Rogers Wireless

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Rogers Wireless Inc.
Cantel AT&T
Rogers Cantel AT&T
Rogers AT&T Wireless
IndustryMobile network operator
FoundedFebruary 4, 1983[1]
FounderTed Rogers
David Margolese
Marc Belzberg
Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario, Canada
Key people
Dirk Woessner, president
ServicesLTE, UMTS (including HSPA), GSM (including SMS, GPRS, and EDGE)
RevenueGreen Arrow Up.svg $15.1 billion CAD (2018)[2]
Green Arrow Up.svg $585 million CAD (2018)[3]
Number of employees
24,500 (2017)
ParentRogers Communications

Rogers Wireless Inc. is a Canadian wireless telephone company headquartered in Toronto, providing service nationally throughout Canada. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rogers Communications.[4] The company had revenues of just under $15.1 billion in 2018.[2] Rogers Wireless is the largest wireless carrier in Canada, with 10.8 million subscribers as of Q3 2020.[5]


Rogers Wireless logo prior to 2015 redesign

Rogers Wireless was founded by Ted Rogers, David Margolese, Marc Belzberg and Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien.[1] In 1978, future Sirius XM Radio founder David Margolese dropped out of college and founded the paging company Canadian Telecom.[6] Foreseeing that cellular wireless technology would be used for more than simply voice calls,[1] Margolese proposed a plan to obtain a license for Canada’s cellular phone rights.[6] At the time, there were no such licenses or commercial cellular services in existence, as the wireless technology was still in the laboratory and experimental.[1] Needing significant financing, he approached Rogers Communications, which was owned by Ted Rogers, to partner with him.[1][6] Rogers ultimately joined with Margolese, Marc Belzberg of First City Financial and Telemedia founder Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien to form Cantel,[1] which Margolese named after Canadian Telecom.[7] In 1984, the group was granted Canada’s national cellular license.[1] Cantel launched service on July 1, 1985.[8]

In 1986, Ted Rogers purchased a controlling stake in Cantel, which was at the time Canada’s only national supplier of cellular telephone service.[9] Over the next four years, Rogers bought out his partners, becoming the sole owner of Cantel.[10] Cantel was later renamed Cantel AT&T, Rogers Cantel AT&T and Rogers AT&T Wireless; in December 2003, the company became known by its current name, Rogers Wireless,[1] which led to Rogers purchasing AT&T’s 34% stake in the company for $1.8 billion the following year.[11][12]

Spectrum Purchases[edit]

Through Spectrum auctions, Rogers has made the following purchases of spectrum:

Spectrum purchased by Rogers
Auction Licenses Won Total Price Total Population Covered Registered As Ref
PCS - 2 GHz (2001) 23 $393,520,000 28,556,783 Rogers Wireless Inc. [13]
2300 & 3500 MHz (2004) 33 $5,912,965 16,221,004 Rogers Wireless Inc. [14]
2300 & 3500 MHz (residual, 2004-2005) 49 $4,906,765 6,654,716 Rogers Wireless Inc. [15]
AWS-1 (2008) 59 $999,367,000 30,007,094 Rogers [16]
700 MHz (2014) 22 $3,291,738,000 33,368,700 Rogers [17]
IMT-E - 2500-2690 MHz (2015) 41 $24,086,270 11,637,606 Rogers Communications Partnership [18]
600 MHz (2019) 52 $1,725,006,000 35,150,715 Rogers [19]


Rogers operates GSM, HSPA+, long-term evolution (LTE) networks in all of Canada's provinces and offers roaming in Canada's territories.[20]


Since 2002, the company's 2G GSM network with EDGE has operated in Canada.[12][20] It provides compatibility for GSM-based devices, including those frequently used by international travelers. However, this technology is limited to speeds up to 236 kilobits per second, which is only about four times the speed of dial-up.

