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Mobile phone sales 'very quiet' during pandemic store closures, Rogers CEO says

Last Updated May 27, 2020 at 2:54 pm EDT

TORONTO — The head of Canada’s largest wireless business says sales of new mobile phones have been very quiet and likely won’t pick up until customers return to stores and malls that have been temporarily closed due to the pandemic.

Rogers chief executive Joe Natale made his comments to a virtual telecommunications and media conference hosted by TD Securities.

Analysts have been asking Canada’s telecommunications companies whether they’ll experience a significant increase in unpaid bills

Natale says bill payments have been steady at Rogers so far but higher unemployment since the pandemic will likely have an impact.

He says Rogers has had a recent increase in customers who are interested spending less on their wireless services and flexible payment options.

But average revenue per user at Rogers has performed well so far, he added.

Natale says the slower pace of phone sales has reduced costs for Rogers, which spent about $2 billion in 2019 to subsidize customer phone purchases. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI.B, TSX:T, TSX:BCE).

The Canadian Press