Three of Canada’s new wireless carriers entering the scene since the last spectrum auction have withdrawn from the group that works to represent the industry as a whole, they announced in a joint press release this morning.

Wind Mobile, Mobilicity, and Public Mobile state they are frustrated with the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications (CWTA). The group shows “consistent bias in favour of Rogers, Bell, and Telus on a wide variety of issues,” the release states. “From this point, the CWTA does not, and cannot claim to speak on behalf of the Canadian mobile wireless sector.

The CWTA responded by saying it is surprised by the announcement. In an e-mail statement to ITBusiness.ca, it notes the carriers have participated in the Board of Directors and committees.

“CWTA rejects the accusation that the Association represents the interests of only certain members. CWTA has always and will continue to work on behalf of all of its members,” it says.

The CWTA will miss the contributions of Wind, Mobilicity and Public, the statement continues, and would welcome them back to the association at a later date. It acknowledges that in a competitive sector, an industry association attempting to represent all members will face some disagreements over members for certain issues.

Mobilicity previously had a public dispute with the CWTA over the issue of wireless consumer protection in January 2011. It issued a press release saying wireless users in Manitoba needed a regulatory code of wireless conduct to get equal treatment. But the CWTA preferred an open market that was self-regulated. A statement in that press release quoted Mobilicity CEO Dave Dobbin:

“We are exceptionally disappointed with the CWTA’s lack of foresight in continuing to act only in the interests of the Big Three wireless oligopoly,” added Dobbin. “As members of the CWTA, we repeatedly voiced our opposition to its submission to no avail.”

The CWTA Board of Directors is currently chaired by Mark Henderson of Ericsson Canada Inc. In the next most senior position of vice chair, Bell, Rogers, and Telus each have a position on the board. The new entrants have no one in the position of vice-chair, but each held a director position on the board. Bell, Telus, and Rogers also count one director member of the board each.

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