It was almost two months ago that we reported that Rogers had completed its acquisition of Mobilicity and its customers for $465 million. The big question remained – what was going to happen to Mobilicity’s 155,000 customers in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver? Mobilicity’s majority shareholder John Bitove, said that he would like to see it operate as a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) and others were wondering if Rogers would simply transition them to one of their low-cost plans on Chatr or Fido. This deal caused a lot of controversy – Telus was shot down by Industry Canada last year when they tried to purchase Mobilicity. It was also rumored that Telus offered more for Mobilicity than Rogers paid, not to mention the opposition by OpenMedia for giving Rogers even more control of the wireless market.
Our source contacted Rogers to find out their intentions for Mobilicity customers and for now, things are staying very much the status quo until Rogers actually transitions the Mobilicity customers to Rogers’ faster network. Mobilicity is offering their annual back to school plan – $40 per month for unlimited North American calling, global messaging, 30 minutes of voice roaming, unlimited data and all of the usual add-ons, such as call display and voicemail. The questions our source asked Rogers were about if they would honor the plans and would the limits be Rogers’ or Mobilicity’s. In an email, Rogers said, “Currently, Mobilicity customers are running on the existing Mobilicity towers/network. As we roll out the red carpet to welcome them to Rogers, we will switch Mobilicity sites over to the Rogers network, further improving our network and giving customers even greater access to fast, reliable service. All Mobilicity plans are being honored.”
Rogers also said that for now, the plans will follow whatever Mobilicity’s guidelines are until they actually begin to work off of Rogers’ own network. Rogers also confirmed that it will maintain Mobilicity’s current Home and Away zones…rather than having access to Rogers’ national network, Mobilicity’s customers will be limited to its current five markets. Because the two networks operate on different frequencies, some older smartphones may not be compatible on Rogers’ network, our source tried to find out how Rogers would handle that, but they refused to comment. They did say that current Mobilicity customers would be taken care of – we assume they will be offered up deals to ease the cost of transitioning. There is always a price to move to a stronger LTE network.