Wind Mobile, Mobilicity & Public Mobile Withdraw From CWTA Citing Bias For Incumbent Carriers

Daniel Bader

April 10, 2013 6:24 pm

DEV-Wind_XL

Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile announced today they will be withdrawing from the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, or CWTA, citing favouritism towards the Big Three, Rogers, Telus and Bell.

In a press release issued today, Simon Lockie,Wind’s Chief Regulatory Officer, said upon registration,”we were promised clear and fair representation on issues of true industry alignment [and] the CWTA has repeatedly failed to honour this promise, leaving us no alternative but to withdraw.”

Much of the discord stems around the existence of the CWTA as a purported advocate for all wireless carriers in Canada, lobbying governments and consumer groups to dispel accusations of price fixing and collusion. The entrants, with Wind at the forefront, claim the CWTA’s interests align with furthering the success of the incumbents, who together control 90% of the Canadian market, rather than those of the new guys who ostensibly need all the good press they can get.

Representatives for the CWTA claimed to be shocked at the sudden withdrawal of the new entrants. Marc Choma, a CWTA rep, released a statement earlier today: “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. These include such initiatives as the Recycle My Cell national cell phone recycling program, the upcoming stolen phone database initiative, Wireless AMBER Alerts, the Mobile Giving Foundation Canada, E9-1-1 enhancements, the textED.ca youth education initiative, Common Short Codes, the new FCM-CWTA antenna siting protocol, wireless number portability and anti-spam regulations, to name just a few.”

The CWTA has been around since 1975, acting as “the authority on wireless issues, developments and trends in Canada. It represents cellular, PCS, messaging, mobile radio, fixed wireless, and mobile satellite carriers as well as companies that develop and produce products and services for the industry. The Association’s primary role is to represent the wireless industry’s interests before government and various regulatory agencies.”

Choma said he’d welcome the three wireless providers back at any time.

Source: Newswire (2)

  • Carl Hall

    except that not all the country is covered Canada has more remote areas with no cell service than the US, and larger pockets where service isnt available

  • kroms

    CWTA failed the people. Fantastic. Canadian Wireless industry is going down the tubes.

  • kroms

    Everyone should Leave BELL and Rogers. That is the ONLY message that would grab there attention. I dropped Telus, the Rogers years ago , suffered a bit with Mobilicity , then it got better and now i’m happy on WIND. People need to really act …. that is the ONLY way.

  • Bubbles TrailerPark

    Actually it’s completely reasonable to compare Canadian mobile prices to American, or any countries for that fact. Let’s do some review shall we?

    Dirty 3 (27 million subscribers) = $1.29 Billion profit
    Verizon (90 million subscribers) = $1.6 billion profit

    So with some simple grade 3 math we get:
    Dirty 3 = $59.26 profit per person
    Verizon = $17.78 profit per person
    Now obviously, not everyone is handing out this much money as this is just an average and only demonstrates very rough statistics but still this says a lot.

    Now, here comes the hard part so I want you to use your brain for this one… if we live in a country with a much smaller population than the states and much less density, why is verizon having so much trouble making as much porfit per person than our big 3? think… how is this possible? Well, it probably has to do something with how we’re priced doesn’t it? A study done by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that Canada has amongst the worst pricing out of all developed countries in the world. In fact, in europe they don’t even pay for incoming calls, the caller is the only one who pays.

    Also, after only one year of wind, mobi, and public entering the Canadian market prices accross the board for cell phones went down 30%. Now again, I know numbers aren’t your thing but i’ll try and make this easy for you, the new entrants cover a VERY small fraction (maybe 5%) of what Robellus cover, so imagine how much of a price drop there would be if the new guys actually had a chance to cover even a quarter of what the other guys cover…

    • Manbo

      I completely understand that we are overcharged here and there is no arguing that. I’m merely pointing out, as you missed my point, that as consumers there is something that we can do, either don’t subscribe to a non essential service or negotiate a better rate. The reason Canadian Telecom had such high profits is because the majority of users don’t negotiate the price and take it. What’s the point complaining about how much robelus charges, if you did nothing to negotiate the price? They’ve built up the main networks and now they’re reaping the benefits because we Canadians in general b***h and moan, but take no action.

      So keep comparing profits, I’ll just keep paying less for my service.

  • Bubbles TrailerPark

    There’s a huge problem with your logic… What you’re saying is that the only way for competition to ever take place is to have a 100% free market the way Adam Smith himself originally dicated.. Well sorry Lucy Lue but it’s been proven that a market with no referee is just like a sporting event with no referee, and that’s result to absolutely no healthy competition.

    It’s a fact that we’re getting ripped off and a fact that it’s because the big dirty three are price fixing which is ridiculously illegal in Canada (and for good reason) but incredibly hard to prove unless you can find a signed contract or voice recording of the agreements which no one will ever find. The OECD, a well established global research group, has found that Canada has amongst the worst prices for cell phones in the world and regardless of size, population, or density almost every other country leaves us in the dust.
    If we were to take our level of competition and translate it directly to the 100m sprint, we would have three fat guys wearing the rogers, bell, and telus logos at 100m, and the other three guys starting at the 400m mark. We all know how that race ends each year, and thats with Bell, Rogers, and Telus holding hands and stepping over the finish line together at the same time. I love your style of competition.

  • Bubbles TrailerPark

    It does not, but recently the owners of wind at VimpleCom Ltd. have actually put Wind Mobile up for sale. They say it’s because the Canadian government is just simply not allowing realistic competition for the company and are fed up with it. The price of the company is going to be between $500m to $1b.

    It is believed that roger’s may be a potential buyer… if this is true that means that the fourth largest carrier in Canada will be owned by the largest provider. With that, Rogers will either shut down the networks or leave them running without ever expanding them. Either way, we’ll see prices shoot back up if this does happen…

  • Sinned72

    but the reality is that the Rogers had a cable monopoly to fall back on when they started and Telus/Bell had their ILEC telecom footprints (built with government money) so they already had the silver platter handed to them before. The prices became exceedingly higher for new entrants because wireless is such a tremendous success, especially here in Canada. The real equality for telecom in Canada would be eliminate foreign ownership restrictions and see if Deutsche Telecom or Vodafone would change the landscape.

    Even if that were to happen it would be an uphill battle since the wireless saturation in Canada is really high and convincing people to leave the carriers they are on is a bit more challenging. Add to that contracts and the like and it is really hard, such that only those with unlocked devices or deep enough pockets would be the ones to move initially.

    Having said all that, the market today is a lot better than a few years ago, I am now paying under 60 per month base for as many minutes as I want anywhere in Canada, 2GB of data and all the other frills. This is pretty unbelievable considering the only time I paid less for a single phone was the 50 dollar a month Blackberry BES plan with voice are 1 dollar per minute. I have been using a smartphone since 2002. On average I have been paying over 100 per month for services and until last year with the new data setup I had an iPhone specific plan, I changed out to a general plan as it finally made sense by the numbers.

  • spritemoney

    And I thought the U.S. had high cell phone bills!