When WIND Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile launched their wireless service they all promoted and promised to rid Canadians of the bill shock they experienced from the Big 3. The goal was to shake up the industry and offer “real competition” and more value. Years later the estimated amount of combined wireless subscribers the new entrants have amassed is about 1 million, with WIND Mobile leading the pack with over 430,000.
Now, according to a report in the Globe, there might be a new big shot coming to the Canadian market. Apparently Lycamobile, who operates in 16 countries with over 20 million customers and sells low-cost overseas talk/text plans, is looking to expand their operations into another 9 countries by the end of 2013. Lycamobile would not purchase spectrum, but operate as a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) like PC Mobile (Loblaws), SpeakOut Wireless (7Eleven), and Petro-Canada Mobility (Petro-Canada).
It’s currently unknown who they’ll partner with, probably Rogers, but the goal for Lycamobile is to target “immigrants and other ethnic consumers who regularly talk and text with family and friends living overseas.” It’s expected that Lycamobile will launch in Canada later this year in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal and will offer up unlimited prepaid talk and text plans, users will have to bring their own handset and Lycamobile will simply sell them a SIM and service. This all sounds very familiar as this is a similar strategy and demographic that Public Mobile went with, but operates a CDMA network, sells handsets and has spectrum in Toronto and Montreal.
Milind Kangle, CEO of Lycamobile Group, stated “This is a lifeline service. We believe that our customers should get the same quality connection as any other customer would get in any other part of the world. And we believe that the communication should be affordable – as in they should be able to make daily calls without having to feel the pinch in their wallet.”