Archive for Rogers

Rogers Announces Mobilicity Purchase [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on June 24, 2015 by itnerd

I posted what was a rumor that later was confirmed as fact last night. Now it’s official. Rogers has purchased Mobilicity. Here’s the details from a press release that is on the wires at the moment:

Rogers Communications will immediately boost speed and quality for wireless customers in BC, Alberta and Southern Ontario as part of a series of transactions announced today. The transactions mean Rogers is completing the previously announced acquisition of Shaw’s AWS-1 spectrum and acquiring 100% ownership of Mobilicity. The company is also divesting, post transaction, certain AWS-1 spectrum to WIND Mobile that is contiguous to their spectrum holdings.

Rogers as a result of this deal gains a lot of previously unused spectrum capacity that works with all LTE devices. That’s a win for them. What’s also a win for them is the fact that Industry Canada has signed off on the deal. That’s major as Telus couldn’t get that far when they made two attempts to buy them. The deal still needs to be signed off by the Competition Bureau and the Court that is overseeing Mobilicity’s bankruptcy. But one has to think that this is a formality at this point. Wind is a bit of a winner too as they get some spectrum that I am sure that they can use.

The only thing that is outstanding is if Telus is going to try and stop this via the courts. I’d watch this space to see if that happens. If it is going to happen, it will happen quickly one suspects.

UPDATE: A statement from Industry Minister James Moore has been posted. In it he says this among other things:

“The approval of these spectrum licence transfers is a win for Canadian consumers. A new wireless competitor has secured valuable spectrum it needs, and high-quality spectrum that went unused for almost a decade will now be deployed for the betterment of all Canadians.

That new wireless carrier is Wind who put out a press release to speak to what the Industry Minister said:

“This new spectrum acquisition means WIND Mobile now has a 20 megahertz AWS-1 corridor from Victoria to Ottawa,” said WIND Mobile CEO Alek Krstajic. “This will significantly improve our network performance from Ontario to the Pacific, enabling us to deploy new technology and accelerate the development of our LTE network and other services.”

Krstajic says today’s developments further enhance WIND Mobile’s position as Canada’s fourth national wireless service provider.

Things just MIGHT have become a lot more interesting in the wireless space here in Canada.

RUMOUR: Rogers To Buy Mobilicity [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on June 23, 2015 by itnerd

The Globe And Mail is reporting that Rogers is about to buy struggling carrier Mobilicity:

Mobilicity has accepted an offer from Rogers Communications Inc. and plans to seek court approval of the sale, according to sources.

The small wireless carrier, which has been under creditor protection since September, 2013, plans to take the agreement to court on Wednesday morning, three sources familiar with the negotiations said.

Rogers is said to have bid more than $400-million for Mobilicity, according to two sources.

The deal is said to include the transfer of some cellular spectrum to new entrant carrier Wind Mobile Corp. This is believed to be a factor in the federal government’s willingness to approve a transaction although it has previously blocked Mobilicity’s attempts to transfer its spectrum licences to Telus Corp.

Don’t consider this a done deal yet though. Assuming this report is accurate:

  1. It has to be approved by the feds. Telus has had two attempts to buy Mobilicity shot out of the sky. Don’t be shocked if Rogers attempt ends up the same way.
  2. Telus is apparently none too happy about this. They may go to court to stop this.

So, you will have to watch this space to see how this turns out. It will be interesting to watch.

UPDATE: The Globe And Mail story that I referenced has been updated to take this out of the rumor space to being fact. Several key points have been added. The key one is that Telus apparently offered more for Mobilicity than Rogers. But Mobilicity’s creditors went with Rogers and their deal as it appeared to be the one that would pass government approval.

Bell And Telus Adopt Rogers Suretap To Beat Back Apple Pay

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on June 23, 2015 by itnerd

Both Telus and Bell put out separate announcements that they were adopting Rogers Suretap Mobile Wallet system. Bell did their announcement in the form of a YouTube Video:

Telus on the other hand went old school by sending me a statement:

With suretap mobile wallet, now available for TELUS customers, we are helping simplify the way customers shop and pay every day. As you know, TELUS is obsessed with improving the customer experience and helping customers maximize the use of their smartphones with value added services that make their lives easier. With suretap, TELUS is enabling its customers to take the next step in mobile wallet transactions while offering an experience that is secure, simple and convenient. Suretap will work alongside the bank mobile payment applications we currently offer in collaboration with partners like CIBC, TD, Desjardins and PC Financial, giving our customers access to the mobile payment solution that is right for them and their everyday routines.

So, why would Telus and Bell team up with Rogers? The answer is simple. They want to be all ahead of the inevitable launch of Apple Pay in Canada. Perhaps even beat it. Now Suretap does have a significant advantage over Apple Pay which is the blessing of Canadian banks. Apple Pay will have to get that and that may take time. Though one has to think that Apple who has more cash than some countries is going to operating its payment system in Canada in the very near future with Canadian banks eventually signing off.

