CPR: Chatr Perks up Rogers

The launch of discount mobile phone brand ‘chatr’ arms the telecommunication champion with a counter for the rookies.

Rogers Communications Inc. announced the launch of its discount cellular phone brand ‘chatr’ a while back and upon its release, July 27th it became available in major urban centers in Canada. It is crystal clear that the company is aiming to regain its previously enjoyed market share which was notably hurt after the new competitors such as Wind Mobile and Mobilicity entered the market. Since late 2009, the new entrants have been focusing on the world of cheap, unlimited talk-and-text, cleverly finding its niche. Rogers’ launch of chatr will bring a new balance to this market.

Rogers announced chatr will be launching in major cities in Canada such as Toronto,Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal, with a $35 unlimited talk plan and a $45 unlimited talk and text plan. Not only it offers cheap plans but also it provides consumers with cheap phones that are as low as $60.

‘Cheap’ is a relative term and it is true in Rogers’ case as well: although chatr is offered in wide variety and range, it is still slightly above the prices ranges of other new companies. In an attempt to compensate this factor, chatr will be provided in Rogers’ national network, bringing an edge over the competitors, which are trying to build wireless network as large as Roger’s.

Some analysts frown upon this yet another new brand of the telecommunication giant: the new brand is supposed to bolster the existing brands such as Fido and Rogers Wireless by competing in a lower end of the market, however, it is speculated that Rogers is trying to overcrowd the market by adding another brand.

In light of launching of chatr, Wind Mobile acted quickly by offering chatr and Rogers customers $150 credit upon switching to Wind, and by holding a promotional event on the day of the launch. Mobilicity also reacted as well, perhaps a bit more aggressively, by threatening to file a complaint with the Competition Bureau. Chairman John Bitove explained that Rogers is trying to eliminate the new competition by implementing low price range of chatr.

Overall, while the well-timed launching of new brand chatr still needs some time to assess its full potential and data, it seems that Rogers have managed to find a way to prevail over its competitors.

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