JANUARY 27, 1987
The launch of cellular communications in Canada can be considered a success by any criteria. There are close to 50,000 activated paying subscribers in Canada after only 18 months of operation. These subscribers are split approximately equally between the telephone companies and Cantel with Cantel having the edge in market share in most areas.
These projections exceed plan for Cantel as well as the traditional telephone companies. Cantel, as you know, is the nationally licensed telephone company for cellular.
The success is worldwide with well over 1,200,000 cellular telephones in operation and 650,000 in the United States alone. It is interesting that given the time lag of the start in Canada by about 18 months, the acceptance in Canada of this new service is quite remarkable.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
However, you are here to invest in the future, not history. In the few minutes I have, let me ask you to assume you are in March 1990 when Cantel announces its new cellular telephone- the Cantel 2000.
This may look to you like a 79$ pen. In fact, it is the cellular telephone of the 90’s. The size may surprise you but there is nothing fundamental that will stand in the way of such a product being available in that time frame.
As you will note the Cantel 2000 is approximately the length of a standard cellular aerial operating in the 800 megahertz band. In fact, the barrel of the device is the antenna.
The unit is conveniently designed to reach from your ear to your mouth.
In one end is a miniature microphone which, of course, was widely used in the 70’s and 80’s. You have all heard stories of microphones being available in olives in cocktail glasses or even being placed in a filling in the tooth.
The other end contains the speaker. If you wish privacy, the upper portion of the cap can be plugged into your ear in the manner of a Sony Walkman.
Your initial reaction may be, “a user would need small fingers to dial such a device”. This is, of course, not necessary as the unit is voice activated. As it has a capability of storing 99 numbers, most dialing would be done by simply saying RECALL 3 and SEND.
Your final concern might be the battery power for the device. Of course, this unit is all digital which increases the error checking capabilities and decreases the power required for effective transmission.
You might still wonder, however, how a device this size could reach out to one of our cell sites that may be three or four kilometres away. The answer is, “it will not need to extend that far”. We are using the extensive coaxial cable network of the Rogers Group or other cable companies to enable us to pick up the signal from anywhere in a major metropolitan area. Already most homes and buildings have coaxial cable installed and converting this to a receiving/broadcasting capability for cellular, is called the mini cell concept – an approach well understood in the late 80’s.
Of course the new cadmium/lithium batteries will also assist in this process.
If you have any doubts that Cantel will be selling a device of this nature, bear in mind that the worldwide market for a device like this priced under $500, would be in the tens of millions in the North American, Western European and Japanese markets alone.
I do not imagine there is anyone here who would doubt that a device of that size, which will now put everyone in communications wherever they are, in urban areas or along corridors, can be produced when already cellular telephones are the size of the Walker unit you see before you.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE NOW
Cantel is the only one-company, national provider of the cellular network that can make these devices the communications devices of the very near future. You, of course, have the opportunity to invest in Cantel today through your investment in Rogers Communications Inc.
By the way, if you wish to purchase one of the prototypes of the Cantel 2000, I have several boxes of them here. They are going for $5,000 a piece.