At the Canadian Telecom Summit today Tony Lacavera, WIND Mobile’s Chairman and CEO, boldly stated that since launching their network they’ve “survived and even thrived despite unprecedented regulatory uncertainty.” The newer wireless player has “certainly made mistakes along the way,” but quickly changed up their business model from a prepaid service to offering postpaid options.
It’s known that the incumbent carriers (Rogers, Bell and TELUS) have sub-brands that go head-to-head with WIND’s low-cost offering. Rogers owns Fido and Chatr, Bell with Virgin Mobile and Solo, plus TELUS with Koodo Mobile and Mike. Lacavera wants this structure to end and is suggesting that the CRTC “put an end to 9 brands owned by 3 companies, operating 2 national networks. MVNO services, on both a spectrum access or usage basis as well as on a total virtual operator basis must be mandated and regulated. Further, incumbents must be stopped from creating an artifice of competition by owning the MVNOs used as fighter or flanker brands. A true independent wholesale relationship between facilities-based operators and MVNOs must be established, and incumbents must be forced to divest or discontinue the use of flanker or fighter brands that create an artifice of competition.”
Lacavera also stated that “we should lift the remaining foreign ownership restrictions. We should then permit Bell and TELUS to finally merge on the condition that they focus on real growth and expansion abroad and stop focusing their incredible wealth of human and financial resources on defensive-minded Canada-focused strategies like flanker brands and legacy media asset acquisitions.”
WIND originally wanted 1.5 million wireless subscribers within 3-years of launching. Now, 3.5 years under their belt they’ve amassed over 600,000 wireless subscribers.