WIND Mobile subscriber base rises to 620,451

Ian Hardy

August 7, 2013 9:34am

Wind-Mobile-Inside-Store-caption-2
Orascom Telecom reported Q2 2013 results this morning and revealed that WIND Mobile has increased their active subscriber base by 18,732, now hitting a total of 620,451, which is up 35.8% from last year. This, according to their press release, maintains “its status as one of the fastest growing wireless operators on record in the Canadian market.” ARPU – average revenue per user – was also up 2.1% over last year to $27.90.

WIND Mobile is looking for buyers and New York-based Verizon is reportedly close to offering over $700 million. WIND currently has 313 points of distribution and 1,311 cell sites.

Source: Orascom (PDF)

  • Skazzberry 2.0

    Awesome news for us Wind customers. I’m happy with the service I get in Ottawa and Toronto.

    • CC

      Not meant to be offended. Does Wind has LTE?

    • deltatux

      They don’t offer LTE service yet, they are only “testing” it at the moment.

    • camg70

      no offense. can you use your internet with no worries. or your calls?

  • CADDMan71

    YoY percentage increase looks impressive only because of their low numbers to begin with. A 11,281 increase in Q1 and a 18,732 increase in Q2 are OK, but their overall numbers are still WAY too low. Remember their original business plan had them at 1.5Million after their 3rd year (which was this past December) so they’re still at only 41.3% of their original forecast. Add to that their poor ARPU, which NEEDS to be at least $30 to even think about breaking even, and they’re still not even close to competing in Canada’s market. Take away all the customers you want from the Big 3, but if you’re bleeding money it’s all for naught.

    • chris

      Hey, at least something is happening.

    • FlageJan1

      WIND is not bleeding money lol

    • Mike

      Business plans change. 1.5M plan was announced 5 years ago or so. Didnt they plan to launch in more cities and etc? 620K with less investment might not be such a bad thing. I wonder how much do they have to go until break even. Thats the big question.

    • kroms

      The People on ROGERS , BELL , AND TELUS are the ones bleeding money !

      That most likely includes you .

    • CADDMan71

      Please put away your emotional responses and look at the problem with a realistic attitude. I understand that you feel you’re getting a good deal with Wind. My opinions are limited to the financial viability of the company as a whole, not whether you’re getting good or bad reception or a good or bad deal.

    • camg70

      check metro pcs story in US. will happen in here with Wind. happy end….

  • Plazmic Flame

    Pretty sure the subscriber base will only go up, especially with these new sodomizing price plans from the Big 3…

    • Martini

      I know I’m leaving once my contract is up.

  • Liberal Phone Person

    would anyone here really be opposed to wind raising their prices by 5 or 10 dollars to ensure capital for network improvements and financial sustainability?

  • Very happy Wind customer.Very!

    Let the exodus from the big 3 begin! And don’t dare let Rogers buy Wind or im switching!!

  • BigDez950

    very impressive stats and good news for WIND especially wiyth a potential Verizon takeover looming. It was only a matter of time before they made their way into Canada and this is the perfect “foot in the door” for Verizon.

  • Anonymous

    The fact their subscriber base is increasing when their foreign owners aren’t even investing in the business is astonishing. Imagine what they could do with a real budget.

  • Thomas Ramsay

    Wind customer for over 2 years now, and am happy with the service I get

  • Bhudda Rayes

    So is this just a thread for us Wind customers to masturbate in?

  • Liberal Phone Person

    how about increasing prices by 8 dollars and including VM in all plans?

    • Matt Welke

      I second that. Why force people to pay for voicemail? If you miss someone’s call they can text or email you.

  • Crumb

    Keep in mind a lot of people are still in the middle of stupid contracts, maybe not from when Wind came to be, but from Wind reached their area. Give it more time. Either way, yes, I’ve been with them about 20 months now — zero issues. Bill has been $40+tax every month. No billing errors. No BS like the big 3.

  • William Worlde

    Interesting that a telcom that has long been externally positioned as being unstable, unreliable, and other negative “uns”, and that is up for sale, is still being embraced by consumers.

    Are people unaware, simply don’t care, or just hate the Triopoly so much? Somehow I think it’s the latter-most. Good for both parties! I sincerely wish WM well. (I am not *currently* a WM sub.)