As of July 2018, some of Rogers coverage footprint is covered by its GSM network, but not its HSPA or LTE networks. These areas include MacKenzie, BC and along the Highway 11 corridor east and west of Kapuskasing, ON.[21] It is unclear what the future is for these areas given that Rogers has already announced that it intends on shutting down its GSM network and because Rogers did not expand HSPA or LTE into these areas despite completing expansion of HSPA or LTE to all other areas by its GSM network years earlier.

Rogers has informed its customers that its 2G GSM network will be discontinued on December 31, 2020.[22] In 2020, the GSM shutdown was delayed until the end of 2021.[23][24]


In 2006, Rogers became the first Canadian carrier to operate a 3G HSPA network, which was upgraded to HSPA+ in 2009.[25][26] Enhancements included download speeds of up to a theoretical 21 Mbit/s.[27]

Rogers' HSPA+ network coverage is in all Canadian provinces and none of the territories and operating on 850 MHz.

It is impossible to travel between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts in Canada without encountering a gap in cellular coverage as there are areas lacking cellular coverage in both British Columbia and Ontario.[28]


In July 2011, Rogers was the first Canadian telecom operator to launch a commercial long-term evolution (LTE) network.[29] In May 2013, Rogers deployed LTE service on its 2600 MHz spectrum in some markets, which the company began marketing as LTE Max. LTE Max is available in a fraction of Rogers' LTE coverage area.[20] On April 17, 2014, Rogers launched LTE service on its 700 MHz spectrum.[30]

Rogers has not announced its goals for expanding LTE coverage across Canada, but announced plans in June 2014 to have LTE coverage expanded to 98.3% of the population of British Columbia by the end of 2016.[31]

According to Rogers, as of December 31, 2016, its LTE coverage reached 95% of the Canadian population.[32]

On March 31, 2015, Rogers Wireless launched voice over LTE (VoLTE),[33] the first carrier in Canada to offer this service.

Cat-6 LTE-Advanced has been available since January 2015, through carrier aggregation of band 4 and band 7, with a maximum download speed of 225Mbit/s.[34]


Rogers launched its 5G network in January 2020 and uses Block I from the 2500Mhz Frequency Block Plan. The company stated that rollout will expand to use its further reaching 600 MHz spectrum later in the year for improved 5G coverage.[35] As of December 16th, 2020, Rogers offers both NSA mode and SA modes in select markets.[36] Rogers was the first Canadian carrier to offer 5G service.[37]

Rogers partnered with Swedish Telecom giant Ericsson to launch its 5G wireless technology.[38] Today, Rogers's 5G network is live in more than 160 communities across Canada, including Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Montreal.[35]

Radio frequency summary[edit]

The following is a list of known frequencies that Rogers employs in Canada:

Frequencies used on the Rogers Network
Frequency range Band number Protocol Class Status Notes
850 MHz CLR 5 GSM/GPRS/EDGE 2G Active[39] Network to be shut down by December 31, 2021.[23][24]
1,900 MHz PCS 2 GSM/GPRS/EDGE 2G Active[39] Network to be shut down by March 31, 2021.[23][24]
850 MHz CLR 5 UMTS/HSPA+ 3G Active[39] Network to be shut down by December 31, 2025.[23][24]
1,900 MHz PCS 2 UMTS/HSPA+ 3G Active[39] Network to be shut down by March 31, 2021.[23][24]
600 MHz DD 71 LTE / LTE Advanced 4G Active / Being Deployed[40] Being used alongside NR via DSS. [40]
700 MHz Lower A/B/C 12/17/13 LTE / LTE Advanced 4G Active[39] Additional LTE band for building penetration and rural coverage in select markets. Also being used to provide LTE Advanced coverage.[41]
850 MHz CLR 5 LTE / LTE Advanced 4G Active[39] Used to provide LTE Advanced coverage in select markets.
1,700/2,100 MHz AWS 4 LTE / LTE Advanced 4G Active[39] Main LTE band providing complete coverage. Also being used to provide LTE Advanced coverage.[41]
2,600 MHz IMT-E 7 LTE / LTE Advanced 4G Active[39] Additional LTE band for more bandwidth in select markets. Also used to provide LTE Advanced coverage in select markets.
1,900 MHz PCS 2 LTE / LTE Advanced 4G Active[39] Used to provide LTE Advanced coverage in select markets.
2,600 MHz IMT-E n38 NR 5G Active / Being Deployed[35] NSA (non-standalone) mode
600 MHz DD n71 NR 5G Active / Being Deployed[42][35] NSA (non-standalone) mode; in use with AWS-based frequencies (band n66) by means of Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS)[42]
1,700/2,100 MHz Extended AWS n66 NR 5G Active / Being Deployed[42] NSA (non-standalone) mode; in use with DD-based frequencies (band n71) by means of Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS)[42]


