WIND Mobile reportedly makes a $190 million bid for Mobilicity

Ian Hardy

December 18, 2013 2:44 pm

Mobilicity is currently auctioning off their spectrum and subscriber base to the highest bidder. The deadline was last Monday at noon, but to-date there’s no word on the complete list of qualified bidders.

Previous reports indicated WIND Mobile was “currently reviewing the assets” and “investigating what will be most beneficial to us long-term.” This partnership would make sense and has been something that WIND Mobile has attempted in the past. According to a report on Bloomberg, a “person with knowledge of the matter” says that WIND Mobile has submitted a bid for Mobilicity’s assets that is approximately $190 million – which is half of TELUS’ $380 million rejected bid last June.

Mobilicity declined to comment on the news, but Mobilicity spokesman Nick Anstett stated that the review of all offers is ongoing and a decision could happen in the next “several weeks.” Mobilicity is expecting to end 2013 with 175,000 subscribers, and WIND Mobile has about 640,000 active subscribers.

Source: Bloomberg

  • ArberBeq

    Hopefully they don’t get any bids higher then wind

    • hardy83

      Unless private investment groups bid on Mobi, there’s not many other groups that will bother bidding.
      Since the big 3 will just be shot down by Industry Canada or the Cons, I doubt they will bother bidding.

      Well….For the spectrum anyways. The subscribers are more up in the air I believe since I doubt IC would disallow the big three from getting those subs.

  • alphs22

    If I recall correctly, the gov’t shut down the TELUS bid because of the 5-year no-transfer-to-incumbent clause for the spectrum that Mobilicity owned. Haven’t they owned their spectrum for 5 years now (2008-2013)?

    • hoo dat

      The spectrum transfer agreement comes to an end in Feb 2014 but according to the government there are still provisions in the agreement that can be used to prevent the incumbents from buying the AWS spectrum.

    • alphs22

      Do you have any specifics of the provisions? I’m genuinely interested.

    • Deddyman

      I don’t know of any specific provisions, but the government has to approve spectrum transfers of any kind. Industry Canada said this summer than even after the 5 years are over, they will not approve spectrum transfers to the Big 3 that would allow one carrier to own an “undue concentration” of spectrum.

    • hoo dat

      I’ll post a link to the spectrum transfer agreement when I can. Bear in mind that links can take forever to post here if they post at all. Will be home Friday will dig it up then.

  • Robert Chartier

    some will stay and others will go to chattr but I hop wind will keep the majority

  • hoo dat

    You can’t blame them for trying, after all, who else is there that would be a serious bidder?

  • Peter Johanson

    WIND will still struggle. Their goal in 2011 was to get a million customers. They were at 500 000 at the time when they said that. They have only reached 650 000 two years later. Customer service is beyond awful and their cell reception is below average. WIND should auction themselves off so that Bell or Rogers can take them over.

    • cartfan88

      Why because Bell and Rogers customer service is so much better? Hopefully you were joking with that comment or it could easily be one of the worst comments ever.

    • cartfan88

      Don’t worry, Peter, now I see you are an pro-Apple and big telco troll. No helping you.

    • Guest

      This comment does not sound wise.

    • Peter Johanson

      Someone is jealous they’re not a part of the Apple exclusive club ;)

    • ToniCipriani

      What’s there to be jealous about… that you don’t have a brain?

    • HeyYoWL

      If you’re using 1GB of data, you’re not a heavy data user. I don’t need unlimited data, but it’s nice not to have to worry about it. But I also don’t need a $60 phone bill with terrible customer service and giving me more than I need. I only ever use 2.5GB-3GB of data personally myself a month and my choices for data were paying $25 for 500MB, or $30 for 6GB. I would’ve rather paid $15 for 3GB but since that wasn’t an option I paid $60 a month for my phone bill with Rogers.

      I’ve had no problems with Wind anywhere in the GTA I go so I’m perfectly happy to pay $30 a month now for an arguably slower network (though I don’t feel any difference in speeds anyways). If you make good money, don’t have a need for heavy data (alongside your colleagues), and don’t mind paying extra money for the better signal strength, hats off to you. I’m middle class so I do like to see where I can trim the excess bills and if I can cut my phone bill in half I am more than happy to do so.

