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Wind Mobile, Mobilicity, Public Mobile Quit Lobby Group Over ‘Big 3’ Carrier Bias

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Looks like our newer wireless entrants aren’t happy with the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), as Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile have withdrawn from the wireless lobby group, over claims the latter has become the “voice of Big Three telcos at expense of consumers and new entrant mobile service providers.”

In a joint statement released today, all three carriers vented their frustration with the CWTA, citing ongoing frustration with the latter’s consistent bias towards Rogers, TELUS and Bell on a wide range of issues. Essentially, Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile feel the CWTA cannot and does not speak on behalf of the entire mobile wireless sector:

“When we were first approached by the CWTA, we were promised clear and fair representation on issues of true industry alignment,” said Simon Lockie, Chief Regulatory Officer for WIND Mobile. “But despite making our objections and concerns abundantly clear on numerous occasions, the CWTA has repeatedly failed to honour this promise, leaving us no alternative but to withdraw.”

“It has been evident for quite some time that, rather than being a true industry association which represents the views of all players regardless of size, the CWTA has instead largely been an advocate for Rogers, TELUS and Bell, and often directly contrary to the interests of new entrant wireless carriers,” said Bob Boron, General Counsel and Senior Vice-President, Legal & Regulatory Affairs for Public Mobile.

“We have spent the better part of three years repeatedly voicing our opposition to the CWTA on a wide range of matters to the point of issuing a press release in January 2011 that publically expressed our dissent on the CWTA’s position on wireless consumer protection,” said Gary Wong, Director of Legal Affairs for Mobilicity. “There seems to be a blatant disregard of the new entrants in favour of acting in the best interests of the Big Three carriers and it is unacceptable.”

In response, Marc Choma, spokesman for the CWTA said “CWTA has always and will continue to work on behalf of all of its members,” rejecting the allegations it favoured the incumbents:

“While any industry association that represents a large and diverse membership in an intensely competitive sector will have some disagreements amongst it members on certain issues, CWTA is a catalyst for numerous initiatives that bring many benefits to Canadians.”

The CWTA said last month the Canadian wireless industry is more competitive than we believe it to be, in response to claims by critics it is “woefully uncompetitive”.

Do you think the CWTA has fairly represented all carriers in Canada, or is there a bias towards the ‘Big 3’?

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