Update: WIND and Eastlink to participate in the upcoming 700 Mhz spectrum auction

Ian Hardy

September 16, 2013 6:00pm

We’re coming down to crunch time for those interested parties to declare their intentions for the upcoming 700 Mhz spectrum auction in January. The deadline for those to submit deposits is tomorrow (September 17th at noon) and it’s expected that the Big 3 will participate, but today WIND Mobile has confirmed they’ll make their presence known.

In an email to us they stated that “WIND Mobile would like to announce its intention to enter the 700 Mhz auction. We have long maintained that there is a dire need for additional wireless spectrum in Canada to ensure the long-term success of any independent wireless provider. WIND Mobile has grown into Canada’s fourth national carrier, with over 650,000 subscribers, and we have no intention of stopping now. We would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our long-term commitment to Canada and we look forward to bringing true mobile freedom to more Canadians.”

Looks like WIND is here to stay and determined to be Canada’s 4th national wireless carrier. In addition, the ‘over 650,000 subscribers’ is new. Last month they announced their Q2 numbers reached 620,451 – which is an increase of 30,000.

Public Mobile announced their participation in the 700 Mhz spectrum auction back in June, but there’s no word yet on Mobilicity.


Update: East coast regional wireless carrier Eastlink has also confirmed its participating in the upcoming wireless auction in January. In an interview with Cartt, Lee Bragg, EastLink’s CEO, confirmed they’ll make their mark and bid for spectrum, stating “I would definitely like some 700 MHz spectrum… That’s likely all I’m allowed to say.”


  • Rich

    Duh?

  • jackjiarocks

    Really hope they are here to stay. Been with them over a year and never mess up my bill. Not even once.

  • Sweet

    Good !

  • Sukdis Knaatz

    Thank you, Wind, for coming to Canada, and shaking things up a little.

  • HelloCDN

    Well, it’s about time they improved on their network… Although it makes me wonder if they’d be able to keep their current pricing. They should really bump it up by at least $5-$10. It makes a difference, and I don’t think people will object that much.

    • jackjiarocks

      I would love to put down $10 for an expanding network in a heartbeat. But i perfer them to bumb up the data speed to 5mbps first :)

    • deltatux

      They target the price sensitive market, if they did that across the board, that may sway those people to others like Public Mobile.

      It’s good that both Public Mobile and WIND Mobile are participating in the next auction but seeing how WIND Mobile didn’t raise their pricing when implementing the 2-year tab, I don’t see them raising the price to risk losing price sensitive customers to Public Mobile.

    • matthewcouto

      They can charge YOU an extra $10 a month if you’d like but I’m sure they’re doing just fine by charging me $30 a month for my plan.

    • HelloCDN

      Financial reports say otherwise, but whatever you feel like, mate ;)

    • chris

      No they don’t…

    • alphs22

      Wind is bleeding money…

    • chris

      No they’re not…

    • Deciare

      Raise the price by $5-$10 for a new, faster, LTE-powered plan? Sure.

      Raise the price of EVERY plan in exchange for performance I don’t need? Unacceptable. I very strongly prefer to pay $10 less for slower service than to be made to pay more for an “upgrade” I didn’t ask for.

    • alphs22

      Their prices will be going up if they plan to stay in Canada long term.

      ARPU of $28 is not enough for them to make any money. They’ll need to push that number to at least around $35.

    • Alex McIlwaine

      I get between 8-12Mbit/s. Not exactly much to complain about.

    • someguy

      they didn’t since the 24 month opt out option came into effect and the big 3 and incumbents increased plans so i don’t see why they would now at least not for another year or so WIND will increase its pricing once the network is reliable as everyone else thats for sure but for now its doing good things and they dont plan on changing the structure anytime soon and im speaking from a employee and a subscriber as well i have both my personal and business line with wind and i have yet to have any issues whats so ever so well see

    • Doug Martin

      What discount do you get?

    • abc123

      Why don’t you just give them an extra $10 a month? I’m sure they won’t object either.

  • listerines

    Great wind now put some extra dough into getting rid of dead zones in your metro areas.