      However I’m not quite understanding how you can be okay with the bills month to month with Bell, unless you have some super crazy discounted plan. The fact is we pay way too high a phone bill in Canada from the Big 3.

    • Peter Johanson

      WIND is bleeding money. Sure you pay less for a plan: but it will only work in the bubble maps they provide. Bell, Rogers and Telus you pay more but you have solid reception. Fido, Kodoo and Virgin you pay even less and get more! Who honestly needs unlimited data. And it’s not even unlimited:: you’re throttled at 5gb.

    • Peter Johanson

      Hence, tons of subscribers switch to any of the other 6 carriers as a result…..

    • WalkinOnBottles

      You’re spreading a lot of bull without any valid information to back it up.

      Much like the Big 3, Wind’s service works where their coverage map specifies. If you’re outside the coverage or just bordering the coverage then of course you’re going to have shoddy service. Same thing happens with the big 3, Bell works much better than Rogers in some areas, meanwhile Rogers works much better than Telus in others. So you’re not really paying more for better service, you just have to shop around and see which service works best in the areas you are frequently at. If that means paying a premium to be with Rogers or the like, then so be it.

      “Who honestly needs unlimited data” I’m sorry are you a shill or just outright stupid? I never knew someone would try and spin unlimited data in a negative way. Absolutely astounding. Besides even when it’s throttled you still get WAY more data than any other provider for way cheaper.

      Please just stop commenting and get back to work receiving calls for Bell Retention.

    • cartfan88

      Exactly it’s the same person who would say “I don’t need a theatre screen for my phone” because their one and only tech supplier doesn’t make one bigger than 4″

    • Peter Johanson

      I have my 65 inch Sony 4K tv for a theatre screen :)

    • cartfan88

      Your mom let you put a 65″ TV in her basement by your room?Cool bro!

    • Guest

      HAHA thats hilarious. You know whats even funnier is that I bought a house and put my 65 inch tv in MY theatre room….where is YOUR house “Cartman”?

    • Peter Johanson

      I think you’re just jealous because I am in an exclusive club where not only do I have an iPhone, but I am also rocking an amazing plan with Bell. Best of both worlds. Never had signal strength issues all over Canada, never had an issue with any of my iPhones and never had issues with my phone bill.

    • kroms

      ” I think you’re just jealous because I am in an exclusive club where not only do I have an iPhone, ”
      LOL I feel sorry for you .

    • Peter Johanson

      Why…..?

    • kroms

      Well there you go , the kid has money and so like every other adult that has more money then Brains , they do know CARE about Price. It says allot about a person .

    • kroms

      Well there you go , the kid has money and so like every other adult that has more money then Brains , they do know CARE about Price. It says allot about a person .

    • Peter Johanson

      I am paying 50/month for canada wide calling and 1gb data, voicemail, caller ID, call waiting/forwarding and international/US text messaging. $10 more than Wind’s holiday miracle plan AND I have NATIONWIDE coverage instead of being stuck in a bubble map. Whammy…

    • blzd

      While you may have a grandfathered plan that’s making you feel high and mighty about being with Bell the price for such a plan is $75+ tax and nearly 3x the cost of a Wind unlimited plan.

      One hour. That’s how long it would take to go over 1GB of data.

    • Peter Johanson

      I use my data more than an hour and I’m still fine. I am not sure what you do, but for what I do it is adequate

    • stephane

      Must have been watching 240p porn.

    • Sweet

      You wasted your money. Nobody distributes 4K material these days, so you’re simply upscaling your HD material. Waste of money.

    • Peter Johanson

      My Xbox One distributes 4K Material along with several of my blu ray discs :o

    • WiZZLa

      Are you enjoying watching “Fireplace 4K – The Ultimate Fireplace Experience Blu-ray” because that is one of the five 4K movies currently out?
      XBox One has no games in 4K either. Sweet was correct in saying you wasted your money.

    • ScooterinAB

      The fact of the matter is that Wind’s service is much more restricted that any other carrier (save Mobilicity), and that Wind is flat out lying when they advertise unlimited data.

