Rogers CEO Warns Verizon Auction Win Would Affect Wireless Speeds

Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed, speaking with the Globe and Mail’s editorial board, warns Canadians if Verizon is able to purchase two out of four spectrum blocks, millions of Canadians will find wireless speeds falling behind.

Why? The premise is Rogers, TELUS and Bell would fight amongst the last two remaining spectrum blocks, meaning one company could possibly be shut out, lagging behind the others when it comes to faster wireless speeds. Mohamed had this to say:

“It’s really important that we all understand the importance of spectrum,”


“We have a tremendous resource that is an asset and shouldn’t be seen any differently than any other scarce resource that Canada has.”

Mohamed also reiterated the Canadian wireless industry does not need a fourth player, an argument Prime Minister Stephen Harper disagreed, as he spoke on the matter during his annual summer tour of Northern Canada, in Whitehorse:

“Our considered view, upon examining market structures here and elsewhere, is that we could use more competition in the Canadian marketplace. We believe that consumers strongly support that,”

Last week Industry Minister James Moore echoed similar thoughts to iPhoneinCanada and when asked about the ongoing PR blitz by the Big Three, said “I don’t think the campaign has been terribly successful.”

If Verizon does successfully bid on two chunks of the 700MHz spectrum and only two remained, wouldn’t one think TELUS and Bell would share the spectrum, similar to how they are currently sharing their 4G LTE network? Rogers would still have one block left to bid on and the wireless climate could very much remain the same. That is unless one major player is shut out–it would mean customers desiring faster and better coverage would switch to the best network, regardless of company nationality.

As for the degradation of wireless speeds, some would argue networks right now are already starting to feel congested on 4G HSPA+ and LTE networks. What do you think? Does Mohamed have a valid argument here? Are you scared your network of choice might be shut out?