Bernard Lord, president and CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, speaks to Toronto Region Board of Trade on Oct. 28, 2013. Telus has pulled out of the wireless lobby group. Nathan Denette/Canadian Press
Major carrier Telus is pulling out of the lobby group that represents the telecommunications industry, saying it can better serve its customers on its own.
The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association has already been hit by withdrawals from new carriers Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile, now owned by Telus, which left in 2013.
The group, headed by former New Brunswick premier Bernard Lord, is an advocacy group for the wireless industry. Fellow members Bell and Rogers joined Telus in last summer's "Fair for Canada" campaign, in which the telecom industry tried to convince Canadians that the rules of an upcoming wireless auction favoured foreign players over Canada's big three telcos.
Telus chief corporate officer Josh Blair says his company is not at loggerheads with the lobby group, but wants to make its own decisions how to serve its customers.
"Telus’ decision to withdraw from the CWTA reflects our desire to continue progressing our highly differentiated strategy and our unique Customers First approach," the Vancouver-based company said in a statement.
Telus says it will continue to co-operate with the group on industry projects such as cellphone recycling and Amber alerts.
The lobby group released a statement expressing "disappointment" at Telus' departure.
"CWTA is understandably disappointed with this decision, but respects the position of Telus to undertake a more distinctive advocacy approach outside of CWTA," the group said.
Telus may also be intending to adjust its relationship with the federal government.
Ottawa promised consumers more competition in wireless in its last throne speech and has enacted a series of measures attempting to adjust market conditions in wireless. It has twice denied the sale of Mobilicity to Telus.
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