      Like them or not, the Big 3 offer the largest, best, and most stable services in Canada. If all you need is a cell phone for running errands in your neighborhood, Wind is a wonderful choice. But if you actually want to use your phone, you’re always going to end up at the Big 3 because they are the ones who are offering the best services.

    • Peter Johanson

      But it is not unlimited data: you’re throttled at 5 gigs…..so its not really unlimited data is it….? What is the point of saying you have unlimited data when you have awfully slow speeds after your 5 gig allowance?

    • blzd

      It’s unlimited because you could still download 10+ gigs if you still wanted. You think 1GB is more then anyone needs and yet suddenly 5GB is a limitation?

      Straw man argument much, please never comment again.

    • Omis

      These clowns come into every Wind thread spouting off nonsense. Never used Wind but they’ll go to lengths to tell you how bad it is.

    • kroms

      He is truly a clown. Maybe he works for Rogers or one of the Big 3. To suggest WIND should die off and ROGERS,BELL and TELUS are the only Carriers we need tells me everything I need to know about this looser.

    • Peter Johanson

      Unlimited data in a tiny coverage area vs 1GB anywhere across Canada…… Just sayin

    • Omis

      I bet you are one of those people that travel all over canada every week. Right?

      You remind me of those old Sega Genesis commericals. Sure SNES has better sound, graphics, and games but we have Blast Processing.

      I think I spend 3 or 4 days a year outside a wind zone. I can manage without data for those days. The rest of year I enjoy unlimited data and paying half the price you do.

    • Peter Johanson

      I do travel outside the coverage area every week….. And I do love those old Sega Genesis Commercials…. Your move.

    • Omis

      My move? Oh is this a game? I am getting unlimited everything and paying less than half than I would with the big 3. Theres no need to make a move. If the only thing you’ve got is 1gb canada wide data. That would be checkmate. Might as well countered with you get free calls to Bangladesh.

    • kroms

      I have 10 GBs .
      How much time do you think it would take to use 1 GB on LTE ?
      Do you even know what your talking about ? Do you even USE your Data ?

    • blzd

      Don’t forget at nearly 3x the cost. Luckily I don’t make road trips across Canada that often.

    • stephane

      While 99.9% of the people who complain about the small coverage area NEVER LEAVE THE COVERAGE AREA. Also that 1 GB of data is gone after you download a medium quality game. Then you may want to sync you music over the cloud by then you out of data and now being over charged. Do you see how easy it is to go over 1 GB of data.

    • Sweet

      The term “unlimited data” refers to the amount of data you can transfer over their network, which is indeed unlimited. Are you really that obtuse or are you just trolling ?

    • Ammar

      who needs unlimited data?? really?! what do you need then? high blood pressure trying to watch your usage?

    • Peter Johanson

      I have 1GB on my plan and I find it more than sufficient. I never go past my allowance and I am a heavy data user. I have an iPhone that is extremely reliable and a carrier that is also reliable. Several of my friends and colleagues also feel the same way.

    • blzd

      Just read what you typed here and just try to pretend you’re not being a douche.

      “ohh me and my iphone friends don’t use 1GB so why would anyone ever need more then me and my iphone friends do!?” Seriously? Way to live up to the iphone stereotype.

      Sure it’s not exactly hard to stick to 1GB when you know that’s your limitation, but you can just as easily go over 1GB in A SINGLE HOUR. What about the other 30.9 days? Some people have phones that let them do whatever they like.

    • kroms

      You most likely sit in Coffee shops and try to use the Free Wifi when you either low on or finished your Data plan. Also , while you might not need more then 1 GIG , how do you even justify the PRICES Canadians pay ? why don’t you start there.
      Then again , anyone that Spends the sort of MONEY on the Continues IPHONE upgrades of the Same model and justify s it is someone that can not be reasoned with.
      Your Comment says it all …

      ” I have 1GB on my plan and I find it more than sufficient. I never go
      past my allowance and I am a heavy data user. I have an iPhone that is
      extremely reliable and a carrier that is also reliable. Several of my
      friends and colleagues also feel the same way ?.

    • Peter Johanson

      Simple: Canada has lots of land, thus use the money customers pay to build more and more infrastructure. The US does the exact same thing and their rates are very similar to the ones in Canada.

