Friday, December 11, 2009

Globalive's Wind Mobile Will Get To Launch After All

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The recent decicion by the Canadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission that prevented Globalive from launching their Wind Mobile cell phone service has been overtuned. The CRTC decided that because the ownership structure of Globalive doesn't have enough Canadian ownership and could not launch a national cell phone network.  Industry Minister Tony Clement has upheld Industry Canada's licensing of Globalive clearing the company to launch their cell phone network as soon as this Monday (December, 14th 2009) in Toronto and Calgary.

The incumbent cellular carriers are already voicing their displeasure over Globalive's reinstatement of their license.  Rogers chief executive officer Nadir Mohamed stated that the Canada's wireless market could not sustain a fourth national service.  Several years ago an attempt was made to introduce more compeition in the cell phone market in Canada.  In 1995 Microcell's Fido and Clearnet were licensed to provide cellular services that launched in 1997.  The costs buying the licenses in auctions and building cellular networks ran the startups into too much debt.  In 2000 Clearnet was bought up by Telus, which expanded Telus from their base of operations in Alberta and British Columbia into a national carrier.  In 2003 Microcell became the prize in a war of hostile takeover bids from Telus and Rogers. 

The launches of Wind Mobile and three other startup cellular carriers promised to be different that those of Clearnet and Microcell.  Canada's cell phone market is a lot larger now, there's about three times the number of cell phone subscribers now than there were in 1997.  Any claim that Canada's market won't be able to sustain any more cell phone carriers is questionable at best.

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