Rogers CEO: Difficulty Seeing a 4th Wireless Carrier Being Successful in Canada

Yesterday Rogers CEO Guy Laurence unveiled the company’s new ‘Rogers 3.0’ strategy which aims to help the company grow and also “overhaul” the customer experience.

Speaking to reporters at the question period of the press conference, Laurence shared his views on whether Canada can support a fourth major wireless carrier.

He says although Ottawa is “entitled” to their opinion to bring forth a fourth wireless player, Laurence believes the high costs of maintaining a network will make it hard for a new player to be successful, reports The Canadian Press:

“I’m not saying the government is wrong. I’m not saying that they should change their policy. My personal view is that it is difficult to see a scenario where a fourth carrier will be successful.”

The views that a fourth wireless player wouldn’t make sense in Canada echoes that of former Rogers CEO, Nadir Mohamed, who also questioned how a four-player situation would work last summer, based on the country’s vast geography.

Laurence, the former CEO of Vodafone UK, cited how the same desire for a fourth wireless player in Europe is starting to look bleak as new players are spending more capital on maintaining networks:

“What you saw in Europe was a number of different countries who pursued the four-carrier option for a period of five to seven years. It was politically very popularist and they were happy to follow that,” said Lawrence, who previously headed the U.K. arm of Vodafone, a multinational communications company.

“What you clearly see now, and I cite Germany and France, is that they’ve started to realize that given the capital complexity involved in these companies, it is very difficult to support a fourth carrier.”

The Rogers CEO also said he has candidly spoken with “all of the major political players” regarding his views.

Laurence also detailed how Rogers has plans to make itself leaner as part of reorganizing the company’s structure, admitting it’s inevitable “there will be job losses at the management level.”

The company’s three wireless brand, Rogers, Fido and Chatr, will remain as a new marketing approach will be adopted soon as part of the new 3.0 strategy.


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