Rogers Wireless carries feature phones, and smartphones that support either Android OS or iOS.

On Demand Mobile[edit]

Customers with select smartphones, tablets, computers, LG Smart TVs, Xbox 360 and Xbox One gaming systems can use the Rogers On Demand mobile service, which was renamed Rogers Live before its current incarnation, Rogers Anyplace TV. Rogers Anyplace TV offers TV shows, movies and sports on demand.[43][44][45]



In 2004, Rogers bought Canada’s first and, at the time, only other GSM provider, Fido, along with Fido’s partner, Sprint Canada, for a total of $1.4 billion. At the time, Fido had nearly 1.3 million customers.[46] In 2008, Fido was rebranded as a discount network operator with a new logo and cheaper plans.[47]


Rogers launched the Chatr Mobile brand in mid-2010 in response to the emergence of new phone carriers Mobilicity, Public Mobile, and Freedom Mobile (previously Wind Mobile) to directly compete with the new carriers in their coverage areas. Chatr became a cheaper option than Fido, making Fido more of a mid-range offering.[48][49]

Retail presence[edit]

Fido and Rogers phones at Zellers.

Rogers has its own corporate retail stores, known as Rogers Plus, and also allows third parties to become exclusive dealers. Best Buy and Walmart stores in Canada provide Fido products along with prepaid and postpaid services. Additionally, Loblaw Companies stores sell prepaid feature phones and top-up vouchers. Loblaw stores have a special booth, called The Mobile Shop, where the phones are displayed.

Former retailers[edit]

While Shoppers Drug Mart carried only Rogers Wireless prepaid phones at one time, the stores temporarily partnered with Rogers. As a result, Shoppers stores added both prepaid and postpaid products and services for Rogers and its two other brands, Fido and Chatr. As of March 2011, however, Shoppers stores ended their partnership. They only sell prepaid top-up vouchers for these providers.


Misdirected phone charges[edit]

In 2005, Rogers lost a court case against an Osgoode Hall Law School university professor, Susan Drummond, over a $12,000 charge for overseas calls that was placed on her bill after the phone was stolen, for which the company insisted she pay. Following the case becoming public knowledge, Ted Rogers issued a formal apology and cancelled the charges. Drummond filed a lawsuit, for which she was then also paid punitive and compensatory damages.[50] Drummond and her partner Harry Gefen published further on the case in an SSHRC funded research project, and for which she and her partner were cited by Time magazine as "heroes of the year" in 2007.[51] During her research, Drummond showed that the phones of Rogers executives had been cloned by members of Hezbollah and used to make thousands of overseas phone calls in 1997 and 1998.[52][53][54] It also turned up information that Rogers had been allowing phones that they were alerted had potentially fraudulent call patterns to continue to remain functional despite the warning.[55]

Text messaging charges[edit]