    • hardy83

      In the investment world, shareholders expect rapid growth, instant profits, and infinite growth.

      Anything less, and they get scared and want to abandon ship.

      It doesn’t matter how much money a company is making. It matters how much MORE it can/is making.

  • kkritsilas

    If Vimpelcom, Wind’s owners, made a decision to invest in Canada, Wind would be a lot further ahead than what they are right now. With a more comprehensive network, they may have been at 1 Million customers. If Wind is actually breaking even, or even making even the slightest profit at an ARPU of $27.90, that is an impressively lean company, and really does speak to what Verizon may be able to do when they get here. Yes, they could increase plan prices by $10-$15-$20, and start earning profits from day 1. With an expanded network, you could easily see $50-$60 plans with unlimited everything. I would jump ship in a heartbeat.

    Kostas

    • CADDMan71

      The problem wasn’t Vimpelcom, it was Orascom who came to Canada expecting the government to rubber stamp everything like they experienced in other advanced countries like Pakistan, North Korea, and Egypt where there has been no recorded history of corruption, ever (sarcastic, of course). All you have to do is watch the Naguib Sawiris interview on CBC to know that he was totally out of his element when building out Wind’s network in Canada. He blames the federal government for all his woes when it’s, in fact, the local municipal goverments that are the real roadblocks for cell site construction because they have the gall to want to listen to local residents who don’t like unsightly towers in their neighbourhoods. But whatever makes him feel better.

    • kkritsilas

      Orascom, then. I got the owners of Wind wrong, and I stand corrected.

      SOME of the blame may be in the “NIMBY” factor (residents/municipal governments limiting and slowing down tower deployment), but a large chunk of the blame must go to the Feds for not enforcing the tower sharing provisions in the AWS spectrum auctions. The Big 3 didn’t abide by those agreements, and it is good business not to. But the Feds SHOULD have enforced the provisions, and not allowed the Big 3 to keep the new entrants off of the towers. But they didn’t do that, so Wind, Mobilicity, Public, etc. end up having to build physical towers, contributing to the NIMBY problem that I wrote about above. In any case, the major point is that Wind is underfunded, and the Feds didn’t help in that regard.

      None of this will be an issue when Verizon enters the market. They will not only have the will to build out the network, but they have the capital to do so as well. On the government level, they will not be hesitant to keep harassing Industry Canada to enforce the existing and pending rules regarding tower sharing, and on the local level,
      They will have the finances to build as many towers that they need to ensure that they have a competitive network in place.

      By the way, for those that see this potential buy out of Wind as a big deal, it isn’t for a company the size of Verizon. It is more like money found between the seat cushions type money for them. And that includes the network roll out and the money for the spectrum auctions. Verizon has a market cap of $143B, and annual revenues of $115B. True that not all of this is from mobile, but they are a company like Rogers, who have land lines, and television delivery revenue streams. Bell, the biggest of the Canadian telecoms, is at about $32B market cap, with about $20B in annual revenues.

      Kostas

    • CADDMan71

      “but a large chunk of the blame must go to the Feds for not enforcing the tower sharing provisions in the AWS spectrum auctions. The Big 3 didn’t abide by those agreements”

      I honestly don’t know where this is coming from, except that people are buying into Naguib Sawiris’s rants. I can tell you with all honesty, having worked with ALL carriers(Bell/Telus/Rogers/Wind), that this crap about ‘not sharing towers’ is simply not true. FACT, Wind has put in requests to the big 3 carriers to share existing tower infrastructure. FACT, the big 3 have ALLOWED Wind on their towers. FACT, in many instances Wind is wanting heights that aren’t possible due to existing antennas being installed at their requested elevations. FACT, in order to get those heights the tower requires extension. FACT, municipal consultation is REQUIRED (for the most part) in order to extend towers. FACT, municipal governments cower to residents’ fears about already unattractive towers being made bigger, hence Wind doesn’t get what they need and then play the blame game saying they’re getting the raw end of the stick. That’s been my observation from here in the western markets, don’t know how it is in the eastern markets.