Here We Go Again: Telus Trying To Acquire Mobilicity….. And So Is Rogers

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on June 20, 2015 by itnerd

For those of you at home who are keeping score, Teius has tried a number of times to buy struggling carrier Mobilicity and each time they’ve failed. Well, they’re at it again. But this time there’s a twist. Here’s what the Financial Post had to say:

The Financial Post has learned that the Vancouver-based wireless incumbent recently submitted the terms of a proposed transaction to the federal government in which it would purchase Mobilicity while agreeing to transfer the ownership of some of the new entrant’s coveted spectrum licences to its arch rival Wind Mobile, which could use the additional access to wireless airwaves despite bulking up in a March auction.

I’m not entirely sure that Ottawa would go for this as it would be a dramatic about face from a policy perspective. But stranger things have happened and this is an election year in Canada. Thus all bets are off. But there’s more to this story:

The Globe and Mail has reported that Rogers Communications Inc. also submitted a proposal to Ottawa inquiring about a possible purchase of Mobilicity. A spokesperson for Rogers declined to comment.

Hmmmm….. That’s also very interesting. It’s clear that there’s a race to snag this carrier. The question is, does either one of these members of the big three have the ability to close the deal, or will there be yet another plot twist that nobody saw coming?

CRTC Complaint Against Shomi & CraveTV To Proceed Despite Shomi Announcement

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 29, 2015 by itnerd

If Shomi which is owned by Rogers and Shaw thought that their announcement this week that their service would be open to all Canadians would stop the CRTC from taking a look at their behavior, they likely need to think again. According to the Financial Post, this happened:

While Shomi plans to make its subscriptions available to all Canadians sometime this summer, a complaint alleging that the video streaming platform and its two owners are in violation of telecommunications laws remains “unchanged and live” and before the industry’s national watchdog.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the Consumers’ Association of Canada (PIAC-CAC) challenged a sales tactic employed by Shomi that limits the service’s use to only existing cable or Internet subscribers of its co-owners, Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. The advocacy groups contend that Shomi, Rogers and Shaw have been in “clear violation of the prohibition against unjust discrimination and undue preference” since the streaming service became available last November.

Despite Shomi’s plans to eventually lift the restriction, PIAC wrote to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that the news unveiled Wednesday was short on key details – such as a firm launch date and whether an active TV subscription is required – and asked if the regulator still planned to render a decision specifically on whether tying Shomi to a specific Internet service has been violating the Telecommunications Act and the Broadcasting Act. 

Indeed, the process will continue, a CRTC spokeswoman confirmed. Submissions are due Monday.

It sucks to be Shomi. Now I did mention the fact that there was no firm launch date for Shomi’s plans and I thought that was lame. Clearly so does PIAC. But I have to admit that the need for an active TV subscription is something that I had not considered. After all, I would like to believe that if Shomi says that it’s open to all Canadians, that means everyone and not someone who subscribes to cable. Clearly I was naive. Thus the CRTC is likely to have real fun with this.

My advice? Shomi might want to put a date to their plans as well as open it up to anyone with an Internet connection before the CRTC does it for them.

Shomi Now Available To Everyone In Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 27, 2015 by itnerd

How times have changed. Either because it wanted to actually gain market share, or because the CRTC threatened to force them do it, Shomi which is the streaming service owned by Rogers and Shaw is now available to all Canadians:

Canada, make room on your couch and time in your schedule – shomi™ is moving in! Following a successful beta launch in November 2014 to Rogers and Shaw Internet or cable customers, shomi is now coming to all Canadians across the country this summer! We’re moving in and unpacking great stuff to watch – including exclusive series not available on other streaming services, celebrated Canadian content, human-curated collections, plus fun kids and family programming. And we know it’s not just about the living room TV experience: shomi is accessible on the platforms Canadians want – tablet, mobile, online, Xbox 360, Apple TV, Chromecast, as well as set-top boxes for Rogers and Shaw TV subscribers; the service is also on offer to other distributors.

This is a good move on their part (though the lack of a specific date in terms of when it will be available to all is kind of lame) because I found that Shomi was hard to take seriously because you needed a Rogers or Shaw subscription to get it. That completely defeats the purpose of a streaming service. And the fact that they had exclusive shows that Netflix didn’t wasn’t enough of a reason for me to jump on board. Now I have to admit that I am seriously considering it. If they add support for other streaming media players such as Roku, I’ll likely sign up.

Now, does anyone want to take bets on how long it takes CraveTV which is Bell’s answer to Shomi to do the same thing? Assuming that Bell is smart enough to make that move?

Chatr Expands Across Canada to 200 Cities

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 5, 2015 by itnerd

Chatr which is Rogers discount mobile carrier has announced a number of items today:

  • They’ve expanded to 200 cities across Canada.
  • Monthly plans of $25 and up now include international calling starting at 1 cent per minute to more than 200 countries.
  • New data buckets can be added to plans so customers can also connect online with their phones. Customers on the $35 and $40 prepaid plans can add 500 MB for $10, 1 GB for $15, or the new 2 GB add-on for $25.

For more info, take a look at the Chatr website.

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