    • Alex McIlwaine

      dead zones? I get signal even in the elevator in the basement of the building i live in. you need a better phone ;)

    • RoboBonobo

      You do realize the Wind Zones cover more than just your building, right?

    • Alex McIlwaine

      Precisely my point. I’ve not experienced dead zones in coverage areas at all.

    • RoboBonobo

      Well you haven’t been everywhere. People don’t complain without reason.

    • Zack

      People don’t complain without reason, but a lot complain without knoweldge.

  • Dexter

    As soon as Wind expands to my area I will join them. Until then it’s MTS.

    • Doug Martin

      Unless you are in downtown Winnipeg, don’t count on it. How many in Manitoba live outside of Winnipeg? Not enough for three, never mind four carriers.

  • NotARogersEmployee

    I hope they partner with Mobilicity and/or Public Mobile and jointly expand their networks instead of building separately again.

    • RoboBonobo

      Mobilicity is dead. Selling their subscribers to Wind. Auctioning off their spectrum and network after the 700MHz auction.

    • ToniCipriani

      I think that’s what’s happening. I believe there’s a legal restriction that Mobilicity can’t sell their network yet, that’s probably why the subscribers were first to go, THEN the network.

  • Lukeiphone

    Great news! Was kind of getting worried since we didn’t hear from WIND about this for a long time. But yea, excellent news!

  • TheOnlyAdvantageToLiveInQuebec

    WIND we want you in Quebec please please please please please please

    • Sweet

      I’m pretty sure Videotron will out-bid them.

    • BB BB

      Especially since they are in bed with Rogers to share their network in exchange for spectrum in the near future.

    • artstate

      The amount of money Videotron spent for Quebec in the last auction is crazy. They shut out additional competition completely on the 1700Mhz frequency

    • Doug Martin

      Sounds like the auction rules for new entrants should be looked at again. Not doing anybody any good.

  • hardy83

    With Mobilicity and Public unlikely to bid, it seems like Wind will easily get many provinces spectrum they want.
    Obviously some provinces like Quebec and Manitoba might be harder due to their own incumbents.

    With the obviously amount going to the big three.

    Let’s see if any of them actually build out to rural areas like they are suppose to. I imagine the big 3 will come up with some excuse and the Conservative government will be okay with it, as long as they can no warrant spy on us citizens easily.

    • deltatux

      Public Mobile did announce to bid way before WIND confirming it today. Seems like everyone forgot that Public was purchased by two investment firms back in June and announced their intention to use the new capital to bid for the 700 MHz spectrum auction.

    • hardy83

      I was unaware of that. Thank you! lol

    • someguy

      even so they are still using an irrelevant bandwith(CDMA) how many companies make CDMA phones anymore and who in their right mind will buy one anymore i feel if they stick to using that they wont get any better than they already are

    • deltatux

      While CDMA is no longer preferred, those who are on Public Mobile are likely part of the price sensitive category, as such they wouldn’t care if their device is CDMA or GSM unless they’re the ones who want to be able to use their phones worldwide without incurring roaming charges.

      Many Public Mobile customers are the ones who mainly reside in the GTA or in Montreal and not likely to travel much or if at all with their mobile devices. So I don’t think the fact that it’s using CDMA is going to be much of a concern for their target market. Those requiring GSM have tons of other alternatives such as WIND Mobile who offers similar prices with AWS-capable GSM phones.

  • Renee Little

    Thank God for people having a choice in providers instead of the monopoly (supposedly illegal in Canada HA!!) which was held for so long!!!

    • deltatux

      we don’t have a monopoly, there’s no 1 dominant player. Our market is split between 3 major players which makes it an oligopoly.

  • James

    good for wind congrats!

  • BB BB

    Go Wind. Can’t wait to go fulltime with my Holiday Miracle line and port my number from Robbers

  • asianz

    No billing issues with Wind too.. I hope it stays as long as possible.

  • Brigitte Laskowski

    +Wind Mobile rocks!

  • Smartphone_Expert

    + 1000000 WIND MOBILE ROCKS. Just joined Beginning of September. I couldn’t be happier leaving Koodo Mobile that had slower data than Wind Mobile. With Koodo I kept getting No connection issues for several months, was growing frustrated specially since paying twice as much as Wind $60 per month with Koodo for a rip of for only 1Gb of Data and half the time I always got No connection issues, Or data lagging issues.
    I switched to Wind Mobile, the signal strength In my house is actually stronger than what I got from Koodo as well. Can’t go wring paying Wind Mobile $30 bucks a month for Everything Unlimited. I haven’t had a single problem with Wind Mobile. They have great service. great coverage. great customer service. The employees at the store and kiosks are very knowledgeable and give great customer service.

    As long as Wind Mobile is in Business, I will never go back to any Big 3 carrier ever again. I’m tired of being ripped off for high prices. If Wind can charge $30 bucks for everything unlimited, I’m sure the Big 3 can afford to compete and give the same. The big 3 can afford to decrease their profits from 100’s of Billions of Dollars to perhaps 10’s of Millions instead and still be hugely profitable, and stop squeezing cash and ripping consumers off. I’m tired of Corporations ripping off consumers that can barely stay afloat each month paying mortgages, High Rent costs, High food costs, high bills costs, And the Corporations racking in Trillions or Billions of dollars while the little people are always staying in low or middle class incomes. Its about time Corporations start decreasing their Trillion dollar profits and give cheaper prices and stop ripping consumers off. Perhaps the Big 3 can lower their prices like Wind Mobile, and stop paying their stupid CEO’s $50 million dollar salaries, perhaps lower the prices, and pay the CEO’s a Normal $100,000 salary instead, and then you can have happier Customers.

    • Hidden

      Right so with that logic you’d be ok taking an 80% pay cut if you’re bills were dropped in half right? Didn’t think so! Cell phone service is costly both to the carriers and clients, can’t expect perfect coverage across Canada for $30 a month, this is why wind isn’t able to expand into rural Canada, too much land too little clients to warrant the fees. But you know good for you your now getting perfect (Insert sarcasm) coverage in the city you live!

    • Smartphone_Expert

      Its not a matter of a 80% pay cut. The point is the CEO’s should be paid 350 times more than average workers to begin with in the first place. They should only be paid a normal salary to begin with, around $100,000 per year. Then the companies can afford to give competitive rates to their customers at a lower price. They’d be able to give $49.9 million dollar discount to all customers each year. Instead of paying the CEO $50 million dollar salary. Its ridiculous to pay CEO’s 350 times more than a average worker, its nonsense.
      And dam straight all big 3 companies can dam well afford to have $30 all unlimited plans. They have trillions of dollars just sitting in bank accounts collecting interest and not doing anything with it. Instead of a big 3 company collecting 100’s of billions of profits ripping off customers. perhaps lower the prices and make customers happy, and have a normal profit in the 10’s of million dollar range. Lets see corporations giving back for a change.
      All the profits of these Huge Corporations that money just sitting in bank accounts, could feed the world and give housing to everyone in the world a billion times over and make the world a better place. But no, the Corporations choose to rip off the little people to get richer.
      And yes they can lower the prices. Could take a decrease amount of profit. And have profits for a normal company. No sense in having trillions of dollars just sitting in Bank accounts doing nothing with it. And its idiotic paying a CEO 350 times more than an average workers, corporations need to learn to cut back on idiotic salaries, and pay them a normal $100,000 salary to begin with. Its not a pay cut, just start paying normal salaries for crying out loud. Why should I pay $100 per month for a stupid cellphone plan for average features that were the same a few years ago that cost half that much for the same service, while the companies waste 20% of their profits of my hard earned money to pay a CEO $50 million per year, while I’m only making an average income. I’d rather pay $30 per month for the same kind of service as Rogers, Bell and Telus but get Unlimited everything. The phone works the same. I can send text messages, make calls, use data services. Stream Netflix etc just the same with Wind Mobile. And still save $70 bucks than the other companies that give the same kind of service. Its like going to Tim Hortons at one location paying $2. and then across the street at the other tim hortons location charging $10 for the same coffee. Tastes the same, same cup of coffee. but why pay $8 more, doesn’t make any sense to me.
      And dam straight if Wind can charge $30 for unlimited everything and be hugely profitable and yes their hugely profitable, just proves they are cause their bidding Billions for the new 700Mhz Auction. Would you see a company making a billion dollar bid if they weren’t profitable.
      If Wind can charged 70% less than the BIG 3 and still be hugely profitable, just proves that BIG 3 are ripping consumers off big time. You can tell how much a company is ripping off their customers when their paying a CEO 350 times more than an average worker. And just sitting on Trillions of bucks in the bank. While the Prime Minister of Canada only makes an average income of $220,000 per year, whose the most important person in Canada, and an average NHL player only makes $600,000 per year.

    • Smartphone_Expert

      They have 650,000 customers, which could mean Wind Mobile is making $26 Million per month times 12 months equals nearly $312 Million per year and growing each month, plus profits on devices as well on top of that. So ya thats a lot of cash for a startup that just launched little over 3 years ago. Not to shabby. Which they probably made $1 billion cash since they launched. They already paid for their infrastructure, and now its just about expanding and growing even larger. The more they expand, the more customers will sign up.
      And how much is 650,000 customers that left Big 3 hurting the big 3, means they’ve lost nearly a billion dollars to Wind Mobile since they launched. And that doesn’t factor in Mobilicity, Public Mobile, And Videotron.
      Big 3 know the small players are hurting their bottom line, and now more new players may come into the market and Big 3 are nearly taking a crap in their pants, why they’ve began crying out loud and coming out with false advertisements to confuse the consumers with misinformation. Big 3 know their gonna get into major problems with more competition coming soon. They already feel it from Wind, Mobilicity , Public Mobile and Videotron. From all 4 new players, Big 3 probably already lost a few Billion since all 4 new players came.

    • alphs22

      You realize Wind has yet to turn a profit right?

    • abc123

      Reasons Wind is not turning a profit:

      1. Debt from spectrum auction
      2. Debt from tower buildouts

      Let’s assume the best case scenario here and Wind charges $100/month and we all paid it. Guess what? They’d still be in debt for years to come.

      At least with the 700Mhz spectrum, they will solve peoples biggest fears… dead spots and poor coverage indoors. They solve that, keep the current pricing structure, and the subscriber numbers will skyrocket. Even if they limit LTE downloads to 10Mbps and uploads to 2Mbps, they’d still make a killing.

    • alphs22

      Those are valid points, but you forgot:

      3. Their prices are too cheap.

      I made this point on another thread, but it applies here too. Rogers Wireless’ operating expenses in Q2 2013 was $992M. So that’s almost they spent $1B to provide their service, including things like wages/salaries, stores, upgrades, etc. Feel free to look at their quarterly report for Q2.

      They have 7.98 million postpaid customers and 1.44 million prepaid customers. That totals approx 9.4 million. These include Fido and Chatr customers

      So that’s about $106 per user in Q2 that they spent to provide that service. That works out to be approx $35 per user per month.

      When you consider that Rogers has been in the wireless business for a long time – is spending $35/user/mo to provide their service, what chance does Wind have at surviving when:
      1) they’re only generating $28/user/mo; and,
      2) they’re in continuous need of expanding their coverage to gain customers?

      I’m under the impression that Wind is just stockpiling as many assets and customers as possible to attract a buyer. Once the 5-year period ends next year, they’ll probably be bought out by one of the big 3.

    • Who Needs Facts

      “I’m under the impression that Wind is just stockpiling as many assets and customers as possible to attract a buyer. Once the 5-year period ends next year, they’ll probably be bought out by one of the big 3″

      Yup – but likely Industry Canada will screw Wind over and not allow the incumbents to buy and Verizon or ATT will pick it up for nothing.

    • abc123

      Their prices are fair.

      I can guarantee you without a doubt that Wind’s operating expenses are not $922M. How many towers does Wind operate compared to Rogers? How many corp stores does Wind have compared to Rogers? How many employees does Wind have compare to Rogers? How much lobbying does Rogers do compared to Wind?

      As you’ve probably noticed recently with the Verizon fiasco, Rogers spends a hell of a lot more money brainwashing us in the media than Wind does…

      If Wind can’t enough customers with their $40 unlimited plan, what do you think will happen if they raised their prices by $10/month? At $50/month, most people would just pay $60 and get better coverage, better reception, and faster speeds to boot.

