Rogers Announces Purchase of Mobilicity, Says Wireless Speed Boosts Coming

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Rogers today officially announced that it will acquire 100% ownership of Mobility and that it will transfer — post transaction — certain AWS-1 spectrum to WIND Mobile and will immediately boost speed and quality for wireless customers in BC, Alberta and Southern Ontario. Although the rumoured acquisition price was $465 million, the Rogers press release says $440 million, which, offset by tax losses, is valued at about $175 million, which the incumbent player will acquire.

“We’re basically adding multiple lanes on our wireless highway in three key markets overnight,” said Guy Laurence, President and CEO of Rogers Communications. “This means faster speeds and better quality for our customers as they use more and more mobile video.”

“The transaction with Rogers provides the best possible outcome for Mobilicity’s customers, dealers and employees,” said Anthony Booth, President of Mobilicity. “Rogers ensures certainty of service for Mobilicity customers, provides a great network, national coverage and high quality products and services. At the same time, Mobilicity employees will have the opportunity to work at a great Canadian company in Rogers.”

Interestingly, Mobilicity’s shareholders fell for Rogers’ bid over that of Telus’, which was allegedly higher. However, they have apparently went with Rogers as the deal seemed more secure than that of Telus.

Under the new deal, Rogers will gain significant, previously unused spectrum capacity that works with all LTE devices and will complete the Shaw spectrum acquisition. The company will pay $100 million in addition to the down payment made when the original agreement was inked in January 2013. The acquisition is pending government approval.

With the new spectrum acquired from Shaw and Mobilicity respectively, Rogers and WIND will undertake an AWS-1 spectrum swap in Southern Ontario to create contiguous spectrum for Rogers. Rogers will also transfer certain non-contiguous AWS-1 spectrum to WIND Mobile in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northern Ontario and Eastern Ontario.