On July 7, 2009, Rogers Wireless began charging a nominal fee for incoming text messages to customers without a text messaging plan. The change was similar to policies of charging for incoming text message that were adopted in August 2008 by Bell Mobility and Telus Mobility.[56] Some users complained that Rogers had unilaterally changed the terms of their contracts. The company maintained that changes to services and fees are permitted in the "terms of service" document.[57]

Government Regulatory Recovery Fee[edit]

Rogers has been criticized for its Government Regulatory Recovery Fee (GRRF), formerly known as the System Access Fee (SAF). The fee ranges between $1.93 to $3.35 per month. On July 4, 2012, Rogers announced it would no longer be charging a separate GRRF fee to new customers, instead raising the price of the Monthly Service Charge. The bills of existing customers would remain the same.[58] An $18 billion class action lawsuit against Rogers, Bell and Telus, originally filed in a Saskatchewan court in 2004 regarding these fees, is pending.[59]

Anticompetitive tactics[edit]

Rogers launched the Chatr brand with low-end feature phones and pricing plans similar to that of new entrants such as Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile. Chatr was criticized for being a fighter brand created by Rogers. The brand's "fewer dropped calls" claim was disputed by the Competition Bureau.[48] In 2013, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that Chatr's advertising of fewer dropped calls, in connection with its 2010 launch, was fair and accurate.[60]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Caroline Van Hasselt, High Wire Act: Ted Rogers and the Empire That Debt Built, Mississauga, Ontario: John Wiley & Sons, 2008, chapter 12.
  2. ^ a b "Rogers Communications Reports Fourth Quarter 2018 Results" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Rogers added 112,000 net postpaid wireless subscribers in Q4 2018".
  4. ^ “Rogers Communications Inc. Company Profile”. Yahoo! Finance. Accessed May 21, 2013.
  5. ^ "Rogers Investors Relations" (PDF). Rogers Investor Relations.
  6. ^ a b c Bethany McLean, “Satellite Killed the Radio Star,” Fortune, January 22, 2001.
  7. ^ Van Hasselt, High Wire Act: Ted Rogers and the Empire That Debt Built, chapter 12, p. 223.
  8. ^ Iain Marlow, “A phone so big it came with its own luggage,” The Globe and Mail, July 2, 2010.
  9. ^ Brian Banks, “Cantel buy gets Rogers into telecommunications,” Ottawa Citizen, June 4, 1986.
  10. ^ “Rogers Communications Inc. History,” Accessed May 12, 2003.
  11. ^ “AT&T Wireless Moves to Sell Stake in Rogers Communications,” Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2004.
  12. ^ a b “A look at wireless milestones,” The Globe and Mail, July 2, 2010.
  13. ^ "License Winners, 2 GHz PCS Auction".
  14. ^ "License Winners, 2300 & 3500 MHz Auction (2004)".
  15. ^ "License Winners, 2300 & 3500 MHz Auction (residual, 2004-2005)".
  16. ^ "License Winners, AWS-1 Auction (2008)".
  17. ^ "License Winners, 700 MHz Auction (2014)".
  18. ^ "License Winners, 2500-2690 MHz Auction (2015)".
  19. ^ "600 MHz Auction — Final Results".
  20. ^ a b c “Coverage to the max,” Accessed May 21, 2013.
  21. ^ Network Coverage
  22. ^ "Rogers extends availability of GSM/GPRS network to December 2020". 4 May 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d e "Important Notice Regarding Upcoming 2G/3G Changes on the Rogers Network". Bulwark. 2020-07-15. Retrieved 2020-10-24.
  24. ^ a b c d e "IoT Network Updates | Rogers for Business". Retrieved 2020-10-30.