      And do I use free wifi at coffee shops or any other hotspots? Absolutely I do, I never said I didn’t. But I would rather do that than pay $5/MB when roaming outside the WIND network and have a huge surprise on my phone bill.
      Customer: “I thought I had unlimited data?”
      WIND: “You do, only in the areas that we cover….”

    • thedesmodes

      Please get your facts right it is $1/MB not $5/MB on roaming with Wind.

    • Sweet

      How do you know Wind is bleeding money ? The only numbers that I’ve seen Wind’s owners report are the number of subscribers and the ARPU.

    • Peter Johanson

      How do you know they are making money? When was the last time the coverage has expanded? That shows they are running out in terms of budget.

    • Imbruiselee

      They have been expanding in the Ontario area. Recently they expanded to include Whistler and Downtown Victoria in British Columbia.

    • Peter Johanson

      But they have not expanded beyond that……for four years……. embarassing

    • Imbruiselee

      Well, I was a Bell and Fido customer, when I moved downtown, I would go from 1 bar to zero in my own condo. All companies have dead spots that they have not bothered to rectify. Being a city dweller, Wind has worked very well for me. Sure there are the odd times I don’t have coverage; the roaming rates are not out of the roof expensive. I have lived in the States and Korea and there are no roaming charges to use your phone in the same country. I switched to Wind not only because of the lack of reception with Bell and Fido in my building, but because Wind is more in line with what the rest of the World offers. I chose to support Wind to support change. My business has not suffered due to my cellphone provider being Wind and, not that things are bad now, I am willing to wait until things get better.

    • kroms

      ” embarassing”
      Yes you are.

    • stephane

      They are starting from scratch even the big 3 don’t have “100%” coverage.

    • thedesmodes

      Actually I am pretty sure the coverage of the 401 was just expanded past Bowmanville.

    • Sweet

      I never said they were making money (I’m assuming you mean being profitable.) You said Wind was “bleeding money” and I asked how you came to that conclusion when Wind’s parent has only released Wind’s number of suscriber base and their ARPU.

      Secondly, I never questioned your claim about Wind’s coverage. But since you mentioned it, it was just a few months ago that they added a bunch of towers.

      And no, it doesn’t show they’re running out in terms of budget.

    • cellphoneguy

      The rich guy backing wind in egypt says he invested in a lot of profitable business but never has he been so regretful in wind mobile.

    • cellphoneguy

      ‘We are trying to help [consumers] and not because we are good guys — because we want to make money.’—Naguib Sawiris, Orascom founder

    • cellphoneguy

      ‘We are trying to help [consumers] and not because we are good guys — because we want to make money.’—Naguib Sawiris, Orascom founder

      There pete. Enough said right?

    • Omis

      I need it. I constantly go over 5gb. Yes I get throttled. But phone apps are designed to use as little bandwidth as possible. Unless you are using your phone to download movies, you wont even notice it.

    • J-Ro

      If you can go over 5GB in a month on your phone, you would likely notice. It’s not like once you hit a magic number, you become less of a heavy data user. There will be no real answer for heavy data users until carriers become a BYOD service. Than people won’t complain about caps, they will complain about having to buy outright phones.

    • thedesmodes

      I am on Wind and the coverage is pretty good I have NEVER had a dropped call or lost reception in the GTA and I get service on the 401 till Bowmanville

    • kroms

      ” Fido, Kodoo and Virgin you pay even less and get more!”
      LMAO
      This guy has lost it. Do you even know what the average Cell phone bill is ? LOL

    • cellphoneguy

      Yes, ur phone bill with chatr is $20 and u use an iphone 5s with wifi.

    • kroms

      He must be living the life of ” Who cares about the people that have to pay more. If they can’t pay tuff Sh$%T. ”
      Clearly the individual lacks any common sense or does not know the meaning of making a living.

    • cellphoneguy

      that is right kroms. That’s why there are rich people and they can pay for luxury and people that complain about the rich.

      You see, chatr offers a lot of cheap plans.. no high end phones.. that’s why they can still be used to compete against wind and mobilicity.

