Consolidation in Canadian telecom industry 'inevitable': Rogers vice-chair
The vice chairman of Rogers Communications Inc. said Canada’s telecommunications sector is ripe for consolidation amid billion-dollar deals seen by its industry peers south of the border.
“We’re going to have to consolidate here,” said Phil Lind, who has been with the company for nearly 50 years and worked closely with founder Ted Rogers, in an interview with BNN Bloomberg’s Amanda Lang on Tuesday. “It’s inevitable.”
Lind said the Canadian government has kept too many players in the industry around by offering incentives such as cheap wireless spectrum. But he suggested Canada’s population isn’t large enough to warrant a large number of telecommunication carriers.
“We can put it off, and the government can put it off and put it off. But especially in wireless, this is scale business,” he said.
Lind said consolidation is happening almost everywhere in the global telecom industry except Canada, pointing to the United States, where there’s two dominant wireless players – AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc.– as an example.
T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. agreed to a merger earlier this year, but the deal still needs to be approved by federal regulators.
“The United States has two great, strong carriers and two weak ones, because even they can’t make it happen,” Lind said. “So how can we, in this country, with one-tenth of the population, make four or five carriers work in Canada?”
“It doesn’t work.”