Rogers Communications Inc, Canada's biggest wireless company, and Vodafone Group PLC, the British telecom group, announced a new market agreement on Tuesday to broaden the services they offer each other's customers.
They did not provide many details on the scope of the partnership or the terms, but said the non equity deal will make Rogers the exclusive partner of Vodafone Canada, and that they will explore new business opportunities.
Vodafone, with mobile phone networks from Australia to India, in the Middle East and across Europe, said its scale will allow Rogers to make more money and cut more costs.
Telecom analyst Iain Grant, who is managing director of SeaBoard Group, said the deal gives Rogers a connection to the second largest telecom in the world, operating in 40 countries
"One of the things that Rogers was missing was an international connection with a Rogers company. It used to have that when it had relationships with AT&T, but that has fizzled somewhat. And Vodafone is a previous owner of Verizon which is its largest competitor," he told CBC News.
He speculated the deal could result in roaming agreements for Rogers customers in Europe and the Middle East.
"I think for the business consumer it will be interesting, because Vodafone has a number of products across its network that Rogers can tap into," he said.
Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose said the deal likely cements existing roaming agreements, but is positive for Rogers because the Canadian company has been challenged by the development of a shared next-generation network built by wireless competitors BCE Inc and Telus Corp.
The agreement, presumably, will also help Rogers win multinational corporate customers with business in Canada, Ghose wrote in a note to clients.
Grant said Bell and Telus may be pressed to seek out international partners, especially south of the border, as a result of a Rogers-Vodafone hookup.
Rogers' new chief executive officer, Guy Laurence, who joined the Canadian company late last year from Vodafone's U.K. unit, said the partnership will give Rogers access to resources and expertise, allowing it to improve services for its customers.