      Wind and mobi needs to win with High end smart phones and cheap plans? Their big boss backed out already, if you are here to make a difference, go buy mobi.

      If one day you are that lucky, your mindset will be changed.

    • thedosbox

      I’m no fan of Wind, but reducing competition by selling to the Big 3 is a recipe for more price gouging. That you think this is a good idea speaks volumes.

    • Justinn Parkinson

      Back in 2012 when I used to work for WIND the goal was to obtain 500,000 Sub. by the end of Q3 which they succeeded. When I was a WIND customer my coverage was great despite being in a newly WIND Available zone. It’s a fresh company with no footing for towers and takes time to expand. Once WIND grabs hold if they continue to they can start expanding into smaller cities. It’s more an issue of competing with devoted customers in small towns IE fighting Saskatell etc..

    • kroms

      You clearly are either working for Robelus, or have to much money and lack of brains to say something like that. So Bell ,Rogers and TElus should just run everything then, right ? I mean that would be best for Canadians , right ?
      Tell me , what about the hight cost of Cell plans we pay currently then in our Country ? I guess that doesn’t matter to you.

    • cellphoneguy

      Cannot work for robelus, rob and elus has court battles against each other. He is very bias but also right on some things.

      This is a capitalism country, the rich will gt richer, the poor will get more poor. Group the poor paying subcribers together, you get mobilicity.

      Yes, i sell cell phones. But not bias on carriers but people.

      U want lexus seating on a bus? It ain’t going to happen.

    • WiZZLa

      You mean Toyota?

    • cellphoneguy

      U can say that. But toyota has value, otherwise, it ain’t number one for cab drivers

    • WiZZLa

      Toyota’s fleet isn’t #1 for cab drivers.

    • cellphoneguy

      it is in asia, and there are a lot more cabs than canada.
      cheap to maintain.

    • WiZZLa

      Toyota leather is still subpar, even if you wrap it in “Lexus” coating.

    • Tiago

      i can agree that their reception is kinda bad when you live in suburbia but their customer service in my opinion was excellent. One thing that i will miss is their simplicity , every month my credit card would be charged $28.50 i didnt even care to receive a bill. I wonder if i will have the same peace of mind when i choose another carrier after mobilicity dies

  • D Kup

    I would think Wind could have close to 700K clients by the time they report next time. So, adding Mobi clients can bring them to about 880K. The million mark is what Wind strive to do in 2014 assuming they successfulyl getting Mobi.
    I really wish Wind to become a credible and strong player in Ontario, BC and Alberta. Look at Videotron in Quebec, Sakatel in SK and Manitobatel in MB…. The little three are matching them hard and this proves that competition are fierce in these provinces.
    Wind is pretty much the only winner out of all the new entrants.

  • undino

    if they offer more for mobilicity, they’ll have less to bid for 700mhz. just cuz telus can bid 350m for mobilicity doesnt mean wind’s have to match that. ex: just cuz you offer 2 dollars for an apple, doesnt mean my 1 dollar for an apple isnt fair, it could be just the best i can come up with.

  • hardy83

    Depends on how the auction is working.
    It might be pieces auctioned separately.

    The towers would most likely be auctioned off in some form.

  • coxon

    I think Ericsson owns and operates Mobi’s network so I doubt it.

  • coxon

    Shaw or Novus or another new 700mhrz entrant should bid for Moblicity. Make it interesting.

    • Sluma

      what would stop them shaw from selling it right back to rogers? Like they did with the AWS auction

  • Wild

    The best bidder would be the Ontario government.Let them throw millions of taxpayer dollars at the problem and force the competition to their knees and then sell to foreign interests. Sounds like a solid plan am I right?

    • cartfan88

      Good lord don’t give them anymore ideas even in jest…haven’t we suffered enough?

    • Wild

      I agree however let’s see what Wind’s foreign owners do, I am sure we will hear news about them soon as well and if they pull out of Wind then this bid is toast.

    • Wild

      Ha not yet I am sure more is in the works.

    • Liberal Phone Person

      You had me until foreign interests. I think the Ontario government probably should establish a telecom crown corp.

  • PT

    Yeah! You go Wind!

