Home » Rogers » Recent Articles:

Rogers Cable Dumping Usage Caps for More Customers; New Ignite Plans for Unlimited Video Streaming

rogersThe cable company that used to make you think twice about every online video you watch doesn’t want you to think about that anymore.

Rogers Cable, eastern Canada’s largest cable company, has traditionally been one of the stingiest usage cappers in the Canadian broadband business. But now the company is marketing the fact many of its Internet plans are now usage-cap free.

Today, Rogers introduced Rogers Ignite Unlimited, 100/10 and 200/20Mbps Internet plans that come with unlimited usage, subscriptions to Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE and shomi, Rogers’ TV Everywhere service.

“We’ve redesigned our plans to give our customers unlimited usage options with consistent, reliable speeds so they can surf more, stream more and share more without worrying about going over their limit or getting a spotty connection,” said Robert Goodman, senior director, Rogers Communications.

Goodman says the new plans are specifically designed to handle the increasing bandwidth demands of video streaming, which can quickly chew through any customer’s usage allowance. Rogers’ officials admit that 50 percent of the traffic on its broadband network is now video streaming and that customers’ Internet usage has spiked by 60 percent annually.

That growth, without a corresponding increase in usage allowances, offers a natural deterrent to cord-cutting and online viewing. Viewers who exceed their usage allowance face stiff overlimit penalties.

Rogers is not expected to lose any money dropping usage caps from its higher-end Ignite plans, which do not come cheap. The least expensive plans still keep usage caps with a $1.50/GB overlimit fee. Customers bundling multiple services together will pay less than these broadband-only prices:

  • Internet 30 ($64.99): 30/5Mbps with 100GB allowance
  • Rogers Ignite 60 ($74.99): 60/10Mbps with 200GB allowance
  • Rogers Ignite 100u ($84.99): 100/10Mbps with unlimited usage
  • Rogers Ignite 250u ($94.99): 250/20Mbps with unlimited usage

HD Smorgasbord: Rogers Tells Customers to Stop Worrying and Crank Up the Streaming Video

In a complete about-face for eastern Canada’s largest cable operator, Rogers Communications is inviting customers to take the brakes off their usage and go hog-wild with high bandwidth HD streaming and downloading with an unlimited use plan.

“Whether you use shomi, Netflix, YouTube or all three as your go-to streaming service(s), if you’re a subscriber to an unlimited Rogers Internet package, you don’t have to worry about streaming video in anything other than their highest-quality settings – the image is pristine and the sound is awesome,” the company writes on its online blog.

Rogers had argued for at least five years before Canada’s telecommunications regulator that compulsory usage caps and overlimit fees were necessary to manage congestion on their networks and to make sure that heavy users pay their fair share.

Those days of congestion are evidently over because Rogers takes customers through several tutorials to teach them how to turn up their streaming settings to deliver HD and 4K video streams.

“Rogers comes very close to implying it is Netflix and YouTube that compromise the video experience of customers, despite the fact Netflix created its user-definable video playback settings precisely to help Canadians manage usage allowances from companies like Rogers,” said online video analyst Rene Guerdat. “It’s clear that competition from independent providers offering unlimited use accounts has made Rogers’ usage cap regime impossible and they were forced to market an unlimited option of their own.”

Here is Rogers’ guide for cranking up the video quality of video streams, useful for anyone else who subscribes to these services as well:

shomi

This new video-streaming service for Rogers Internet or TV customers has three video-quality settings (Good, Better, Best). Each uses different amounts of bandwidth and offers different levels of viewing quality. These settings can be individually changed for each user profile, and can be made only from the Web application via the account holder’s profile.

To check / change your stream settings

  1. In a browser, go to shomi.com and log in with your account credentials.
  2. Go to the dropdown menu at the top far-right corner of the Web page.
  3. Select ‘Manage Account and Profiles.’
  4. Select the profile that you want to edit (or create a profile if it is a new profile), and under the ‘Manage Profiles’ menu you’ll see your ‘Max Video Quality’ settings.
  5. Click ‘Edit’ and then select the video-quality setting that you want.

