John Bitove, Chairman of Mobilicity, said in an interview with BNN that Rogers launching their new entry level brand “Chatr” is “ridiculous, they’re launching a phone service basically trying to duplicate to ours, only in the markets we’re launching in and if they like the idea so much then why don’t they apply it to the whole system across the country… they’re trying to create a flanker brand that they can subsidize through their existing network and a lot of their other infrastructure. I know they talk about setting somethings up independently, but overall it’s really just a flanker brand that they are just going to subsidize to try and hurt the competition. Mobilicity is off to a great start and they must see it in some of their deactivations… did I expect competition? Absolutely against the Big 3. I think this is blatantly unfair.”
The big part of their argument will be part a section in the Competition Act called the “Abuse of Dominant Position” It reads that the “use of fighting brands selectively on a temporary basis to discipline or eliminate a competitor”.
Bitove continued to state that “I’m not saying competition always has to be exactly fair, But you’ve got to watch how far you go in killing off your competition with unfair tactics. That’s what the Competition Act is supposed to protect in this county.”
The Chatr brand is rumuored to be launching in a couple weeks in and have coverage “zones” in urban markets such as Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Ottawa. They will set up shop with kiosks located in malls and in retail outlets such as Future Shop and Best Buy. Chatr will offer no-contract, low-cost devices and 2 monthly rate plans with unconfirmed price points: Unlimited Talk for $35 and Unlimited Talk & Text for $45. In a slide presentation we were send it does show that Chatr will directly compete with new entrants Wind Mobile, Public Mobile and Mobilicity. All the new entrants off offer Unlimited calling, various monthly plans and no contract device options.
What do you think… is this new Chatr brand ridiculous? Is Chatr created to duplicate the new entrants? Or will it lower prices and offer customers even more competition in the market?
(Check out the complete list of Chatr presentation slides here)