There Is No Room for a Fourth Wireless Player, Rogers CEO Suggests

by Istvan Fekete on May 26, 2014

The federal government has been busy artificially fostering competition by pushing for a fourth national player, but Rogers’ CEO Guy Laurence has a different point of view. Speaking with the media last Friday, he said that few countries have been able to support four national carriers in the long term, and that this isn’t likely to happen in Canada due to the enormous costs involved. But the government is also entitled to have its own position on the matter.

“The principle of a fourth carrier is something that the government has been keen to pursue,” Rogers CEO Guy Laurence told reporters during a briefing about plans he has for revitalizing the Toronto-based company over the next few years. “They’re still pursuing that policy and they’re entitled to that point of view,” Laurence said in one of his many unscripted responses to reporters during a 45-minute briefing on Friday at Rogers headquarters in downtown Toronto.

Guy Laurence, former head of Vodafone UK, brought up two European countries, Germany and France, which embraced the fourth national carrier idea. “What you clearly see now, and I cite Germany and France, is that they’ve started to realize that given the capital complexity involved in these companies, it is very difficult to support a fourth carrier.”

In Canada’s case, the geographic size isn’t really conducive to the growth of a fourth carrier, Laurence emphasized.

“I’m not saying the government is wrong. I’m not saying that they should change their policy. My personal view is that it is difficult to see a scenario where a fourth carrier will be successful.”

Of course, we must not forget that these words come from the most powerful wireless player in the country. Laurence has announced the release of Rogers 3.0, a vision that aims to return the company to growth mode after a period of relative stagnation and customer loss.

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

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