Note: These profile settings update all devices except your Rogers cable box (if you’re using one).

Netflix

Netflix has streaming-video playback settings that use less data (in case you have a small monthly data cap). If you’re on an unlimited Rogers Internet package, though, you can get a better experience by streaming at the highest settings. Here’s how.

To check / change your stream settings

  1. In a browser, go to Netflix.ca and sign in with your Netflix username and password.
  2. If prompted, select the appropriate user profile you want to change.
  3. In the top-right corner, click the downward arrow, then click ‘Your Account.’
  4. In the Your Profile section, click ‘Playback Settings.’
  5. Click the radio button to select the highest-quality streaming setting (‘High’), then click ‘Save.’

This setting will be your new default across all your devices. If you have multiple user profiles under your Netflix account, follow the above process for them, too.

YouTube

YouTube gives you a lot of playback control, and typically does a pretty good job of balancing video quality and connection. However, to ensure you’re seeing the best-quality video possible from YouTube, you can change the settings for the videos you watch. Here’s how.

Play a YouTube video in HD (when available)

  1. While playing a video, move your cursor over the player window. Video-player elements will appear.
  2. Click the gear icon in the lower right of the player.
  3. In the bottom of the pop-over menu that appears, click on the ‘Quality’ option.
  4. Select the highest video-quality setting and click it to apply.

Tip: Not all video content that’s uploaded to YouTube is available in full 1080p HD. If no HD option is offered, just choose the highest-quality setting that’s available.

Default to high-quality YouTube playback

Setting default playback behaviour on YouTube requires an account. If you have a Google account (Gmail, Google+, etc.), you already have everything you need.

  1. Log in to YouTube using your Google or Gmail account ID.
  2. Click on your username and, in the menu that appears, choose the gear icon. If you’re already logged in, click your profile image in the top-right corner to find the gear icon instead.
  3. In the left navigation pane, click ‘Playback.’
  4. Select ‘Always choose the best quality for my connection and player size.’
  5. Click Save in the top right.

Now, YouTube will give you the best-quality video it can, based on the above-mentioned factors. Double-click a video to launch it in full-screen and to get a full-HD version of the video, where available.

Rogers Snaps Up Another Independent Cable Company; Hamilton-based Source Cable

source-cableRogers Communications will acquire Hamilton, Ont.-area independent Source Cable in a quiet $160-million deal.

The transaction was first noticed in Rogers’ quarterly financial report to shareholders, noting that Source Cable provides cable, broadband, and phone service to only a part of the city of Hamilton. Rogers already provides service next to Source Cable’s service area so a transition to Rogers should pose few issues for eastern Canada’s biggest cable operator. The rest of greater Hamilton will continue to be served by Cogeco and Rogers in their respective service areas.

“We’re really excited about purchasing Source Cable,” said Kevin Spafford, Rogers Communications spokesperson. “We view this acquisition as a growth opportunity because the company is well run; the footprint is adjacent to our existing cable systems; they have really good penetration of cable TV and Internet services, and there is potential for new customers as the unbuilt part of the area develops.”

Subscribers are less enthusiastic.

The cable company has always been responsive to its customers and willing to pioneer new technology before larger providers like Rogers.

Source Cable customers may win some extra ethnic language programming now seen on Rogers, but will likely experience a major downgrade in how they deal with their cable provider. Source customers will eventually be exposed to Rogers’ much lower-rated customer service. Broadband customers are also likely to lose their unlimited Internet service, forced to select from Rogers’ usage-capped plans.

Source Cable was started by former city alderman Jim Campbell in 1974. Campbell died two years ago.

Source Cable's service coverage area is limited to a number of blocks in parts of Hamilton, Ont.

Source Cable’s service coverage area is limited to a number of blocks in parts of Hamilton, Ont.

