Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

As part of an ongoing effort to set its wireless products apart from those of its competitors, Rogers Communications Inc. says its discount cellular brand Fido will now offer some of its customers home Internet service.

Canada's three national wireless carriers tend to offer similar prices on their main brands, while their discount, or "flanker," brands also have comparable rates, meaning they must find other ways to stand out, emphasizing elements such as network quality or good customer service.

Fido's move is likely an attempt to improve customer retention, because it can be expensive for companies to win subscribers away from competitors, said Greg MacDonald, head of research with Macquarie Capital Markets Canada.

Story continues below advertisement

"I think it's an indication that maturity [in the wireless industry] is starting to set in in a noticeable way. So they're focusing a lot more on differentiation to try and lower their churn rate," he said. "Companies like Rogers are going to use whatever they have in the arsenal as a competitive advantage."

In this case, Rogers is leveraging its cable-based home Internet service in Ontario to increase the attraction for Fido wireless customers. Fido said on Thursday that subscribers on postpaid contracts in parts of Southern Ontario and Ottawa are eligible for the $50-a-month offer, which includes 300 gigabytes of bandwidth with download speeds of 30 megabits a second and upload speeds of 5 Mbps.

An unlimited option costs $15 more a month, and non-postpaid Fido customers are charged $20 extra, but the Fido Internet product is less expensive than many of Rogers's own broadband offerings as well as those of its main Internet competitor in Ontario, the incumbent telephone operator BCE Inc.

Mr. MacDonald said BCE's flanker brand, Virgin Mobile, could respond with a similar offer, but the Fido change could be a bigger threat to Telus Corp., which does not offer residential Internet in Ontario.

Rogers has also used content to differentiate its products, including the option of free subscriptions to streaming music, video or magazine services with certain plans on both the Fido and main Rogers brands. Quebec wireless carrier Videotron Ltd. recently began exempting the data used by certain music streaming services from premium wireless plans (the offering is facing a challenge at Canada's telecom regulator).

Carriers have also used international roaming services to separate themselves from the pack. Rogers and Telus have introduced flat-rate daily add-ons that allow customers to draw on their existing data package while abroad. Last week, BCE launched its own roaming add-on that also offers a daily flat rate but does not count the data use against subscribers' monthly plans.

The latest quarterly numbers show Rogers, Telus and BCE each gained about equal numbers of new postpaid customers in the three-month period after many quarters in which Telus led and Rogers lagged well behind it and BCE.

Story continues below advertisement

"Rogers attributed this 'catch-up' to increased traction on differentiated content offerings, better channel management and improving customer service," RBC Dominion Securities Inc. analyst Drew McReynolds said in a report last week.

Raj Doshi, executive vice-president of wireless services at Rogers, said the company has been working to make the Fido brand appeal to millennials while the main Rogers brand is aimed primarily at families.

He said market research showed Fido customers value Internet both on the go and at home, which prompted the new offer.

While he thinks the home Internet offer will improve retention, Mr. Doshi added that offering "more value to customers is the primary goal."

"I think when customers have more products available, it is a much better proposition, both from the retention standpoint but also from a value-for-money perception."

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies