04/10/2013 10:37 EDT | Updated 06/10/2013 05:12 EDT

3 wireless company upstarts quit lobby group

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," said Simon Lockie, Wind Mobile's chief regulatory officer.

"But despite making our objections and concerns abundantly clear on numerous occasions, the CWTA has repeatedly failed to honour this promise, leaving us no alternative but to withdraw."

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.