When the Canadian government began a wireless spectrum auction in 2008, many were hopeful that new competition would emerge, giving Canadian subscribers more options in our overpriced cell phone market. From that watershed event, three companies emerged: Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile.
These three entrants have struggled to get off the ground, despite their popular discounted plans. Revenues have gradually declined, creditors have come knocking and both Mobilicity and Wind Mobile have struggled to find new investors. Mobile giant Telus made a move for Mobilicity a few months ago but that was rebuffed by regulators who were concerned about what that would mean for a supposedly competitive wireless landscape.
Now several investment sources are claiming that one of dominant players from south of the border –Verizon Wireless- has made a $700 million bid for Wind Mobile and is looking to pick up the pieces from Telus’ failed Mobilicity purchase.
This move would effectively give Verizon a foothold in Canada in preparation for an entry into January’s seven-slot 700MHz spectrum auction.
One way or another, we could very well see the Big 3 of Telus, BCE / Bell and Rogers finally get some real nationwide competition.