Rogers to Increase Wireless Network Spending to Match Telus and Bell

Although the Rogers wireless network saw decreased investments last year, part of a strategy deployed by former CEO Guy Laurence, that is changing now, says Rogers CEO Joe Natale. He told the Globe and Mail, “we’re going to see our capital expenditure intensity in wireless be more in line with our peers. Network capability is very important to us.”

Natale said Rogers will increase its wireless spending to close the gap compared to its rivals, Telus and Bell, focusing on the company’s capital intensity, or its ratio of investment compared to wireless revenue.

Telus’ capital intensity is nearly 14 percent, while Bell is at 10.2 percent, and Rogers falls behind at 8.9 percent. But this will change, Natale told the Globe and Mail, promising returns to old levels of 12-14 percent for Rogers. These increases will come at the cost of cuts in the company’s enterprise and media units.

Last year, Rogers spent $702 million on wireless investments—down 19 percent—whereas rivals Telus and Bell spent $982 million and $733 million, respectively. While Rogers has been seen by analysts as relying on microwave transmission of data between cell towers, Telus and Bell have been using fiber optic wires laid between sites. Telus and Bell also have more small cell sites to fill gaps in coverage and for better capacity in urban areas, plus their deployment of newer radio tech such as LTE.

December 6, 2017 

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