  • Sweet

    As far as I can tell, the only assets that Mobilicity owns that would be worth buying are its spectrum licenses and its taxable losses (a buyer can use those losses to reduce the amount of income taxes they have to pay.) The rest of Mobilicity’s assets are either rented (e.g. their network), not needed (e.g. their retail outlets, administration, etc.) or not worth (or even possible) buying (e.g. their customer base.)

    • Suleman Khan

      Couldnt agree more !

  • option 4

    Why doesnt videotron go national and start off by buying mobilicity, and then bid for the 700 band.. wind is bleeding money badly, if wind had the money they would have put in a reasonable offer. They had to save face and put a bid in. Mobilicity will sell over $300 mill. another cheap publicity stunt to show they still an option. I Rather Have eastlink or videotron buy Mobilicity. I am still a very Happy Mobilicity Customer, i had wind and it awful.

    • Sweet

      “…if wind had the money they would have put in a reasonable offer. ”

      Or maybe Wind can afford to pay more, but they’re simply trying to get Mobilicity for as little as they can.

    • Suleman Khan

      & your an expert in Finance ? What proof do you have that Wind is bleeding Money? You talk about a reasonable offer ? why would they Bid higher knowing Mobi will either be Shutdown or Bankrupt …

  • Sweet

    How can anybody claim that Wind is “bleeding money” when, as far as I can tell, Wind’s parent only releases two numbers about Wind: 1) number of subscribers 2) ARPU. (IIRC, in the last report, both those numbers had increased.)

    • Suleman Khan

      Only Mobi Customers Claim that since they are the expert in Finance , Worked well for them eh..

    • option 4

      suleman khan and sweet cheeks are clearly mouth pieces for wind…

    • Peter Johanson

      If you dont build towers, you cannot expand your coverage. If you don’t expand your coverage, you don’t get any more subscribers….. Combine that with those who leave and switch to another carrier after a horrible experience with the lack of 700mhz spectrum, it is extremely safe to say that Wind is not profitable. Any professional that relies on their mobile device would never switch to Wind. Wind is for kiddies.

    • Sweet

      Wind has been putting up towers. Their subscriber base has been increasing. Their ARPU has also been increasing. They appear to be on the cusp of purchasing more AWS spectrum. And nobody has 700MHz spectrum yet. Given that two slots per region are reserved for new entrants, and given that Wind is the biggest of the new entrants, it’s very likey that they will be getting 700MHz spectrum in a few weeks.

      This post of yours just proves that you’re either one seriously obtuse and ignorant person or you’re trolling.

    • Peter Johanson

      They are not increasing at the rate they expected. They were supposed to reach a million two years ago……

      And what good is AWS spectrum? It can barely penetrate concrete walls. Rogers, Bell and Telus all have lower spectrums that can do just that.

    • Delphus

      and what were those ARPU numbers again…. ‘nough said…

    • Sweet

      You can’t conclude that Wind is “bleeding money” by looking only at the ARPU.

  • blzd

    That’s much less then Telus but then that did get rejected. Still not likely they would bite on an offer for half of what it’s potentially worth.

  • kroms

    Lets hope this happens

    I don’t want ROBELUS to be the only Carriers in Canada or Ontario

    They are killing us enough already , if Mobilicity and Wind both don’t survive then the future for Canadians is gone. Might as well HIRE Italy’s ex Minister Berlusconi .

  • cellphoneguy

    I have nothing against people choosing their choice of carriers but its funny how chatr, mobilicity and wind subscribers goes into a cell phone store and ask why iphone isn’t free and a $70 plan.

    Go buy your phones outright for $900. And stop acting as a financial person. Why use a smartphone when you have to ask for shaw open wifi passwords when you don’t even own a shaw account?

    Go to ur wifi, turn on and connect to free limited wifi at mcd`s and starbucks which is regulated by bell with 10 min slow access?

    Those are the people destroying wind and mobilicty. They were the ones 5hat either don’t pay the bill for what they signed for or complaining like: “i used your company for 10 plus year! What yougoing to give me?”

    “I have enjoyed mcdonalds for my whole life, i never recieved a free meal from them.”

    I support all carriers, just don’t support whining babies.

    • Omis

      You sound angry but I have no idea what you just said.