      If you feel that their prices are too cheap, feel free to give them whatever extra you have left. I’m sure they won’t complain. As for me, I’m happy at the $40 level.

    • Delphus

      May be a SP expert but certainly not a Business Expert… Already paid their infrastructure… do you even have any idea how much it costs and that most equipment is paid over 20 years or more… and let’s not get into salaries and benefits…

    • Questions

      Do you even know that Wind offers something called a tab?
      Do customers buy the phones up front and Wind makes profit instantly? Do you know how much they paid for their current spectrums? Do you know how much their monthly operating cost is? Do you know how many subs big 3 have?
      Before you write things above, please ask these questions first so you know where WIND exactly stands.

    • Smartphone_Expert

      And another thing that proves the big 3 were ripping off customers with roaming fees all this time. Cause now big 3 are cutting roaming fees by 50%. They could of done this year’s and years ago. How much money did they rack in all these years ripping people off with ridiculous roaming fees and goes to show all these years they could of gave us Canada wide calling no problem but they choose to rip us all off with long distance fees to use their same network.

    • Doug Martin

      Good comment. I doubt if most Wind customers travel far from their burrows. My niece went on vacation with her new “I told Rogers to get stuffed” cell and was surprised that the service quit 5 miles off the 401. You get what you pay for, something these guys just don’t seem to get. It takes lots and lots of money to build a network. Sometimes the big guys don’t want to build out if the government in turn just gives it to their competitors. Government intervention is the real problem we have in Canada with wireless.

    • Hidden

      Thank you someone with a brain actually comes around once in a while, aahh so refreshing, these morons who seem to think owning a billion dollar networks (not including fees related to running the business), cost nothing. Not saying big 3 don’t make money of course they do its a busi after all, what’s the point in going inti busu just to break even or make a slightly higher than average pay? Mightas well throw away your expensive degrees out and go work in a call center!I find it funny that ppl who claim to be experts in the smartphone world (wink wink) rant about how a company should stop taking his money lol. Here’s a news flash if you can’t afford to have Canada wide coverage because you’re too poor maybe you’re smartphone expertise isn’t being put to good work! Again thanks for using your head before posting a 3000 word rant about nothing ;-)

    • Smartphone_Expert

      Must suc K working at a big 3 company like you do and making little commission money these days. Must be frustrating that wind mobile is taking all your customers from you. Making negative comments regarding your biggest competitor’s wind mobile isn’t going to help you afford to get out of your mommy’s basement. Perhaps stop complaining bout Wind mobile and go work for them and start making huge commissions. Cause winds kiosks and stores are crazy busy everyday with new sign ups. While big 3 stores are empty daily.

    • Hidden

      I’m 28 have my own place with a 4yr old son, make 60k + a year (not including bonuses) working for telus. I have phones with telus and rogers (yes I have rogers phones. They give better bundle prices for my parents) non of which are putting me in a financial strain, but thanks for showing how little you know and how idiotic you get when reality hits you in the face. Btw competitors who only offer services in 5 cities across Canada isn’t anything for the big 3 to worry about. They lose more than 30% of their new crazy busy (lol) clients within 90 days of activation, but then again you’re the smartphone expert here right? What do I know it’s not like I work in thebbusiness or anything!

    • Smartphone_Expert

      You answered my point exactly lol lol. You work for Telus thank you for clearing that up for me. How hilarious. Exactly my point you work for Telus hence why the negativ comments bout Wind. Your jealous that your losing your customers over to wind. Must suc K getting less commissions these days does it. Every time I walk in a Telus store there’s never any customers in them. But while Wind stores and kiosks are overly busy everyday with new customers signing up. But thank you for making my above comment valid and on point to why your so jealous

