking about doing a better job of hoodwinking Canadians into believing that our insane pricing model is reasonable.

  • Euffie

    Rogers needs to change its Chief Executive Officer

  • Kevin D.

    The industry needs to stop $%#%$#^ us over on data… There is unlimited data plans elsewhere for a fraction of what we pay here..in canada…

  • Mikka

    Stupid analogy. When my car’s half full at the end of the month, I don’t have to dump the petrol and buy a whole full tank for the new billing cycle. Low pay-per-use rates or rollover data caps would be a start, but rates are too high overall.

  • Salinger

    This IS the new guy! LOL

  • ????Dennis

    Gary was my post that bad that the moderator rejected it??? It’s only the truth. This guy is a Dou che Bag!

  • Translation: We need to do a better job to market our data service so that we can scam and rip off more people.

  • Attila Borborygmi

    Guy Laurence, the CEO of Rogers Communications, has said at a CIBC conference in Montreal that the telecom industry “needs to stop trying to scare people into buying more data”…

    What he means is the industry needs to focus on ways to make people pay more for their existing data.

  • Sanyok

    Rogers/Bell profit margins are the highest in the world, not just in North America. This alone refutes any suggestion that the cost of data/infrastructure is expensive for them and that they’re therefore justified in both lowering the data limits AND increasing the price for data. The issue is not that the customers do not understand the value of data. The issue is that the customers understand they’re being deceived about painfully obvious collusion between the big 3 carriers. Perhaps Rogers needs a new CEO who understands the value of honesty, transparency and willingness to compete.

  • Sanyok

    Oh fuck…

  • Guyguy

    FYI for those who making the price argument, we really need to start focusing that if you don’t take a contract and buy your phone outright that your monthly plan should get better than a 10% discount. The really comparison to teh UK we should be making is that their plans are essentially half price when you pay up front for the phone

  • Rpashaa

    So, he is comparing data to gasoline now, he is already
    telling us that we will pay through the nose without saying a word and Rogers
    can hike the price exactly as the gas companies are doing now!!! What a stupid and
    ridiculous example!!

    Just came back from NYC, My buddy there has a family share
    plan with T-Mobile for 5 lines with UNLIMITED data, UNLIMITED calling and UNLIMITED text and
    his monthly bill is $300 all in!!!!

  • Rogers will introduce unlimited data. I’m currently on a 3mth unlimited usage promotion with them through Customer Relations. She said their “testing it out”.

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