Rogers discount brand Chatr officially launched on July 8th and now operates in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal. One of the reasons Chatr launched was to compete against the new carriers in the low-cost, no-contract/no credit check, Unlimited Talk & Text plans within a specific “zone” market.
Wind Mobile recently crossed the 100,000 subscriber mark, Public Mobile and Mobilicity are both private companies and do not reveal subscriber numbers. However there was an estimation by the GSMA that revealed Mobilicity and Public had a combined total of 7,000 subscribers… this was quickly shot down by Mobilicity by stating “We had 3,000 subscribers just over a week after we launched and we have been growing at a rapid pace since then; a more aggressive growth trajectory than any other new entrant.”
So how is Chatr doing? We received a report from the Merrill Lynch (Canada) TMT Investor Conference last week. Rogers CFO Bill Linton was speaking about the outlook of the industry and when it came down to wireless he stated that Chatr Wireless is selling reasonably well with the amount of subscribers in “hundreds, not thousands per day”. In addition, Linton said the three pure play new entrants (Wind, Public and Mobilicity) have had minimal impact on Rogers overall business to date but expects a bigger competitive impact from Quebecor (Videotron).
Today marks the 54th day in business for Chatr and selling hundreds not thousands per day is still a vague subscriber number. This could be 800, 300, 100 or 700 per day. The speculation of the true numbers could be debated… but the point is that they’re signing up customers who would have spent their money with another carrier.