Video: WIND, Rogers & Mobilicity talk competition and unlocking phones

Ian Hardy

June 11, 2010 7:56am

At the Canadian Telecom Summit earlier this week the final panel of the event was called “Advanced Wireless Service”. It was an open discussion moderated by the Globe’s Telecom Reporter Iain Marlow. The panelist were CEO of Wind Mobile Ken Campbell, EVP Marketing of Rogers Communications John Boynton and President & CEO of Mobilicity Dave Dobbin.

Over the hour conversation they talked a great deal about the recent wireless spectrum auction and if carriers paid to much for spectrum (total amount was $4,254,710,327) , should their be a spectrum cap, unlocking cell phones, customer loyalty, bundling and competition. In the video below you’ll see a short clip from each carrier respond to the question “How long can Canada support more carriers with a much smaller population?”. Each carrier had a different answer:

Mobilicity stated they don’t know how long.

Rogers said “It’s a great question and probably should have been brought up and discussed before the auction… I think we’ll see how things shake out, I think we’ll see where everybody ends up in market share and profitability. Again, it’s just going to get down to the customer to decide who’ll they want to be with in the long term”.

Wind stated “The answer isn’t 3. The answer isn’t 2… can this country support four, probably. The economics of this business is certainly four, probably five. The economics of this business has changed dramatically. I think there is room in this market for more competition and we’ll see where the dust settles at the end of the day.”

  • najib

    GO WIND GO

  • 5Gs

    Goooooooooooooooooo WIND Goooooooooooooooooo!

  • Shayne

    Protecting their intellectual property? Really, that’s why unlocking phones is bad? Get real, is Rogers telling me there is no IP in laptops?

    -shayne

  • Jon

    I hate the answers that Rogers gives. He says you have a choice to go or contract or not.

    It is really a choice when you over-charge for a handle-set to make the contract price look good? Is it really a choice when some of your best plans and options (6G data plan for example) is only available when you go on contract?

  • Matthew

    What did they say about unlocking phones??

  • Gussy

    I liked and didn’t like that. Rogers is still going on “you have choice” But if your phone is sim locked, to a carrier is is not choice to move to another carrier. You need to get permission to move carriers. How is that choice?

  • Hub

    Rogers can’t stand one bit of competition. Their answer is not surprising. Why do you think they bought Microcell (Fido)?

  • Nate

    John Boynton on unlocking phones: “…there are handset manufacturers that have a lot of intellectual property rights inside their handsets. I think some of that has to be taken into consideration in the answer…we shouldn’t be too flippant about how much R&D those manufacturers put into those handsets…”

    WHAT? This is the biggest load of BS I’ve ever heard. Talk about dodging the question…if he even knows that unlocking means. They’re talking about unlocking a phone, not taking it apart and selling it on the black market. JEEZ. Glad I’m cancelling with Rogers in a day or two.

    Also, Dave Dobbin might want to work on his stage presence.

  • James Lui

    Rogers, Rogers, Rogers… those douchebags are at it again. You know I think their stint with AT&T rubbed off some of that American attitude on them.

    “We are HUGE! Now get out of our way.”

  • Wesley Hwang

    Is it me or did Roger not even answer the question?? Then lead everyone off the topic, LOL. I dont even understand what he is getting at. complete bull…. information. Iphone save 400 dollars. If you monthly bill is soo high you saving nothing lol

  • Harry

    I’m not biast on the carrier front but I think all those people supporting wind or mobilicity simply because they offer a better rate plan choice does not make it a better company, the company has to use the incumbents networks simply because our government obliges them to, no sh*t they can afford to give you unlimited when it’s not costing them anything to offer the service in the first place. As for the unlocking issue they offered unlocked phones in the first place then their “customers” bought them and sold them on ebay they smart management FINALY figured it out that wow we’re selling so many phones but not making a profit as a company wind doesn’t stand a chance to make it in the business longer than 5 years they’ll end up being just another fido….. we all know what happened there
    maybe mobilicity can hang in there for a while

  • James Lui

    @Harry

    You are quite sadly mistaken. It costs them quite dearly to offer unlimited service. They have to build their networks from the ground up. Robellus has made it s**t-hits-fan difficult to get fair roaming prices for the competitor’s customers. You’re right, the government is making them do that, but thats a good thing buddy. Go search up some quick facts first before spewing that kind of nonsense.

