Wind Mobile, Public Mobile and Mobilicity say they're quitting the industry lobby group that's supposed to represent them because they claim it has become nothing but a mouthpiece for their larger incumbent rivals.
Three of Canada's newest wireless companies accuse the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association of consistently taking positions that favour older and bigger carriers Rogers, Bell and Telus.
The trio of privately owned carriers says the association promised to be a voice for all its members, but has largely been an advocate for the incumbents.
"When we were first approached by the CWTA, we were promised clear and fair representation on issues of true industry alignment," Simon Lockie, Wind Mobile's chief regulatory officer, told CBC News in an interview.
The CWTA is taking a position against not only consumers, but also against the interests of smaller players, so we decided Wind should not be subsidizing the CWTA when they are not representing our interests, Lockie said.
"The truth is the incumbents are as powerful in that organization as they are in the rest of Canada. If we can’t fight with them on that level, we are going to do what we do best, and that is compete with them at street level," Lockie said.
Public Mobile and Mobilicity made similar complaints in the same release.
Withdrawal called 'unfortunate and surprising'
For its part, the CWTA said it was disappointed by the decision.
"The withdrawal of Wind, Mobilicity and Public Mobile from CWTA is an unfortunate and surprising announcement," a spokesman for the group told CBC News.
"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."
"The many contributions of Wind, Mobilicity and Public Mobile will certainly be missed, and CWTA would welcome their return to the association in the future," the spokesman said.
Wind Mobile, Public Mobile and Mobilicity emerged after the Canadian government moved to increase competition in 2008 when it reserved some wireless spectrum for new entrants.
Ottawa is preparing to hold another auction of spectrum that will allow carriers to build faster networks that will cover more area.