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I'm surprised nobody has posted this yet, but rumours have been flying that Rogers is going to imminently launch a new flanker mobile brand known as Chatr. There are a whole bunch of different rumours on it, some of them rather wild:

  • The brand will be launching initially in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary (aka Wind home zones)
  • They will offer unlimited plans at cut rates
  • The brand will be 2G/EDGE only (meaning likely no iPhone)
  • Rogers will possibly build out a 3G network for Chatr in the future using it's AWS spectrum
  • Chatr is designed as a response to the new entrants

The 2G makes sense if they want to offer unlimited at low rates. With 2G only they can attract voice users who like the new entrants' unlimited plans but won't cannibalize their own high value smartphone users who want 3G data. Also with 2G they can migrate unlocked users from any other carrier, but a user who buys their Chatr phones can only use them on the Rogers network.

I guess if they have this perfectly good EDGE network that they're obviously trying to move Rogers/Fido users away from and onto 3G this is a good use for it. Still, if they only launch in Wind markets and undercut Wind directly I would think they're at risk of getting nailed for predatory pricing.

Also, if I'm a Fido dealer I'm extremely upset as Fido was supposed to be the discount brand.
 

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Still, if they only launch in Wind markets and undercut Wind directly I would think they're at risk of getting nailed for predatory pricing.
Doubt it, unfortunately. Haven't heard anything about the Telus/Novus business since, and that was clearly predatory pricing.
Hopefully it's because Telus backed down, but I don't know as I haven't seen any news on that since it first came up.
 

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I was going to post this once I got back to my laptop. Guess you beat me to it. :)

This really bugs me since it's clearly meant to pound Wind to the ground. I don't have an issue with competition, but Rogers isn't lowering their own prices - they are creating a third brand and using a sneaky tactic to steal customers away and "lock" them into the Rogers brand.

Also, to clarify, I think it was Shaw going after Novus. :)
 

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Competition it a two-way street. The Rogers BoD should expect a competitive tactic like this from their executives. Sure, if WIND dies so might this new brand along with discount pricing. But, it isn't predatory pricing just because it targets a particular competitor, it also has to be shown that the pricing is essentially below cost. So, if all the critics are right, Rogers is making huge margins and pricing should be much lower anyway.
 

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I was going to post this once I got back to my laptop. Guess you beat me to it. :)

This really bugs me since it's clearly meant to pound Wind to the ground. I don't have an issue with competition, but Rogers isn't lowering their own prices - they are creating a third brand and using a sneaky tactic to steal customers away and "lock" them into the Rogers brand.

Also, to clarify, I think it was Shaw going after Novus. :)
While I'm among those who will assess this further if and when it happens, I can't see what is sneaky about it. If, as suggested it puts the EDGE network to use in those cities where 3G is strong (not all parts of Canada have 3G yet) and, probably, is no contract, and is advetised as such, what can possibly be more than agreesive competition with a solid network and a vast array of phones. Yes, Fido dealers might have concerns but Fido and Virgin have been evolving to full-service carriers anyway. They are hardly discount brands anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Then why not Montreal? Or Halifax? Or Winnipeg? Assuming this is the case, why target only the cities in which Wind has service unless you're targeting Wind itself?

If Fido isn't going to be a discount brand why not merge them into Rogers? It certainly would seem to make it easier on them to have a single brand. While I know lots of people are still not aware Fido is Rogers it hasn't seemed like Rogers is trying to hide it for a long time. Which brings up another point, I really am curious to see how hard Rogers tries to disguise their ownership of this brand.

The reason I think I'm uneasy about this is that if Rogers is uninterested in lowering their own prices then if they are successful at crushing Wind/Mobilicity through cut rates does anyone think Chatr wouldn't quickly be brought more in line with Rogers/Fido? At that point if people want to leave Chatr what does Rogers care, it already did it's job. It just seems like Rogers is reacting by trying to kill the competition rather than improve itself.
 

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Then why not Montreal? Or Halifax? Or Winnipeg? Assuming this is the case, why target only the cities in which Wind has service unless you're targeting Wind itself?
Their obviously targeting WIND.
 

