Analysts and carriers weigh in on the Chatr launch

It’s always interesting to see how carriers respond to a new entrants/brands in the Canadian wireless market. There’s been great change over the past year and more change coming with both Videotron and Shaw still set to launch their new networks. Rogers discount brand Chatr launched yesterday and we reached out to the carriers and also received feedback from analysts.

Both Bell and TELUS stated they “don’t comment on competitors”. Analyst Jeff Fan of Scotia Capital said in their “Daily Edge” newsletter that “We Think Chatr Will Do Very Well… We believe Chatr will be very popular with non-data, non-smartphone wireless subscribers, home phone “cord-cutters”, and dissatisfied WIND or Mobilicity subscribers”. Fan also believes that they “expect BCE and TELUS will eventually match Chatr’s unlimited offering under the Solo and Koodo flanker brands.”

Stewart Lyons, COO of Mobilicity stated in our interview yesterday:
• “We served them with a letter last week that basically said if it launches in a manner as was revealed then we would take some certain legal action. Among those things were civil litigation, complaint to the competition tribunal, complaint to the regulatory authorities… and since it did launch in that manner we will be pursuing those avenues.”

Anthony Lacavera, Chairman of Wind Mobile:
• “We have said from the beginning that Canadians deserve more choice in wireless. Today we are welcoming the competition by extending our $150 offer to customers who bring their phone to WIND from any carrier including Rogers, Fido and their new 2G, voice and text only wireless experiment, chatr. It’s one more great reason to make the switch to WIND.”

Alek Krstajic, CEO of Public Mobile:
• Competition is good. By launching chatr Rogers is legitimizing the market segment Public Mobile is focused on while also creating risk for themselves.
• The issue for Rogers is that it now has 3 brands and is trying to be everything to everyone. When you do that, you tend to fail serving some of those people. Public Mobile has a very specific demographic. We have low costs, due to the price we paid for our spectrum and we pass those savings on to our customers.
• The question for Rogers is why not do that pricing for everyone?
• Public Mobile encourages all Rogers customers to call Rogers and ask for the chatr pricing.
• Rogers may also need to worry about Rogers customers unlocking their phones and popping in a chatr sim card and using their Rogers phone.