  25. ^ Ian Hardy, “Rogers HSPA+ announcement: ‘Bell is not concerned’,” Mobile Syrup, August 3, 2009.
  26. ^ “Rogers expands HSPA coverage,” TeleGeography, October 17, 2007.
  27. ^ “Bell’s new cellphone network launches Wednesday,” CBC News, November 2, 2009.
  28. ^ "Wireless Network Coverage - Keeping You Connected - Rogers".
  29. ^ Iain Marlow, “Rogers powers up LTE wireless network,” The Globe and Mail, July 7, 2011.
  30. ^ "Rogers flips the switch on 700 MHz spectrum to deliver the ultimate video experience to customers". Rogers. 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  31. ^ Morton, Brian. "Rogers to expand wireless networks in northern B.C."
  32. ^ "Rogers Investors Relations" (PDF). Rogers Investor Relations.
  33. ^ "Rogers launches Voice Over LTE: What it is, and how it affects you - MobileSyrup". 31 March 2015.
  34. ^ "Rogers launches LTE-Advanced features with new carrier aggregation support - MobileSyrup". 24 October 2014.
  35. ^ a b c d "Rogers Starts Rollout of Canada's First 5G Network and Joins Global 5G Forum". 15 January 2020.
  36. ^ "Rogers begins rolling out 5G standalone core network in four cities". MobileSyrup. 2020-12-16. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  37. ^ "Rogers officially activates Canada's first 5G network, but customers will have to wait to use it". 15 January 2020.
  38. ^ "Rogers, Ericsson to test 5G technology in Toronto, Ottawa". 16 April 2018.
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Rogers: Manage Your Experience".
  40. ^ a b "Rogers launches 5G in 50 towns and cities across Canada". 3 September 2020.
  41. ^ a b "Rogers customers will be the first in Canada to experience LTE-Advanced". October 24, 2014.
  42. ^ a b c d "Rogers doubles 5G cities/towns to 130; launches Dynamic Spectrum Sharing". 14 October 2020.
  43. ^ “Programming,” Accessed May 21, 2013.
  44. ^ “Rogers Anyplace TV app enhances Smart TV entertainment experience,” CNW Group, April 19, 2013.
  45. ^ Ian Hardy, “Rogers to release a Rogers on Demand app for tablets,” Mobile Syrup, September 9, 2011.
  46. ^ John Shmuel, “The short history of telecom startups in Canada,” Financial Post, May 18, 2013.
  47. ^ Sean Cooper, “Fido’s rebrand complete, yellow figures prominently,” Engadget, November 4, 2008.
  48. ^ a b Jeff Gray, “Rogers violated false-advertising rules with ‘fewest dropped-call’ claims, court hears,” The Globe and Mail, May 13, 2013.
  49. ^ Ian Hardy, “Rogers re-branding all Chatr Wireless kiosks in Montreal to Fido,” Mobile Syrup, May 7, 2012.
  50. ^ "Mom gets cell firm's number - The Star".
  51. ^ Caroline Van Hasselt (2010). High Wire Act: Ted Rogers and the Empire that Debt Built. John Wiley & Sons. p. 607. ISBN 9780470739747.
  52. ^ "$12,000 bill forgiven, Rogers will come to tea" – via The Globe and Mail.
  53. ^ "Cellphone security fraud leaves customer with big bill - CBC News".
  54. ^ "Terror Phone Clone Scam". The Register. December 19, 2005.
  55. ^ "How a terror group cloned Ted Rogers' cellphone" – via The Globe and Mail.
  56. ^ “Rogers Wireless to charge for incoming text messages for user not in plans,”, May 5, 2009.
  57. ^ Kathy Tomlinson, “Rogers charges for ‘free’ text messages,” CBC News, December 15, 2009.
  58. ^ Ian Hardy, “Rogers says new customers will not pay the GRRF, but charges will be rolled into the Monthly Service Fee,” Mobile Syrup, July 4, 2012.
  59. ^ Jamie Sturgeon, “Canada’s telecom giants face $18-billion class action suit over system access fees,” Financial Post, June 28, 2012.
  60. ^ "Ruling backing Rogers's dropped-call ads for Chatr questioned," CBC News, August 21, 2013.

External links[edit]