 

Rogers Harrasses Downgrading Customers With Browser Injection Messages

Plan on downgrading your Rogers cable, phone or Internet service? Be ready for messages injected into your web browsing sessions by the cable company trying to win back your business.

Daryl Fritz from Toronto decided to cancel his Rogers’ home phone and television service and downgrade his Internet service. Fritz soon found this banner intruding on every web page he tried to visit:

rogers

Your decision to leave Rogers is not something we take lightly. We value your business and care about how happy you are with your Rogers experience, so we would like to extend a special offer* in the hope that you will reconsider your decision. Please call 1-855-410-7589 (M-F 9am-9pm/Sat 10am-6pm ET) before your service disconnects to let us know why you are thinking of leaving Rogers. We appreciate your time and consideration. Please click on the “X” in the top right hand corner to acknowledge that you have received this message.

*-Offer available for a limited time for the account indicated (non-transferable) and subject to change without notice.

rogersThe banner usually disappears after the customer acknowledges receiving it. Stop the Cap! has learned the number directs callers to Rogers’ customer retention department where customers are pitched special discounts to change their mind. The prices are comparable, if not better, than new customer promotions found on Rogers’ website. Rogers is far less annoying than Comcast is when it faces losing a customer. If a customer rejects the offer (or never calls in to hear one), they are not bothered any longer and the representative thanks them for their time.

Rogers retention offers are often extremely aggressively priced, especially if mentioning you are leaving for a competitor (especially Bell). Rogers reps can slash prices, put you on a high usage broadband plan at prices lower than what regular customers pay for slower speeds, waive usage caps for a few dollars more, lock in rates for up to eight years, and offer heavy discounts off almost everything.

One current example for cable television:

  • 30% off basic cable ($28/mo instead of $40)
  • TFC ($15/mo)
  • NextBox 2.0 set-top (free) NextBox 3.0 ($2.50/mo)
  • Digital Services Fee (eliminated)
  • CRTC LPIF (it’s the government — $0.50/mo)

rogersThis can knock your Rogers cable bill down to $46/month before GST and other taxes.

Broadband customers can grab a 50% discount off plans like Hybrid Fibre 150 (GTA), normally $86 a month, but $43 on a retention plan. Customers get 150Mbps and 350GB of usage. If you don’t want a cap, demand a deal to remove it (it regularly costs $25/month extra for unlimited). The modem rental is included.

If you still want Rogers Home Phone, you are paying too much if it costs over $20 a month. Home Phone Favourites, including Call Display and one other calling feature of your choice is $15/month on retention. Add 500 long distance minutes for $5/month extra.

All three services combined should cost no more than about $104 a month before GST, which adds $13.52 in Ontario. Provincial taxes vary.

New Rogers customers can also get very aggressively priced deals. This week Rogers is selling 30/5Mbps Internet service (includes 270GB allowance and free modem) for $54.95. Regularly, it’s $61.99 with only a 70GB monthly usage allowance. That is still outrageously high by American standards, but isn’t bad for Rogers. New customers should call 1-800-605-6678 to ask about current offers.

Rogers CEO Self-Servingly Declares Canada Can’t Handle Four Wireless Competitors

Laurence is the ex-CEO of Vodafone.

Laurence is the ex-CEO of Vodafone.

The new chief executive of one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies has declared the country can’t support a fourth national wireless competitor because it will simply cost too much to build and maintain.

Guy Laurence has been very vocal about Canadian telecommunications policies since taking over for Nadir Mohamed who retired last year.

This week Laurence announced a reboot of Rogers Communications he dubbed v3.0, designed to face the “hard truth” that most Canadians despise the cable and wireless company.

“Every day I marvel at what an amazing company Ted [Rogers] built, Laurence said, referring to the company’s founder. “The mix of assets, the culture of innovation and depth of employee pride is extraordinary. But we’ve neglected our customers, and we’ve let our legacy of growth and innovation slip. The plan I’ve laid out will significantly improve the experience for our customers and re-establish our growth by better leveraging our assets and consistently executing as One Rogers.”

