Bell Slams TTC for Rogers Subway Network without Open Bidding [u]

In a late announcement on Monday evening, Rogers announced it had acquired BAI Canada, thusly taking over control of Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) subway networks, including cellular and Wi-Fi.

The news came as critics had blasted the TTC and its lack of cellular coverage from the ‘Big 3’ for rider safety, aside from Freedom Mobile.

What do other telecoms think about the Rogers contract with the TTC to acquire BAI Canada?

[RELATED: Telus calls for TTC to open up Rogers subway networks]

A Bell spokesperson told iPhone in Canada in a statement the company found the whole transaction “troubling.”

“We find it troubling that the City and TTC after all these years did not learn from the experiences of their counterparts,” referring to Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Eglinton Crosstown LRT in Toronto. Bell said all of these parties collaborated with all wireless carriers in order to bring best-in-class coverage for all transit riders.

But this Rogers and BAI Canada decision by the TTC is different says Bell.

“It now appears that the subway project has once again been given to one party with no assurances that all wireless service providers will have access. The TTC is just replacing one gatekeeper with another,” added the Bell spokesperson in an email on Tuesday morning.

“Giving the contract to Rogers without any open bid process is surprising, especially given how TTC customers were so poorly served by BAI for so many years,” said Bell to iPhone in Canada, adding, “The City needs to show some leadership and mandate immediate access for all carriers so that all TTC customers can be served by the carrier of their of their choice right away.”

BAI Canada has held exclusive rights to build a wireless network within the TTC’s subway networks since 2012. But no major telecoms signed onto the network, creating a lack of connectivity for most commuters.

Rogers now plans to build out 5G connectivity at all 75 stations and nearly 80 kilometres of the subway system.

At this point, it’s unclear if Bell will get network access to the TTC, unless some sort of deal is struck with Rogers.

Update April 11: A Rogers spokesperson reached out to iPhone in Canada to say it plans to “initiate discussions” with other wireless companies to participate in the TTC subway network.