Public Mobile CEO on new entrant consolidation: “We are buyers not sellers” (Video)

Ian Hardy

August 14, 2012 8:35pm

Public Mobile held a press event today in Toronto to unveil their new unlimited music service called “Siren.” This is a respectable addition to their list of offerings – they also offer unlimited talk, text and data plans. In addition, last week they also launched “Public Cash services,” a venture that sells a prepaid MasterCard, plus gives users the ability to cash cheques, and send money transfers.

Unfortunately for those interested in knowing where Public’s subscriber numbers stand you’re out of luck. Since they are a private company they have no need to declare their results. Alek Krstajic, CEO of Public Mobile, stated he’ll share more in January 2013 and assured the media and analysts that “we are doing very well.” At last count Public had about 200,000 subscribers. Krstajic noted that after a soft Q1 and Q2 they are already seeing a big push for the busy Q3 back-to-school rush, specifically that “Android phones go through the roof” and are up about 40%.

Krstajic also touched on the possibility of a new entrant merger/consolidation, proudly saying that “I’ve been saying for over a year that consolidation between the new entrants would be good. I think the issue is that some of these boys have to check their egos at the door and sit down and have real conversations. I think there’s been lots of conversations with everybody, all new entrants have talked, and some have gone well down the path… and it fell apart. I think that there may be consolidation over the next year, but I would say to you that we are at a point now that if there is consolidation, very clearly, we are buyers not sellers.”

Over the past number of months there have been several rumours that that WIND Mobile would scoop up Public, then it was Mobilicity and WIND Mobile merging. However, all the new entrants seem to be on a singular path and chugging forward. The one massive benefit that Public holds over WIND and Mobilicity is spectrum in Quebec, albeit G-band, but this would add extreme value to both. Would be interesting if Public – who is the probably the biggest wireless underdog in Canada – ended up buying either of them.

For now it looks like Public is focussed on attracting new customers by offering new services, plus expanding their coverage. Video of Alek Krstajic is below.

  • Proclaimer

    He’s cocky that’s for sure. I tried a phone at scarborough town centeer and got a wrakweak signal. no good for me

  • hoo dat


    He seems to have conveniently forgotten that time he desperately approached both WIND and Mobilicity for merger talks.

  • aregularonhofo

    Now that Dave Dobbin was fired in humiliation by Mobilicty, losing their favorite troll xtachx on who went back to the Big Three being a 100% moron and only having 6-7 loser fanboys left on that site to support this useless provider wouldn’t it be hilarious if little Public Mobile buys them out in the end…OMG wherever LA is he must be laughing his azz off and what complete justice this would be. I mean just go on hofo to read what those i****s post thinking it’s technology and you’ll get a good laugh. Time for the knowledgeable to join Wind Mobile and teach those hypocrites at Mobilicity a good lesson not to lie and manipulate their customers.

  • AndyOne

    They can’t built their oun network they had to rent it so how can they buy anything!!!!

  • Matt Kim

    Public Mobile are the worst company I ever seen. There is no good selections of phones, Bad Signal, and etc…. Last weekend at Taste of Danforth, I have seen 3 Public mobile there and not even a single person go there to buy a phone nor activate there. They must be desperate to make more money but they are not…. Public Mobile should be R.I.P.

    • In depth analysis

      Wow, judging by the way your comment was written, I am going to go ahead and trust you on your “in depth analysis” of the business. Best of luck in all your endeavors … sarcasm by the way

  • Gonzo

    this guy seems really focussed and intense, must be fun working with him, not sure if this is a blur but he seems honest and easy going with the way he talks, dress and comes forward

  • B. Carmine

    Seriously, don’t know how you guys posts comments. Can I please get a list of unacceptable words and symbols? This is ridiculous…

  • Proclaimer

    i like Alek but the bottom line is the phones are aweful and i wont buy until the phones and signal improve

  • Big Ang

    Public isn’t buying out Wind or Mobi, and is certainly not going to be bought out by anyone.

    They will probably want to buy some of those smaller new entrants, the ones that also bought G-band and haven’t started up yet. I think there is one company on the east coast (Blue Canada Wireless), and another on the west coast (Novus Wireless).

    If they partner up and use Telus’s towers to put up their own transmitters like they have been doing, then I think they can expand pretty fast.

    Heck, if they succeed in buying out those two companies, they’ll have most of the nationwide G-block. Sasktel has Saskatchewan and (presumably) MTS has Manitoba, and Wind has Newfoundland and the territories. If Public finds something they can offer Wind, then maybe they can convince Wind to give up their G-Block spectrum?

    I always knew Public was always getting a bum rap from the peeps on Hofo!

  • Ivan

    Public Mobile is CDMA in a band no other provider uses in the world (PCS G block, I believe Sprint got the spectrum too but doesn’t use it). Nobody would want their assets/customers even for free, as it would costs millions to integrate them (i.e give everyone a free handset).
    If they buy anyone, they would have to do the same. CDMA is dead, even declared so by the governing body which created it. If they want to burn money they can build a bridge to LTE via eHRPD, but that’s probably not something they can afford.

    They are pretty much stuck where they are as a voice only carrier, eventually perhaps upgrading to EVDO. Althought I am not sure if they spectrum allocation if wide enough for it.

    • roger

      do your homework, Sprint is launching LTE on G-BAND thus opening a new road map of device for Public Mobile and a Path to LTE… this is public information search the web

    • Alex PMI

      Voice only ? Public Mobile is on EVDO at the moment.
      Data speeds of 1 mbps download and 950mbps Upload.
      LTE is in the plans for the future.

  • Kyle Tuck

    “I think the issue is that some of these boys have to check their egos at the door…”

    … followed up with …

    “if there is consolidation, very clearly, we are buyers not sellers.”

    Ummm… I think you forgot to check YOUR ego at the door…

  • LOL

    LOL at the last 3-5 seconds of the video. Don’t know if it was Mobilesyrup that recorded it but its hilarious to hear “Ugh, stop showing off!”

  • Big Ang

    Alek Krstajic makes an excellent point about the definition of success – it’s not about the number of subscribers, it’s if you are cash-flow positive – that’s what counts. Public always set out to be a niche player with low-cost service in the Windsor-Quebec corridor, an area that covers about half the population of Canada in a densely packed area (for Canada anyways).

    I have no clue about how Public will survive after the next auction. However, for the time being, Public is in great shape even if they have the least number of clients.

  • Why?

    Another reason i would not touch Pubic Mobile.
    The CEO is clearly Delusional.
    “We are buyers not sellers” HAHAHA
    More like you will be bankrupt in a few months

    • smily

      you seem to forget that they have a large variety of share holders including the guys that launched Metro PCS, Leap, Cricket , they have big pension plans and a hand full of rich well renown canadians business man… just go see who is sitting on their board and who are the backers, you may change opinion

  • Jon

    Now that foreign ownership is no longer an issue, any of the 3 new carriers’ owners can pump money money in an debut out the other two.

  • Tj

    PM is good for a certain demographic. All they want is a no frills cheap phone and plan where they can talk and text unlimited.

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