Will Rogers Walk Away from the CWTA?

by Istvan Fekete on March 4, 2014

The CWTA is facing hard times. After Wind Mobile’s, Public Mobile’s, and Mobilicity’s withdrawals from the telecom industry lobby group, a couple of days ago, in an unexpected move, Telus has also quit. Who’s next?

Telus’s move comes out of the blue, because no one would have expected Canada’s No. 2 wireless player to leave the lobby group that was seen as the mouthpiece for the country’s incumbents. By the way, this was the reason that wireless startups left the CWTA in the first place, a year ago.

According to Telus’s chief corporate officer, John Blair, the telco isn’t at loggerheads with the industry group, but it wants to stand out for its own view on what’s right for its customers. In other words, there are major differences in what the lobby group represents and what Telus wants its customers and clients to hear from the wireless player.

“We feel that taking our own position on the customer service front, customers-first front, is the right thing for us to do,” Blair said.

“It (the association) has no credibility to begin with and I think Telus finally arrived at that conclusion,” said Hoey, of Hoey Associates Management Consultants in Toronto.

Since the incumbent is leaving the CWTA – effective immediately – the next question is: who will follow next? Bell? Rogers?

Speaking with the Canadian Press, a Rogers spokeswoman has left the question unanswered, and left enough room for speculation: “We’ve been reviewing our options and we’ll make a decision that’s right for our customers,” spokeswoman Patricia Trott said Friday.

Bell’s position, on the other hand, appears unchanged: the carrier has no intention of leaving the CWTA. As a long-time member, it has been active in developing projects such as the stolen phone registry. This followed the US example, which is still an unproven model, as its efficiency yet to be shown.

Despite having 110 members on board as of writing this article, Rogers’ departure would break the CWTA apart, according to an analyst interviewed by the Canadian Press. According to Iain Grant, managing director of the Seaboard Group, it could mean the end of the lobby group.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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