Most of the changes Laurence plans relate to its poorly-rated customer service. Laurence has insisted that all customer service functions, including call centers, customer service, service technicians and marketing will be combined into a single unit that will report directly to him.

But Laurence said nothing about improving service plans, dropping usage caps, or lowering prices.

rogers csSeveral long time Rogers executives are out the door, either voluntarily or quietly pushed out.

“When you remove overlap and reduce bureaucracy, and you create agility, then it takes less people in management. So there will be job losses at the management level. No doubt of this,” Laurence said. “But because this is not a cost story, I don’t have a dollar value or a number of people. I don’t even have the vaguest idea in my head what that might be.”

Like many American cable companies, Rogers has lost video customers although it is still growing its broadband business by picking up ex-DSL customers. With overall growth flat during 2013, the new CEO wants to maximize shareholder value by limiting the number of costly new projects launched. Instead, Laurence promised “fewer, more impactful initiatives” under Rogers 3.0.

Rogers will continue to depend heavily on its profitable wireless division, which competes against Bell and Telus.

Although Canadian government officials have repeatedly sought a fourth national competitor willing to break with tradition in the wireless market, Laurence says the government is engaged in wishful thinking if it believed a fourth carrier would shake things up in Canada.

“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,” Laurence said. “What you saw in Europe was a number of different countries who pursued the four-carrier option for a period of five to seven years. It was politically very popularist and they were happy to follow that. 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.”

Canadian wireless companies have recently embraced a study by the Montreal Economic Institute that declared the presence of a fourth national carrier would be “wasteful.”

“It may be preferable for financial resources … to be concentrated in the hands of a few strong players willing to invest in new technologies and services rather than scattered among several small and feeble competitors trying to survive by selling at prices barely above marginal costs,” the report said.

The Montreal Economic Institute won't reveal its donor list of corporations that pay for its research.

The Montreal Economic Institute won’t reveal its donor list of corporations that pay for its research.

The Montreal Economic Institute is “funded by the voluntary donations of individuals, businesses and foundations that support its mission.” The MEI does not disclose the specifics of its donors, however, for fears that “organizations similar to the MEI” would have an opportunity to solicit funds. The foundation of the MEI’s mission statement is couched in basic free market ideology, such as the Randian conception that “people who make money are creating wealth.”

Despite asking repeatedly, MEI will not disclose whether its telecom-related studies were funded by the telecommunications companies named in their reports. But there is little doubt of MEI’s economic philosophy.

Michel Kelly-Gagnon, the president and CEO of MEI, has written a number of opinion pieces that further illuminate the mission of the organization, notes The Telecom Blog. Included among them are articles that suggest “true entrepreneurs… deserve our gratitude” and pieces decrying a “tax the rich” mentality. There’s even a bit about the “dangers” of so-called “Soviet imagery,” citing the “intellectual and moral recklessness” in a pair of teens audacious enough to wear red T-shirts featuring USSR emblems.

Canada’s Competition Bureau, less concerned with Soviet nostalgia, found different results from increased competition – at least $1 billion in savings as competing carriers are forced to increase the wireless penetration rate while working to lower prices.

Laurence said the only way a four-carrier government policy could work in Canada is if the federal government put up taxpayer money to build, update, and run a “modern communications network” across the country. If that happens, Rogers and other companies will only be too happy to use it to offer expanded service and competition, with no commitment it will cost any less.

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/MEI -- The State of Competition in Canada's Telecommunications Industry -- Paul Beaudry IEDM.flv

Paul Beaudry, associate researcher at the Montreal Economic Institute offers the amazing conclusion that more wireless competition in Canada is bad for consumers! (4:16)

HissyFitWatch: Canadian Telecom Companies Annoyed Consumers Getting The Upper Hand

Canadians are demanding a better deal from their cable and phone companies and they are forced to respond.

