Rogers began talks to acquire BAI long before TTC violence: Staffieri

Rogers will complete its acquisition of BAI in the next two weeks

Rogers started the process to acquire BAI a year ago.

Rogers president and CEO Tony Staffieri said the action came after customers told the company they needed connectivity when utilizing the subway.

“We quickly got into talks with BAI about buying that contract. We wanted access; we wanted to provide the connectivity,” Staffieri said at the Canadian Club. “The easiest way was to just buy out the Canadian subsidiary, which the biggest asset is this contract.”

The announcement comes during a volatile time for the TTC with the uptake in violence in recent months.

However, service won’t come right away. It’s going to take Rogers two years to implement 5G services underground.

Staffieri said the company would only have upwards of three hours every night to implement the network while the subway is shut down. The transit agency has committed to giving the company “as much time as possible,” Staffieri said.

It’s going to take approximately nine months to implement the service through 3G and 4G. Staffieri notes that access will come through phases, with the ability to contact 911 coming first, followed by text messaging, voice services, and finally, video streaming.

Staffieri further promised the service would work for all subway users regardless of provider, granted these companies sign on to the network.

“If Bell [and] Telus want to step up and join in, we’re happy and open to having those discussions with them. There’s no intent to prevent any customer, regardless of what network they’re on, to have access within the TTC subway system.”

Staffieri’s speaking engagement was the first after Rogers recieved final approval to takeover Shaw in the largest telecom merger in Canada.

It’s going to take 24 months to integrate Shaw into Rogers, and he said customer experience is the most important thing Rogers is keeping in mind.

“If we are successful in executing what we say we’re going to do, then five years from now, we are the brand and the company that Canadians choose first every day; more than Bell, Telus, or Vidéotron,” Staffieri said.

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