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Confirmed: Rogers launches new unlimited talk and text brand

Official Press Release
chatr will offer voice and text only, and unlimited pricing options without term contracts within defined chatr zones. chatr will be supported by independent customer care and extensive retail distribution. Information on markets, pricing plans and available handsets will be provided by chatr when it launches later this summer.
 

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No data, aside from avoiding cannibalizing its own market share, would suggest Rogers is going after Public Mobile more than Wind or Mobilicity. Nevertheless, I hope all three foresaw this happening and have it in their business plans.
 

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Given that they are rumored to be launching it in WIND zones, it does seem like they are targeting WIND most of all. They won't have data, but will be competing in terms of voice plan prices.
 

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Lots of leaked info here about Chatr. Basically, its a carbon copy of Wind's pricing and structure - without data.

http://mobilesyrup.com/2010/07/07/r...d-apparently-launching-within-a-couple-weeks/

I do wonder though how Rogers can justify charging their own customers much higher US roaming charges and caller ID then its Chatr customers.
Very good point about roaming charges, assuming the leaked training documents are legit. 25-cent roaming in the US! Even 15-cent LD to Canada/US is very good by contemporary standards.

A couple of things in the slides got my attention: no mention of the cost of voice-mail, (although I know a lot of people consider VM superfluous when combined with caller-ID) BUT there is a 25-cent per minute charge to retrieve VM. That's more than the LD cost in Canada and seems inconsistent with unlimited incoming and outgoing calling. The explanation might be the VM has been converted to a pay-per-use option.

EDIT: Looked at the slides again and saw where voicemail is covered; pay per use on the $35 plan, included on $45 plan.

The "zone" maps are also unclear on the leaked documents. Unless there is some shading that is not showing up on my screen, the maps look like Rogers' coverage maps and not home zones for the five cities. The size of the zones will be the "crunchr" for chatr. If the GTA area covered up to Newmarket, for example, there might be a lot of non-business users reconsidering their need for data/iPhones/Blackberries, etc. and opting for a $35 "all-in" plan.

My sister-in-law (semi-retired) living in Richmond Hill was asking just 2 days ago about how she could reduce her monthly bill (I advsied she wait for chatr and back-to-school specials) but this would be perfect for her if the Toronto zone includes RH, Vaughan and Markham. The monthly bill cut in half would more than compensate for occasional use of the 25-cent out of zone fee.

Next question - will subscribers be able to port numbers from Rogers to chatr? I cant' see how Rogers could block porting but it's sure going to cut in to their monthly revenue. Better, I guess, than to port the long-time subscribers to chatr than to Wind or Mobilicity.
 

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Porting to Chatr

I have requested to PORT MY Toronto Telus Wireless Number to Chatr and end with Chatr Temp Toronto, As per them it will take 24 to 48 Business Hours to Port in Wireless Number.

As per http://www.wirelessnumberportability.ca/english/faq.html#12 Wireless to Wireless Number Porting should not take more than 2.5 Hours, I gave them a/c #, PIN # & Confirm the IMEI # as Unlock IPhone 4 will be used.


12. How long does it take for my new service to be activated?

If you are transferring your phone number from one wireless service provider to another wireless service provider, your new voice service should be activated within 2.5 business hours. If you are transferring a wireline number to a wireless service provider, or vice versa, the service should be activated within two business days.

If you are PORTING your Wireless Number to CHATR ready for delay,
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Your voice service will be active within a couple of hours, but you'll have a temporary phone number. Most ports happen within a few hours, but sometimes they can get snagged somewhere out of the receiving provider's control. I once had a port to Wind take over a week because Virgin was having difficulties.

However I've ported numbers from Virgin to Koodo, Virgin to Telus, Koodo to Telus, and Rogers to Koodo which all happened within an hour. Chatr says that to cover themselves in case of difficulties, but it will probably happen almost immediately.
 

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Port was request at 2:30 PM on 19th Nov, Called CHATR again on 3:30 PM on 20th Nov, Same respose, Porting is already involved & it takes 24 to 48 hours to PORT the number. Only time there is delay if # is not active or ID info like a/c # or PIN # or IMEI doesn't
match,
 

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Port time is during regular business hours...
I just completed a port from Rogers to Speakout. Requested it around 6pm Friday and this morning it was done.. I check my Rogers profile and it no longer shows that number as being associated with my account.

BTW, I only had to provide the phone number and account number.
 
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