Canadians are demanding a better deal from their cable and phone companies and they are forced to respond.

As the United States battles back against the introduction of usage caps and rising prices for broadband service, increased competition and regulated open wholesale access to some of Canada’s largest broadband providers have given Canadians an advantage in forcing providers to cut prices and improve service.

Canadians can now easily get unlimited broadband access from one of several independent ISPs that piggyback service on cable and phone networks. Some large ISPs have even introduced all-you-can eat broadband options for customers long-capped by the handful of big players. As customers consider switching providers, cable and phone companies have been forced to cut prices, especially for their best customers. Even cell service is now up for negotiation.

The more services a customer bundles with their provider, the bigger the discount they can negotiate, say analysts who track customer retention. Bell, Rogers, Telus, and others have a major interest keeping your business, even if it means reducing your price.

“It’s far more lucrative for the telecom company to keep you there for the third or fourth service,” telecom analyst Troy Crandall told AP. It cuts down on marketing, service and installation calls, he added.

Getting the best deal often depends on your services, payment history, and how long you have been a customer. Cellphone discounts are the hardest to win, but customers are getting them if they have been loyal, carry a large balance and almost never pay late.

telus shawBigger discounts can be had for television and Internet service — cable television remains immensely profitable in Canada and broadband is cheap to offer, especially in cities. Americans often pay $80 or more for digital cable television packages, Canadians pay an average of $60.

Internet service in Canada now averages $45 a month, but many plans include usage caps. It costs more to take to the cap off.

Because of Canada’s past usage cap pervasiveness, online video is not as plentiful in Canada as it is in the United States. There has been considerably less cord-cutting in the north. Despite that, Canadians are ravenous online viewers of what they can find to watch (either legally or otherwise). As usage allowances disappear or become more generous, online video and the Internet will continue to grow in importance for service providers.

Customers should negotiate with their provider for a better deal, particularly if Bell’s Fibe TV is in town. Bell has been among the most aggressive in price cutting its fiber to the neighborhood television service for new customers ready to say goodbye to Rogers or Vidéotron.

Shaw and Telus battle for market share in the west and also have room to cut customer bills and still make a handsome profit.

Rogers Starts Shutting Off Analog Channels; Tells Subscribers It’s an ‘Enhancement’

Phillip Dampier November 21, 2013 Canada, Consumer News, Rogers 4 Comments

Some Rogers Cable customers are being notified the cable company is slimming down their analog television lineup, requiring customers to get a digital adapter to continue watching networks in their new digital format.

digital-adapter_banner_en

We’re enhancing our cable TV network to deliver on our commitment to provide you with quality in television viewing, programming and entertainment content. The Rogers Cable Network Enhancement initiative involves upgrading current analog channels to digital channels in order to provide a superior TV experience on our Rogers cable TV network.

To maintain your cable service, you may need to install a digital adapter.

Rogers says the change is designed to improve the video and sound quality of cable channels, but in reality most cable operators are shifting away from analog television to free up bandwidth that can be repurposed for more HD television channels or faster broadband service.

“The Digital Adapter is being provided to you free of charge, you will not be charged for the digital adapter or incur any service fees associated with the hardware,” says Rogers. “The Digital Adapter is being provided to you to use while you subscribe to Rogers cable television services and remains our property. The Digital Adapter must be returned to us upon termination of your Rogers cable television service.”

However, do-it-yourself types who spliced Rogers’ cable wiring themselves to add additional cable TV outlets in the home will discover “a catch.” These extra, informal cable outlets are allowed by Rogers, but the cable company will not supply digital adapters for televisions attached to them unless the subscriber formally signs up for Rogers’ “extra outlets” add-on. That does not come cheap. Rogers charges $6.99 per month for up to four extra televisions. If customers don’t sign up, those televisions without digital adapters will lose more than a dozen analog TV channels during the first wave of digital conversion. If a customer has more than four televisions hooked up to Rogers Cable, there may be more fees.