  • Harry

    @James
    your socialist point of vu on the governments are doing a “good” thing is wrong when it comes to business the bottom line is the most important line our capitalist neighbors to the south had their own competitive spectrum auction and after many small companies such as the little players we have in our great nation came and went they were left with 4 big players and they had 2 when they started so this whole battle or quantity and quality we’re having it’s clear one thing will come out of it we will have 1 more BIG company added to the current 3. My comment was directed towards the little players I will correct myself it does cost SOMETHING to rent network from the robellus as your put it, however it’s not big enough to justify the usage they are permiting their customers to have on robellus’ network and their customers paying the price for sh*tty spotting network due to network congestion when they deserve to get better coverage because they pay more life is about money deal with it

  • CaptainZangetsu

    @Harry, So how would you do it if you were WIND? Don’t say you will give up and sell out. Then I know you work for Rogers :X. Anyways, I’m proud of WIND for not selling out just like Tony Lacavera mentioned someone offered him to buy them out and he declined. I dont think they will end up like fido and them. Fido didnt have much support back then and they didnt offer much too

  • Walter P

    Offense Harry but your way off point. Wind isn’t using anyone’s network. A simple case in point is that I don’t have Wind’s service in my area and I live in Edmonton’s city limits. If Wind were using the incumbents network then their coverage would be alot better than it currently is.

  • Harry

    I don’t work for Rogers and yes they do use their network they rent the real estate I’m a shareholder of both Rogers and Telus for those of you who believe I’m biast tirades the big guys I would buy into wind if their public they’re still private my previous moment mentioned fido, they will indeed end up like fido wich btw made me alot of money when they were bought out I’m hopinng wind will go public and sell themselves once their CEO makes the compagby profitable. My opinion is simply business related it’s what gives you people jobs don’t take it personal

  • CaptainZangetsu

    LOL, So harry you just want wind to be bought out to earn more money for yourself. OK, I see where you come from.

  • Charles

    Did anyone consider who ends up paying for the spectrum auction (over $4 BILLION). If we want more competition and more choices in Canada, carriers’ fees to the feds should be lowered.

  • Charles

    Locked cell phones, the biggest rip-off of all!

    Why is it that because we pay our phones through a monthly payment to the carriers, they think that gives them the right to lock the phone even if the the terms of the contract is such that penalty fees are paid to the carrier for early termination? Is the phone unlocked at the end of the contract? Why not? It’s been paid in full many times over on a 3-year contract that offer way more service than most people ever consume (for example unlimited evenings and weekends – when traffic is low anyways and when people SLEEP)

  • J.Soul

    Charles is on point – a lot of people only look at the business end of things, but there is a HUGE political side to things as well.

    Gov’t intervention is not always a good thing – especially when it comes to things like data/technology. IMO, Europe is a lot more free-thinking when it comes to the ideals behind things like telco, ISP, even COPYRIGHTS.

    The laws that Canada has in place regarding the telco industry are more than likely in place to keep the US satisfied – ie. Not attractive to US-based business.

    If the cost to entering the market were lower, don’t you think that businesses from EVERYWHERE would enter? The US economy is HURTING right now (don’t let the “recovery” fool you…) and the US needs as much money as it can get. If telco companies start spending their dollars elsewhere (on things like infrastructure and development), ie. CANADA, it is not in the US best interest..

    You’d see all the investment in Alberta’s oil disappear completely, not just partially as it already has.

    It’s more than just dollars and cents for the consumer… it’s dollars and sense for the goverments too…

  • Denis

    worked for Rogers Customers Pay full price for there phone after a year of service and if you had the choice to purchase you would not need Rogers anymore because Canadians would not choose Rogers, fido or any other company they would create Rogers is robbers in whatever name you call it.

  • robellus

    I love the subsidized contracts, it is the only thing the big three have over the new guys. Best advice is to get to know a rep and figure your way to get a RBC Corp Plan which costs 26bucks for all the features and …. a free upgrade every 12 months <— beat that!

  • rocco stiffreddi

    Gotta love Ken the clueless ones answers.. he speaks of counries with smaller populations and many more carriers but he forgets to state that all use the same frequency therefore they must compete.. his brand is using a sup par network, some have said second hand from a failed city launch in Bratislava, so how can you use that as an example. The fact is and remains that Rogers will still be standing.. Wind will be sold off to pay off the MASSIVE debt Orascom has amassed thus far.. I just wonder where ken will try and work after he is given the boot? I hear Metro needs someone to work the cheese counter.