Public Mobile Thankful to Chatr For Boosting Its Sales!

by Gaurav Kheterpal on September 16, 2010

Rogers Chatr has caused quite a stir in the Canadian wireless segment ever since it launched. While Mobilicity launched an “anti-competitive” lawsuit against Rogers, Wind Mobile decided to fire up a brand new campaign designed almost exclusively at pulling subscribers away from Rogers and its various in-house brands.

Public Mobile, on the other hand, is unfazed by the presence of Chatr. On the contrary, it is thankful to Bell and Rogers for having raised awareness of unlimited plans with launch of their own discount brands.

Is Public Mobile trying to be a perfect example of the true spirit of competition? I’m not sure. But it’s good to see the newbies such as Public Mobile challenge the likes of incumbents.

The low-cost wireless carrier segment is well and truly a confusing marketplace for consumers. And to make it even more interesting, there are several upcoming brands in the wings. Rogers launched Chatr with the simple objective of bringing back customers who’d been lured away by Mobilicity, Public Mobile and Wind Mobile. Bell followed suit by rebranding Solo Mobile as an unlimited talk and text service. IMO, these moves have lent further credibility to the growing popularity of “low-cost unlimited plans” market segment and passively boosted the prospects of challengers such as Public Mobile.

Since Rogers has a much larger footprint and a nationwide presence, Chatr has been a great advocate in spreading awareness regarding the pros and cons of the unlimited plans segment. Wind Mobile believes that Chatr isn’t competitive as it does not offer unlimited smart phone data plans. At a media and telecom conference put on by BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, Public Mobile CFO Jim Hardy said

“It’s actually been a benefit to us. The good news is that Rogers has legitimatized the new entrants.”

Though Public Mobile’s top management may be brewing with confidence over the boost in recent sales figures, it hasn’t exactly been a joyride for the carrier. Public Mobile’ launch in Montreal was a rather clumsy affair which had the wireless carrier looking for cover as several customers reported major service issues. In contrast, the Toronto launch was flawless, much to the delight of customers and top management alike.

Public Mobile is betting big on the ‘distribution channel’ market and has recently teamed up with Gateway Newstand locations. As part of the deal, a total of 60 Gateway stores are now co-branded with Public Mobile signs and also provide Public Mobile services. By January there will be a total of 120 stores carrying the Gateway /Public Mobile banner.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS>, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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