The channels Rogers is converting to digital were not selected to minimize viewer disruptions.

While The Shopping Channel secures a safe new analog channel number in St. John’s, N.B., Turner Classic Movies gets hit with a digital switch. Little watched APTN – The Aboriginal People’s Television Network survives on analog, AMC and CNN do not in Moncton. Toronto subscribers will lose 19 channels to digital, including MTV, BNN, and The Comedy Network. Two home shopping networks get to stay in analog, however.

Slow TV: Rogers Cable Launches WestJetChannel – 24/7 Baggage, Aircraft, Destinations

Phillip Dampier November 12, 2013 Consumer News, Rogers, Video 1 Comment

rogers logoWith snow on the ground in parts of southern Ontario this morning, seeing beautiful beaches and bathing suits on Grand Cayman, Puerto Plata, Holguin and St. Maarten isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Devoting a cable channel to covering one Canadian airline’s ground crews might be.

Rogers Cable this week announced the takeoff of WestJetChannel, a 24/7 network capturing baggage handlers tossing luggage into the airline’s fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft. If that isn’t enough, watch gripping live coverage of airplane wranglers with light sticks pushing a plane away from the terminal.

westjet“This is an amazing opportunity to pull back the curtain and show people what we do and how we do it,” said David Soyka, WestJet’s director of marketing. “We’re looking forward to taking viewers behind the scenes at our airports as well as to some of our most spectacular destinations, without ever having to leave the comfort of their couch. We’re always in the air — and now we’re on the air, too.”

It’s another example of “Slow TV” Rogers has embraced with open arms, adding “real-time” coverage of mundane things to your cable TV lineup.

An early example of American "Slow TV"

An early example of American “Slow TV”

If WestJetChannel doesn’t fly, viewers can sink or swim with the Aquarium Channel, showing nothing but tropical fish. If that is all wet, dry off by the fire — Swiss Chalet’s Rotisserie Channel, featuring slowly roasting chickens. Unable to get away on holiday? Rogers customers could instead spend quality time with The Cottage Channel. Now they can watch WestJet take other people to the places they wish to see, but can’t afford to visit after paying the cable bill.

Rogers isn’t responsible for inventing “Slow TV.” WPIX-TV’s “Yule Log” was one of the earliest examples, treating apartment-bound New Yorkers to a roaring fire at Gracie Mansion beginning Christmas Eve, 1966. The original three-hour program was actually a 17-second 16mm film loop accompanied by a simulcast of WPIX-FM, which provided accompanying traditional Christmas music. In 1970, the original worn-out film was replaced with a 7-minute 35mm film loop shot in California and still seen today.

Norsk rikskringkasting, the Norwegian Broadcasting Company has made “Slow TV” their own, much to the delight of Scandinavian viewers.

In 2011, NRK broadcast 134 hours non-stop of a cruise ship going up the Norwegian coast to the Arctic, winning the world record for the longest continuous TV program. Millions of Norwegians tuned in. In February, it aired a 12-hour show on firewood, featuring discussions about stacking and chopping and a debate on whether the bark should face up or down. At least 20% of Norwegians watched the event.

Last Friday, Norway’s biggest broadcaster aired 12 hours of knitting, complete with needle tips and a how-to on knitting a cover for a Harley Davidson motorbike. The event started with  sheep shearing in the studios of NRK2 followed by teams furiously trying to break the world record for the fastest knitted sweater.

“You can argue that the national knitting night is the feminine response to the firewood show,” said NRK spokeswoman Sidsel Mundal.

“We’ll dive deep into the world of knitting, then from midnight, we’ll turn down the pace, if that’s even possible,” said producer Rune Moeklebust. “We’ll watch the arm of a sweater get longer and longer; it will be fascinating, but pretty strange TV.”

NRKWho needs 5-Hour Energy when you can watch that.

