Rogers chief executive ‘implores’ CRTC not to change rules for wireless industry


The CEO of Rogers Communications Inc. says that Canada’s wireless industry has not fully matured and still needs “careful nourishing” as it makes huge investments in fifth-generation networks.

Rogers chief executive Joe Natale told a regulatory hearing Wednesday that his company needs regulatory certainty to make further 5G investment bets – and warned that they may be at risk if the rules are changed at this time.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, and successive Liberal and Conservative governments, have favoured “facilities-based” carriers that build and operate their own networks.

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Natale was the latest executive from Canada’s wireless companies that have argued strenuously that the CRTC shouldn’t require Bell, Rogers and Telus to carry traffic for smaller competitors that don’t have their own networks.

Like others appearing before the CRTC in Gatineau, Natale said there have been dramatic changes in what consumers can find on the market since the regulator initiated its review of the wireless industry.

He said two of the regional carriers that compete with Rogers – Freedom and Videotron – captured one-third of all of the industry’s net new customers last year and asked why the CRTC would jeopardize their success now.

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