    • Hidden

      I’m gonna answer you one last time, 1: I don’t work on commission hence the min guarantee of 60k + bonus. 2: I could care less about wind, we lose 1% of our clients. And gain an average of 50,000 clients a quarter. This has been going that way for at least 6 years (2011 7.3m 2012 7.5m 2013 7.7nit end of second quarter). 3: we have a mobility customer satisfaction rating of 81% clearly our clients love us. 4: you sound like the kid trying out for the hockey team knowing he sucks and can only rely on kissing a*s to get a chance. The amount of butt love you have for a company of only truly offers service in Toronto is pathetic. Telus is a great company maybe you should apply we’re growing and are hiring. this might solve your money problems and maybe then you can see how little you know about the cellphone or business world. Rants with little facts is the equivalent of a chuwawa barking at a big dog because they eat more than he does. Useless and sad. Btw those stats I posted are publicly published on our Q2 results do some homework before replying you might actually save yourself some embarrassment.

    • Smartphone_Expert

      Don’t be such a cry baby there bud. I know your so jealous of your biggest competitor wind mobile. And FYI they operate in several more cities than just Toronto. Do some research before commenting. How long did it take telus to grow their network across Canada. Over 20 some years. It takes time to build out a nation wide network . In the next 10 years or so wind mobile will have grown out their network just as big as telus. And Wind Mobile has over 50,000 customers per quarter as well and growing even more each month. And no telus doesn’t have the happiest customers. Must big 3 customers are tired of being ripped off by big 3 with high prices. People are just stuck in 3 year contracts still. But once their contracts are done they switch to Wind Mobile for better value for their money. 81% satisfaction for telus. Your delutional their bud. Perhaps 81% fell that their being ripped off is more accurate. Every time I’m in the mall and walk by a telus store no one in them store is dead quiet. While I walk by a wind mobile kiosk or store busy like crazy with new customers signing up daily. Clearly your just upset that all your customers are leaving Telus and not much new customers signing up. And BTW $60,000 per year isn’t that much. What is that minimum wage these days. I own my own business in mobile tech. Unlocking. Repairs. Buy and sell phones. And I got to say wind or unlocked phones that work on wind fly off the shelves a lot faster than big 3 locked or only work on big 3. Every time I have a customer looking for a phone. They always ask does this work on wind or Mobilicity. 98% of customers look for wind or Mobilicity capable phone’s. Only 2% look for big 3 capable phone’s. Clearly I can see first hand how many are tired of big 3 with their ridicilulous high prices. I make on average $150,000 per year. Yes I can afford a big 3 plan no problem. But I choose not to be ripped off for no reason. Reason why I’m wealthy is because I’m wise with my money. And I also use tekksavy for home and office internet for fast unlimited data rather than be ripped off from either bell or Rogers home internet. And I use Netflix rather than buying each movie seperately. Customers are getting wiser with their money for better value

  • PT

    Yeah! You go WIND!

  • Anaron

    This is great news. For a short while, I was worried about WIND’s participation in the 700 MHz spectrum auction. I read awhile back that WIND threatened to boycott the auction if the bigger carriers were able to bid on the same spectrum as them.

  • Delphus

    with Wind teetering financially, wonder where they’ll get the $$ for this…

    • Who Needs Facts

      Good question.

      Industry Canada maintains they want a fourth competitor in every region while Lacavera’s position as reported in Mobilesyrup last month is “that on their own, the new entrants, even with consolidation, do not have the capital to obtain the 700Mhz spectrum necessary to build a national LTE network.”

      So either he is full of crap saying he is going national or someone has stepped up with a boat load of money.

      Given the track record regarding the ownership issues of Wind, I would say full of crap and they will remain regional (Urban) going after the easy money in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Thinking about this, I’m guessing as Telenor is already part of the Vimplecom empire, they are the backer.

  • fidorulz

    Here what I suspect will occur.

    Wind mobile has found a buyer for its network and operations

    This company will help Wind bid and stay in operation for now in order to avoid lots of big press as well as what maybe a higher price tag(if other big players knew they would contest more and may drive prices up)

    Once the auction is set and done the company will be revealed and will get Wind as well as this 700 spectrum at what may have been a lot lower cost and with less red tape from the big players then if they announced prior to the auction

  • Sweet

    I wonder if the government is going to announce the names of all those who will be participating in the auction.

  • LuaDebuggerRBX

    Hope Wind is successful. I hope the big 3 to fail.