The National Knitting Evening turned out to be such a ratings smash, rights for the concept have been sold to U.S.-based LMNO Productions for reconceptualization.

Norwegians celebrate “Slow TV” partly as a backlash to artificial drama generated by the reality-TV craze that has swept across Europe and North America.

Flying until Feb. 2, 2014, WestJetChannel can be found on Ch. 206 on Rogers Cable in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland.

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/WestJetChannel Promo 11-12-13.mp4

A promo for WestJetChannel, now on your Rogers Cable lineup. (0:42)

Competition Not: Canada’s Forthcoming Spectrum Auction Bidders a Familiar Lot

Phillip Dampier September 30, 2013 Bell (Canada), Canada, Competition, Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't, Rogers, Telus, Wireless Broadband Comments Off on Competition Not: Canada’s Forthcoming Spectrum Auction Bidders a Familiar Lot
before after

Before -and- After

Hopes for increased Canadian wireless competition were dashed last week when Industry Canada released an official list of approved spectrum auction bidders mostly filled with familiar names.

Fifteen Canadian participants including market-dominant Bell, Rogers and Telus each put down a refundable 5% deposit for the Jan. 14 auction. Most of the rest of the bidders are regional providers or suspected spectrum speculators hoping to sell any acquired spectrum at a profit.

It was good news for the three largest cell companies which feared the possibility of a well-funded new entrant like Verizon Wireless. Instead of facing the deep pockets of Verizon, the three cell companies will be competing against regional providers like Quebec’s Vidéotron, Bragg Communications’ EastLink which serves Atlantic Canada, and provincial telephone companies MTS in Manitoba and SaskTel in Saskatchewan.

Two private equity firms are also participating: a subsidiary of Birch Hill Equity Partners and Catalyst Capital which holds the debt for independent Wind Mobile. Wind Mobile’s owner Globalive Communications is also registered as a participant. Both could use the airwaves in the Wind Mobile business or sell them to another provider.

“Ultimately, what would have been great is to have a well-capitalized startup, a feisty competitor coming in,” telecom analyst Troy Crandall told the Canadian Press news agency. “That would have been the best thing for consumers.”

But Canada’s best hope for lower cell phone bills was never to be found from Verizon Wireless.

“I can assure our investors that we never have and never will be leading on price,” Lowell McAdam told investors at a conference last week.

Rogers Communications Finds a New Leader: Ex-CEO of Vodafone UK

Phillip Dampier September 12, 2013 Canada, Competition, Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't, Rogers, Wireless Broadband Comments Off on Rogers Communications Finds a New Leader: Ex-CEO of Vodafone UK
Incoming Rogers CEO has a reputation for hating cubicles, desks, meetings, and paper. How many Rogers' employees left standing after anticipated job cuts to enjoy the changes is unknown.

Incoming Rogers CEO Guy Laurence has a reputation for hating cubicles, desks, meetings, and paper. How many Rogers’ employees will be left to enjoy the changes is unknown.

Rogers Communications has tapped Guy Laurence, the head of one of Great Britain’s largest cell phone operators to lead eastern Canada’s biggest cable and wireless firm after current CEO Nadir Mohamed retires in early December.

The company has spent months on a global search to find its next chief executive and signaled how important its wireless business is by selecting the current CEO of Vodafone UK to run the business.

Shareholders barely registered this morning’s announcement, with little movement in the stock, but analysts at some of Wall Street’s largest investment banks think the choice will help Rogers better position itself against increasing competition from Bell/BCE and Telus, which have stolen away some of Rogers’ cable and wireless customers.

“Its unique mix of wireless, cable and media assets offer a brilliant platform to provide innovative service to Canadians. I intend to build on the strong foundation established under Nadir’s leadership to compete and win in the market,” Laurence said in the statement.