      “In any case, the major point is that Wind is underfunded, and the Feds didn’t help in that regard”
      How did the government prevent this? The foreign ownership rules existed long before Orascom came into market and they knew what they were getting into. Nothing was stopping them from providing additional financing for Globalive (and don’t tell me otherwise because there are no rules preventing additional financing, only laws preventing OWNERSHIP and CONTROL). Regarding Verizon being the white knight, I HOPE SO. Wind has been so poorly run by Orascom anything would be an improvement. At least Verizon has experience in the North American market.

    • kkritsilas

      Your stating these so called “FACTS” doesn’t make them true. I know, from contacts within the Big 3, that any time Wind requested tower space, the standard response was “towers are at full capacity, no room for more equipment, sorry”. Another “FACT”, the tiwer sharing rules are being revised and strengthened for the upcoming 700MHz auction. If the existing tower sharing rules were working, there wouldn’t have been any reason to change tge rules. “FACT” the Wind towers for the most part are about the same height as the Rogers/Bell/Telus towers. “FACT” in areas with full strength Rogers/Bell/Telus, tyere is NO Wind service. If towers were being shared, that should not be happenning.

      The lack of enforcement of the tower sharing rules increase the need for Wind to build their own towers. This takes more financial resources, and slows network depolyment due to needing to negotiate tower permits. the Feds did not directly do anything regarding Orascom’s financing of Wind, but indirectly did significantly impact the amount of fonancing required. Orascom, as a startup, was under impression that the towers would be shares, as per the rules in the AWS spectrum auction. After the auction was completed, the tower sharing never happened (to a large extent), completely throwing Orascom’s/Wind’s plans out the window.

      Kostas

    • CADDMan71

      “I know, from contacts within the Big 3, that any time Wind requested tower space, the standard response was towers are at full capacity, no room for more equipment, sorry'”

      So your information is hearsay, so be it. If that’s the way the Big 3 are treating Wind in the east with no option to upgrade the tower, shame on them. However my experience working DIRECTLY with each of the carriers here in the West is quite the opposite. If the towers are at capacity, which is normally the case (by the way, this includes height), then Wind is given the option of upgrading the tower to suit their needs. The exact same option is given when one of the Big 3 wants to install antennas on another Big 3 structure so don’t give me this whaa whaa story that Wind is left out. When this option is accepted by the applying carrier, municipal concurrence proceedings are begun. FYI, a structural analysis can be performed by Wind independent of the tower owner to confirm the upgradability of any given tower. If any structure owner disallows another carrier (not just Wind) of the ability to upgrade said structure in order to install antennas despite it’s upgradability, then said carrier can go to Industry Canada and file a grievance. Do you know of any? If there were and the grievance was legit, Wind wouldn’t be having this so called problem.

      “If the existing tower sharing rules were working, there wouldn’t have been any reason to change tge rules……..”FACT” the Wind towers for the most part are about the same height as the Rogers/Bell/Telus towers. “FACT” in areas with full strength Rogers/Bell/Telus, tyere is NO Wind service. If towers were being shared, that should not be happenning.”

      Bad spelling aside, you’re Facts are unfounded without additional information. If the Wind tower is located such that buildings, trees, or landscape are in the way, that would affect their signal, especially considering they’re using a higher frequency spectrum than the Big 3 are using that has a higher attenuation (this would be rectified with Wind obtaining the necessary 700Mhz spectrum). The Big 3 towers may be better situated to handle the area(s) you’re describing. You’re explanation that the tower sharing rules are changing doesn’t change the fact that if a tower can’t be upgraded, or if Wind isn’t willing to spend the $$$ to upgrade (which, BTW, has been an issue here in the West) then new rules are mute.

      “the Feds did not directly do anything regarding Orascom’s financing of Wind, but indirectly did significantly impact the amount of fonancing required”
      Calm down and work on that spelling before posting. Project Management 101, when costs increase but budgets don’t, you adjust your plan. Wind didn’t need to go to all the small markets they built into, that could have been taken care of with a proper roaming agreement (oh yeah, they went cheap with that as well and only negotiated a hard handoff agreement, not a soft one….too bad). Their ‘National Carrier’ spewing has cost them $Millions of unnecessarily spending that would have been better used in the bigger markets where their significant coverage holes cost them dearly in reputation early on which they’re still trying to recover from. I could go on, but what would be the point.

