Last Friday news dropped that the Competition Bureau found “misleading advertising of Rogers’ Chatr” brand for them stating they have fewer dropped calls than the new wireless carriers. This was good news for new entrants Mobilicity and Wind Mobile as it showed their networks to be on par and could see Rogers paying “an administrative monetary penalty of $10 million dollars”.
The new entrants bounced on this news and Tony Lacavera, Chairman of WIND Mobile said “As longstanding champions of wireless choice for Canadians, we are very pleased that the Competition Bureau has come to this conclusion and we applaud its decision to stand up for Canadian consumers and their right to accurate information”. Mobilicity President & CEO Dave Dobbin stated “We commend the Competition Bureau for taking action on the complaints… it seems that the government of Canada, the governments of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, and about 31 million Canadians are fed up with the Big 3.” Then late Friday Rogers SVP of Regulatory Affairs, Ken Engelhart was quoted saying “We have extensive, independent third party testing to validate our claims and we stand by our advertising. We will vigorously defend this action in court.”
Then Naguib Sawiris, chairman of Orascom Telecom and major investor of Wind Mobile, was speaking at the Egyptian Canadian Business Networking event in Montreal and had a few words to say about the findings of the Competition Bureau. Sawiris stated that “Whenever they break the rules, sue them. We showed the regulator that our networks are better… They made a big mistake. They thought I was like everyone else. They thought I was going to come here, lose my money and go home. We are very serious about the investment. If they think I am going home – I will not… We are supposed to co-locate with the incumbent players. They have ganged up against us… We still don’t share a single tower. I’m not surprised we’ve had a hard fight.”
This is a big deal and will go on for a few months. Before it was the Big 3 going against each other for who is the biggest, fastest and most reliable. The Government wanted to bring in more competition and now it seems that one of the areas of focus is to slowly reduce/erode the new carriers footprint. Wooing customers to sign up with low handset price, cheap monthly price plans and now advertising that directs them to trust a specific brand over another. There is no word on how many subscribers Mobilicity or Public Mobile has. Wind Mobile recently announced they have signed up over 140,000 subscribers… but at this stage of the game even losing one subscriber is way too much.