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%.

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