  • hardy83

    With the ARPU, that’s $17,310,582.90 a month for Wind.
    How much of that is actual profit that can be hoarded and/or redirected to expanding I don’t know, but that’s still a pretty nice chunk of money.

  • Soulrift

    Wind still operates at a huge loss though. How much exactly is anyone’s guess, since Wind is privately owned and doesn’t have to reveal that nugget. Analyst estimates put it around $10 million loss a month.

    I mean, look at fellow newcomer Vidéotron, which only broke even once they got their ARPU up to $40. And that’s with all their existing backhaul and support structure paid for from offering internet service for eons. I wonder what Wind’s break-even ARPU point would be? $50? $60? Higher than the incumbents?

    Eventually they’ll have to hike rates up to incumbent levels to pay off their debts, even with parent company Orascom writing off $450 million of loan interest. $770 million left to pay, last I checked?

    I can’t imagine Verizon buying Wind and continuing to operate it at a loss like this.

    • Dave

      BS

    • CADDMan71

      Great retort, did you learn your economics from a toilet roll? At least Soulrift put forward some numbers (albeit without links) that a reasonable person without any emotional attachment to any party would take into consideration.

  • Stephen_81

    That is a scary ARPU
    Verizon has an ARPA (average price per account ) of $150.27 The Average person per household in 2012 in the USA was down to 2.55 people so using that to calculate ARPU we get $58.93 which is more than twice what WIND is seeing.
    If Verizon were to buy Wind they’d have to nearly double the plan prices which would put them close to the Big 3.

    I hope Wind Can find a way to be profitable without a Verizon buy out.

  • LeeAnn Smith

    If they had have expanded to Atlantic canada I would have jumped on board. I think any company moving into canada needs to remember about the cities in provinces other then Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia. I’m not sure where they have coverage, but I think every capital city should get the same services! :P

    • hoo dat

      Ken Campbell, WIND’s original CEO, had Atlantic Canada earmarked for the end of 2012. Seems like Tony Lacavera had other ideas once Ken was ousted.

    • LeeAnn Smith

      See were on that list. I work in the telecommunication industry and I could kill wind activations here! But were stuck paying up the arse for services.

  • gmaninvan

    Wind is the first cellular company I haven’t hated. My rates are reasonable and I love that I know what my bill will be every month. Service quality has, for the most part, been ironed out as well so there isn’t much reason not to go with them when the big three continue to gouge.

    I have actually been blown away that the big three have launched a slander campaign recently given the fact that they don’t really deserve our support imo. They have done nothing but overcharge Canadians for the last twenty years and now we are supposed to feel bad that an American company is trying to come into the market? They also speak about job losses when they were the ones that so vigilantly opposed the new entrants a few years ago which created hundreds of jobs in infrastructure, call centers, and point of sale sectors.

    Sorry that turned into a rant lol

  • Rawrrr

    WIND customer for 2 years and quite pleased with their service + CS reps. I live in Stouffville/Durham area.. Reception isn’t good there, but we all know why. I work in Toronto, so everything is great there. At home, I use wifi.. I’m totally fine with it! Keep up the good work, WIND!

  • Avgvstvs

    It’s a marginal increase from the January 18th report of an estimated 600 000.

    • gun26

      You’re right, everyone is quoting that 35% year over year figure, but that would mean there were under 460,000 subscribers last year, and I’m almost sure that’s wrong and your figure of 600,000 is about right. So, where did they get that 35% figure from? I guess simple arithmetic and fact-checking are skills beyond today’s media, whether online or print.

  • kroms

    I’m a New Wind Customer , not even half a year now. I am LOVING IT!

    GO Wind. And if they come ………….. Hello Verizon, welcome to Canada.

    More people need to FREE themselves from slavery that is there contracts and get a plan with Wind month to month.

    V for Vendetta ? ,……………………… No V for Verizon ! :)

    • Who Needs Facts

      You did read about Wind switching to contracts right. Oh no, you didn’t because you are uninformed.

  • kroms

    DOWN with ROBELUS !

    The People have SPOKEN……. Resistance is Futile !

  • jmasterfunk

    Well, I think that officially makes them Canada’s fourth largest carrier! Just passing SaskTel…

  • camg70

    i am with wind since dec 30 2009. is a true love story. with some issues as any relationship, but still togheter and happy…