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.