When Laurence relocates to Rogers’ headquarters in Toronto, he will be immediately confronted with a Conservative government that has made wireless competition a hallmark of its political platform. In January, Rogers will be a participant in federal spectrum actions for coveted new 700MHz frequencies that Rogers wants to expand its cellular network. Ottawa wants some of those frequencies to be set aside for new competitors to bolster wireless competition. Rogers, along with the other large incumbents, wants access to bid on all available spectrum.

The company has struggled with declining market share as a growing number of customers finishing their wireless contracts have taken the opportunity to change providers, mostly to Bell and Telus’ benefit.

rogers csRogers Cable has also suffered subscriber losses in Ontario from increasing competition from Bell’s IPTV service Fibe, which continues to run aggressive new customer promotions.

Rogers may be hoping for an image reset in Canada, and Laurence’s unconventional way of doing business may help.

“I don’t believe in offices. They’re a thing of the past. Offices produce things like a conventional company,” Laurence told a British newspaper in 2011.

To underline his point, Laurence abolished offices and personal desks for Vodafone employees and underlined the new policy by ordering cleaning staff to incinerate any items left on desks overnight. Vodafone workers are given a laptop, a Vodafone mobile phone and an employee locker. Where they choose to conduct business is up to them. Meetings are heavily frowned upon.

The incoming Rogers CEO also despises paper, and wants employees to use as little of it as possible.  At Vodafone, workers often had to buy paper themselves for use in the office and hide it from view.

Rogers’ dress code may also radically change. At Vodafone, Laurence insisted employees dress the same way customers do.

“When you remove the barriers of offices, meetings and all the rest of it, people can spend more time doing what they’re supposed to do,” Laurence said. “As a consequence, people start to perform better. It used to take us 90 days to do a pricing change. We do that in four days now.”

Analysts suspect fixing Rogers’ lousy reputation for customer service will be one of his top priorities. Rogers’ executives will also be updating their resumes — Laurence has a reputation for shaking up middle and upper management. But one priority Rogers’ investors expect will not change: protecting the company’s high profit margins and continued efforts to cut costs.

Laurence did not forget everything he learned while getting his MBA. After joining Vodafone, he initiated a brutal workforce reduction that separated 2,350 Vodafone employees from their desks and lockers – permanently, slashing the payroll from 9,500 to 7,150 workers.

Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • DragonBall Xenoverse Serial Key: As far as the Xbox 720 being able tto defeat the Wii U, it's going to be a matter of how the console is presented and what video games are availab...
  • Rebecka Basey: Honestly with phones, laptops, tablets the 1.5 is crap i find myself using my lte from phone provider at home so the 1.5dsl available to rest of famil...
  • Bill: @Joe V - If you have Att Uverse like I did you may have an alternative. Even If its regular dsl you should check out DSL extreme. Phillip wrote an a...
  • Limboaz: While arbitrary usage caps, crappy service and overcharging are bad, the bigger issue to deal with is the crony capitalism and corruption that lets co...
  • Write about this: I went out and bought a new doc sis 3 compatible modem...now they are still trying to charge me the 10 dollar fee and my account is showing two modems...
  • Joe V: You forgot to mention Phil that Comcast as horrible as they are, there's another telecom giant just as bad : AT&T-they also imposed usage-base...
  • lllllll: While yes Google can cause harm right now they aren't the problem. The main Problem is these corrupt ISPs that refuse to upgrade the Network and Expan...
  • Limboaz: Not happy times for Comcrap. Hopefully this signifies a new trend of activism when it comes to regulators overseeing companies that refuse to play fai...
  • Phillip Dampier: We know John Malone and Charter are still very interested, but the last attempt met with a hostile response from TWC management. There will need to be...
  • Bob: So does Charter now step in as the new suitor ?...
  • lllllll: T-Mobile cut off limit is Somewhere over a few TBs/ Month. Also I'm not in a Semi Rural Area Either. I'm in a decent size City. Data Usage doesn't equ...
  • Phillip Dampier: I think what is unique is that Google can seamlessly switch between T-Mobile and Sprint, which is a good way to deal with both carriers' temperamental...

Your Account: