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Wind Mobile in it for the long haul, promises Lacavera

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As the summer months beckon Canadians to the far reaches of their expansive country, the incumbents boast of unbeatable coverage and higher speeds in more places. As each carrier announces multi-million dollar investments in specific parts of the country — TELUS in Ontario, Rogers in British Columbia — it would be easy to dismiss the remaining national new entrants, particularly Wind and Mobilicity, as too little, too late.

But while Mobilicity teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, Wind continues to shine in its limited capacity, netting higher postpaid subscribers than Rogers this past quarter. It posted record revenue in April and May, and promises to continue that momentum on the back of its extremely successful Unlimited USA plan, which combines Canadian and American talk, text and data into a single monthly fee.

Tony Lacavera, Wind Canada’s Chairman, sees a positive outcome from this tenuous period. The government’s recent decision to regulate domestic roaming will make it cheaper for Wind, and ultimately its customers, to travel outside of the company’s Home network, and there’s already evidence that such a move will improve Wind’s prospects in the market. To wit, four months after Wind introduced its Unlimited USA plan there are now 30,000 customers taking advantage of it, and roaming data traffic has increased by 100 times.

At home, Wind customers are using 1.5GB of data per month, up 600MB from a year ago, and over 90% of all devices sold from its 300 stores are smartphones, 85% of which run Android. And though the company continues to fall behind the incumbents by not offering LTE connectivity, 360 of its 1408 cell sites are already Dual-Carrier HSPA+ enabled, capable of pulling speeds of 42Mbps in the downlink, with more to come.

“The reality is that the business of Wind is doing far better than has been reported by both the media and analysts. We’re here to stay,” said Lacavera during an interview at the Canadian Telecom Summit this week. “But we still have ownership challenges,” referring to the ambiguous state of foreign investor Vimpelcom’s attempt to buy a controlling stake in Wind Canada, which was blocked last year by the government.

Wind exists in what Lacavera calls “a nebulous state,” where investors are weary to strike deals with a company they are unsure will be allowed by the government. Just last year the government, which has reiterated it wants a fourth national wireless carrier in every Canadian region, blocked the sale of Allstream, a division of MTS, to former Wind Mobile owner Naguib Sawiris, on security-related grounds.

Though Wind is struggling to raise funds for larger investments, and could not obtain the necessary capital to invest in the recent 700Mhz spectrum auction, Lacavera is confident about the company’s future. “We are a stable business with good distribution,” he said. Not only is the company perceived as having a much stronger national network since the rollout of Unlimited USA, but it is filling in coverage gaps in large Canadian cities its towers previously could not reach.

Lacavera acknowledges that Wind needs LTE coverage to stay competitive in the future, but maintains that DC-HSPA+ provides sufficient speeds for most users most of the time. He also says that Wind’s ability to acquire high-end Android flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G2 and HTC One M8 on the same day as the incumbents has done wonders for the company’s positive perception in the markets it serves.

Unfortunately, Wind still only covers 14.2 million customers, and will eventually reach 15 million by mid-2015. Without additional spectrum, not only can’t Wind roll out LTE but it can’t fill in the coverage gaps made easier by low-band 700 or 850Mhz frequencies. While upcoming spectrum auctions, including 2500Mhz early next year and, later, 600Mhz and AWS-3, could be potential acquisition targets, Lacavera says the only way to quickly and cost-effectively roll out LTE is to partner with another new entrant like Mobilicity, Videotron or Shaw, all of which are sitting on AWS spectrum.

Lacavera notes that the government has made significant improvements in the plight of the new entrant since Wind launched in 2009, but “ridiculous roaming costs, a failed tower-sharing regime, and fragmented spectrum across new entrants, such that no one new entrant…had sufficient spectrum, combined with unfettered anti-competitive behaviour from incumbents,” fashioned the unfortunate outcome we see today.

But Wind is still running a business. It has 25,000 iPhone 5s devices across its 735,000 subscribers, while Samsung comprises 30% of its smartphone sales and 50% of its revenue. The company’s postpaid churn has declined to “Big Three levels” at 1.3%, and postpaid ARPU (average revenue per customer) stands at $38, slowly eating away at the delta with Rogers, Bell and Telus. While it won’t make any money in 2014, increasing customer run-rate and lower capital expenditures will likely lead to a profit by mid-2015.

Later this year, likely by the end of the summer, Wind will roll an unlimited Canadian roaming option, and plans to offer LTE roaming in the United States by the end of the year. Though it will continue to be dismissed by the incumbents as a small fish in a big national pond, Wind is clearly weathering the fight better than Mobilicity, which is currently in creditor protection and may face bankruptcy in the coming weeks.

Whether Wind partners with Videotron, finds a way to purchase Mobilicity or continues to go it alone, Lacavera continues to be a confident outlier, a tentative supporter of the current government’s plans and the head of the only company offering a substantially cheaper option for wireless data in places like Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

  • G.P.

    If they were to offer data outside of network they would gain so much more clients. That is the only thing holding me back since Barrie to Sudbury has no Wind coverage and i don’t want to get charged extra. i would pay $70 or $80 for unlimited data accross canada.

    • hardy83

      The government JUST got on to dealing with roaming rates for just calls/texts with telecommunications, it’ll probably take…I dunno…Never for them to deal with the outrageous roaming rates for data.

      I wish they would, but I view the government as incompetent, all parties.

    • Anonymous501

      Or maybe Wind should focus an expanding their own network rather than waiting for the government to force their competitors to share their networks?

      I’m not in Ontario so here in BC the only coverage is the heart of Vancouver. They were going to expand to Victoria in 2011, but stopped.

      From my perspective it seems like Wind stopped expanding. If they want to grow their business they should probably work on expanding coverage to new cities and the surrounding areas of larger ones.

    • Igor Babichev

      It’s a chicken-egg problem. To be able to increase coverage while remaining profitable, they need low-freq spectrums like 700 or 850 MHz, but to get these, they needed a lot of cash upfront for the auction. For that you need investors, and there would have been investors, if the gov policies regarding foreign ownership/investment weren’t so unclear. So in the end it all comes to the federal properly regulating the wireless industry in Canada

    • Anthony Parker

      I agree. I am a new Wind customer for 3 days and I HATE their data speed and coverage. I have tested the network a few places in Vancouver downtown and Metro town. I am only averaging 0.6mbps and constantly getting one to two bars signal only. Even sending a simple message from Whatsapp can fail many times. I called their tech support but no help at all. I went back to the Wind store and they told me it’s because too many people at the area?! I am switching back to Fido. PS: I just found out their so called “unlimited” is only 5Gb before they block you. That’s such!

    • G.P.

      they actually don’t block you, they throttling you speed so that its quite slow. Who ever uses 5gigs of data on a cell phone anyhow? i have a 2 gig plan with bell and i have never even exceeded 500 megs due to wireless access anywhere i go from home to my work.

    • Igor Babichev

      I use remote desktop a lot, especially when I’m travelling around, and it seems to be consuming several hundred megs to a gig of data if I spend several hours actually working through remote desktop session (that’s with reduced graphics, etc). So was able to exhaust my 6 Gb I used to have when I was on Telus, when I was trying to do some work while camping in Okanagan and Banff. Some people also watch Netflix / SopCast on their phones while not being on WiFi. In general, if you don’t have a wired home internet (cable/DSL/fiber), you are very likely to rely on mobile tethering and 5 Gb will hardly be enough.

    • Anthony Parker

      The reason I try Wind is because I went over 5Gb of data using LTE by mistake. (Yes. My own fault not knowing I wasn’t using WiFi.) I guess I am just spoiled by Fido’s LTE for so long that using Wind makes me feel like using dial up back in the 1990s. Around 5 days of use now and I still get disconnect constantly. Like someone said before, daytime data use is close to impossible. I have called their tech support so many times. Every time they told me that they are going to investigate and send out a tech ticket to resolve. When I ask for refund (I paid $25 for Sim card and $35 for plan), they said they can’t promise that I can always get good connection and speed. This is not acceptable to me when I am at the main areas all the time and they even stated I should be okay from where I am at. It means nothing even if it’s free if you are being handicapped by Wind’s coverage and speed.

    • Igor Babichev

      I spent my fair share of time to escalate the data issue in Vancouver. For more than 2 weeks I’ve noticed, that data during the daytime becomes unusable – speedtest shows 1.5-2 Mbps download speeds, but 0 to 0.02 upload speeds. Browsing on the phone does seem to slowly work, but as soon as I tether my laptop and try using remote desktop (I rely on that heavily for work), everything stops, I cannot even browse. Seems to work and even perform well enough to use remote desktop without latency late in the evening to early morning.
      So I’ve been calling customer support for the last several days, they kept going through standard troubleshooting of the phone (always being very picky that my phone is not a “Wind phone” although they also carry Nexus 5, I just got mine from Google Play directly). So eventually they sent me to warranty center to “investigate my phone”. We spent about 2 hours with the store rep trying two different phones I had (Nexus 5 and Lumia 925) and their own Alcatel hotspot, and even did a sim-swap to confirm that it’s the network issue, and not hardware. After that the store rep was able to convince tier-2 support to escalate the issue further – they said they created a service request for the network team to actually investigate network capacity and possibly figure out a way to optimize network throughput for upstream traffic.
      They promised to get back to me after 5 business days. I’m really hoping they’ll be able to fix the data to a usable degree. I’ll post an update here once I hear back from them. Meanwhile I’m relying on Virgin’s flex tablet data plan as a backup for data.

    • Wayne D Whitlock

      incorrect my friend. 5GB before they limit your speeds severely. i have used a whackload more than 5GB but my speeds went from 4G to 2G

  • chris

    “Later this year, likely by the end of the summer, Wind will roll an unlimited Canadian roaming option…”

    Yes please.

    • alamarco

      This is when I’ll be subscribing. I have WIND in my city, but it’s a smaller city and with friends living on the outskirts it means I’d be roaming far too much for WIND to be affordable. Unlimited within Canada is what I’m waiting for.

    • OptimusOBrien

      I have been a customer for 3 years and and my fiancée has been with them for 2 years. If this becomes official I wont hesitate to cancel my other plan and come running back!

    • chris

      Honestly, I would pay $50/mo for an add-on alone. Still cheaper than big-three, and it’s unlimited.

    • Martini

      Has this been confirmed? WIND themselves hasn’t said anything about this.

  • Robert Chartier

    I hope tmobile videotron deal with wind happens a merger or partnership .

  • David K

    Unlimited Canadian roaming coming later this year?! Yes please, but how?

    • deltatux

      “Later this year, likely by the end of summer” … you missed the more important part.

    • David K

      I meant how as in which of the Big3 would agree to let wind roam on them. Do i sense an Unlimited US and Canada roaming plan ‘likely by the end of summer’ in time for back to school for $49???! I’m IN, Wind FTW! :)

    • deltatux

      Here’s the thing, the government is going to regulate domestic roaming rates. It’s likely going to kick in during the summer. iirc, WIND had a 5-year domestic roaming contract which is about to expire. Back when they originally signed it, Bell/TELUS were still very much CDMA, which won’t work with our GSM-based handsets. However, now that all the Big 3 are on HSPA+, WIND can get better negotiating powers on top of the fact that the government is going to regulate domestic roaming charges.

    • David K

      True, makes sense. Who would’ve known my distaste for at least one of the Big3, allowing wind to roam and therefore changing the mobile landscape of Canada, would be no more!?! I’m going to guess Telus.

    • deltatux

      It’s really up in the air really. It’s whoever can give WIND the best roaming deals. I could care less who it is as long as the add-on ain’t expensive tbh.

    • AGoodM8

      Hopefully the add-on will be reasonably priced. I certainly wonder if us folks on the grandfathered PYW plan will be able to have this add-on. I doubt it, but it would be a fantastic combo if Wind was somehow that generous.

      That said, my PYW plan is a great setup regardless. I use the $40 top-up over 6 months (works out to $6.67/mo covering the $5/mo unlimited SMS add-on) for unlimited text and incoming calls, with $2 daypass for unlimited data and outgoing calls. Works like a charm.

    • deltatux

      WIND has been known to be friendly to those with grandfathered plans. The only thing is that if you want a new WINDTab+ then you must let go of your plan. You can do add-ons and the like to your current plan without them complaining about it.

    • AGoodM8

      Very true. The fact that they let me keep this plan in the first place is great. I’d certainly be interested in a new add-on on top of an old plan like this.

      (I don’t care for WINDTab+ however; I like buying phones off contract. Nexus FTW.)

    • deltatux

      I say that because not everyone is willing to pay for a phone upfront. Both you and I would, but unfortunately, not everyone is like us and would do that. My better half doesn’t like paying up front even though I’ve suggested to her otherwise lol.

    • AGoodM8

      Exactly, that’s the problem. People don’t like having a steep up front cost, and that’s the price they focus on the most.

      Of course, when you look at the big picture, buying off contract to get a better plan will recoup the higher up front cost and typically costs a lot less in the long run. In addition, it gives you freedom, and protects you from unforeseen fees in the form of clearing a tab or cancelling a contract. The list of benefits goes on … I hope someday the typical consumer who doesn’t care will at least notice and adjust their spending behaviour. People vote with their wallets after all.

    • 5Gs

      That’s the thing. If you look at it people love to save $500 but okay to pay $1000 in long term and to be honest with you by the time they pay off their phone they are ready to take another one on tab. Not to mention if something happen to your phone. You’re stuck with the existing tab plus new tab.

    • AGoodM8

      Pretty much. Most people are fixated on the cost they “see”. It’s really too bad. Clever advertising on the part of the carriers granted .. I only wish more consumers would realize that the “phone subsidy” is merely a marketing ploy, rather than get continually outwitted by it.

    • TrainAss

      I hope it’s Bell. They seem to have some of the best coverage. Currently Wind roams on the Rogers network which blows.

    • The Dude

      Exactly. They had no choice but to throw in with Rogers, who gleefully and blatantly ripped them off because they could. Personally I could care less who they partner with as long as it works.

    • Ry29

      Adding to your point that bell/telus were very much cdma at that time; wind had no choice but to use Rogers for roaming because handsets back then did not have pentaband hspa but had quadband gsm. Wind couldn’t use bell or telus hspa network.

  • deltatux

    “Wind will roll an unlimited Canadian roaming option”, hopefully it’s no more than a $10-15 add-on. Lower cost the better but I would definitely love this, especially now I am likely to roam more due to my line of work. I do want to keep WIND as my carrier. They’ve been good to me so far.

    • 5Gs

      I believe it will be $20 and i can see people jumping boats from robelus’r because even $20 is well worth it if you compare.

  • Croc Ography

    Just looked at this story… ironically WindMobile is down right now and has been for a while.

    • deltatux

      Also interesting note is that roaming doesn’t work either, even though Rogers is their roaming partner.

    • jonnny

      roaming hasnt worked for me for a month. it always refuses the connection for some reason

    • deltatux

      Are you using their new SIM cards or their old SIM cards that you couldn’t pop-out to make a micro-SIM? (not nano-SIM) I’ve been able to get on roaming, just not tonight.

    • jonnny

      new

    • bike_guy85

      I’ve never had an issue with the roaming. I guess you have either never had Wind or are just a troll for RoBelUs

    • jonnny

      me and my brother also cannot connect to the wind network either.

    • bike_guy85

      Proof please

  • d a

    LTE isn’t the problem. Stability is. Dropped calls, inconsistent 3g speeds and coverage are what’s keeping me away at the moment. I wish there was a way to know for sure how good/bad they are. That said, I only care because of work, if it were just for personal use I could live with the odd dropped call and my data/gps not working in certain areas. Still, I might take the chance as I’m currently paying double what it would cost me at WIND. 3g was always plenty fast enough for everything I do now, including streaming the odd tv program once in a while.

    • Adam

      LTE helps with some of those problems. When stability/dropped calls/inconsistent speeds are caused by congestion, LTE gets more out of the same amount of spectrum, and avoids those issues. On the other hand, when they’re caused by poor signal, no dice.

      The problem is that WIND is incapable of migrating to LTE, because (with the exception of Toronto) they don’t have more than the minimum amount of spectrum HSPA requires. So they can’t split their spectrum between LTE and HSPA.

      The wholesale roaming regime might let them make that investment, though. They can start aggressively pushing customers to get LTE phones, servicing the LTE service via roaming, and when they get enough, switch their spectrum over to LTE, and use roaming for the remaining HSPA customers until they’re fully migrated.

    • easy

      Those are just Robelus employee and stockholder smokescreens (lies). Real Wind users know better, just read above posters. More happy Wind customers than not.

    • bike_guy85

      Are you basing this off of assumption and word of mouth or have you actually used the network? I have never had an issue with Wind.

    • d a

      As I wrote, “I wish there was a way to know for sure how good/bad they are” So I clearly haven’t used wind before. So what’s left is the net and word of mouth. Word of mouth pretty consistently negative and the net is 50/50. However, even though the word of mouth is negative, the people complaining don’t follow their complaints with “so I’m leaving or so I left wind” So, I wish there were a way to know without making a commitment.

    • Kebbun

      Im a Wind subscriber and I had one very frustrating night where all service was down for 30 minutes. And the data speeds are very slow half of the time. Other than that I am very happy with the value plans of wind im using the $35 unlimited talk/text/data

  • AGoodM8

    Since when does Wind serve 14.2 million customers? I’m not sure about that figure. Interesting read though. I think Wind should focus on improving the gaps in their current coverage zones first, then try expanding out. LTE is important in the long run, but it should not be prioritized over those two aspects.

    • deltatux

      I think the proper wording is that their coverage covers a population of 14.2 million people.

    • AGoodM8

      I see. Thanks for clearing that up. I noticed that the article stated that Wind has 735k subs, which is accurate. I think that figure is the key; Wind needs their subscriber base to grow faster. At least the ARPU has gone up, thanks to those price bumps and the $39 Unlimited US Roaming plan.

    • bike_guy85

      The subscriber base would grow if people would give Wind a chance and stop crying about the coverage. For most people who live IN a Wind zone it’s not a big deal but are scared. Sad really.

    • AGoodM8

      That’s the problem: people won’t give it a chance. The network isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be. If more people let go of their fears and subscribed, Wind would have a much better influx of revenue, allowing them to build a much better network anyway. It would be a snowball effect from there, but this hurdle of getting people who are on the fence to buy in is seriously impeding that scenario.

    • Jonavin

      Potential market size. Also in the article PCS 1900 is no better than AWS 1700 for penetration. I think they meant CLR (800/850Mhz)

    • deltatux

      Still better than AWS because AWS requires 2100 MHz to work. It uses 2100 MHz for downlink and 1700 MHz for uplink (on the device side) whereas PCS only uses 1900 MHz for both up and down.

    • Jonavin

      Actually 1800. Either way. 1700 is better than both and 2100 is worst than both. It’s a wash because they are basically in the same range. PCS is not better than AWS in this respect. Differences are marginal. PCS networks are just more dense and have more time time to be optimized so they seem like they are better. If it matter than IMT that they use overseas would be worst being on 2100 + 1900, yet on a good network there’s no problem with coverage.

  • Dave

    I don’t care how many customers Robellus have, I’m with Wind and I’m staying with Wind.

    Good luck Mr Lacavarta

    • 5Gs

      Exactly!

  • J-Ro

    I see a lot of talk about beefing up their plans and getting more customers but what about towers? how can you get more customers with limited network? What about congestion? Why don’t investors see something in Wind like they do Netflix? So many questions and so little profit. Only time will tell.

    • Nexzen

      Did you read this at all? he fully says wind needs more spectrum to build the network… and investors want to invest in wind but is worried because of the govt always changing their rules and making it hard for foreign ownership.

    • J-Ro

      I read it and it said things that contradict others. And the investor problem could easily be solved with domestic investors.

    • hoo dat

      Domestic investors are hard to find these days too, the current Government has failed to create desperately needed stability and has instead opted to pretty much scaring everyone with a dime to spare off. The only people with money enough to invest in more networks are the incumbents and they’re prevented from buying into WIND or Mobilicity by protectionist politics.

    • J-Ro

      I personally think that Wind would do well under the big 3. It could be a lower tier brand like chat-r and public and would benefit huge from the networks already be in place. The prices might go up a bit but not to a point where it isn’t a great deal.

      The government it’s doing a great job listening to the people bit there is a reason not just anyone can be a business owner.

    • deltatux

      You don’t want it to be a sub-brand at all. It won’t do anything with the competition problem we have in this country.

    • J-Ro

      We don’t have a competition problem in this country. You can go to chat-r and get unlimited talk at $20 a month. We have a problem with perception and priorities in this country.

      No where else in the world can you get a subsidized iPhone with an unlimited everything plan on no contract for $30 or less with a flawless and fast network, yet we expect it here.

    • Dave

      Canada has the highest prices in the world on cellphones and wireless.

    • J-Ro

      That was my point.

    • Nexzen

      You are totally missing all the changes that took place in Canada because of wind. Wind is the reason unlimited texting, caller id and voicemail are standard on all the big 3 plans. Wind is the reason there are no more system access fees, 911 fees. Wind is the reason you receive 10% off when you bring your own device. Wind is the reason rogers created chatr. Wind is the reason telus is keeping the public mobile brand alive. Wind is the reason the big 3 have all started cutting roaming costs. Wind is the reason this country has 2yr contracts now. You are dismissing all the competition wind has brought to the Canadian market when you say wind would be better under the big 3. You don’t realize wind would no longer exist under the big 3 and with it, any need for change.

    • J-Ro

      The people fought for most of those things, not Wind mobiles entry. Wind isn’t considered a threat or plans would be lower still. Plans are high to cover the cost of recent big sticker buys. Not the consumers fault but we still pay for it. Plans will get lower as they did when Bell/Telus changed from cdma to hspa.

      Keeping Wind independent while bleeding money will only hurt them in the long run.

    • Nexzen

      Plans are lower. Are you paying a $12 value pack from rogers to get caller Id voicemail? Are you paying $15 extra for unlimited text? Are you paying $6.95 system access fee? Are you paying 50cent 911 fees? Do you not get more minutes on every plan since 5yrs ago? The value has increased in each plan. Minimum used to be $50 for 500mb plus those extras. Nowadays you get $44 for 500mb last year the popular $39 plan for 600mb was available.

    • J-Ro

      It’s the same. All the add-ons that used to be a want are now included. In 2006, it was $100 for 2gb and 1000 minutes. System access fees were still there and nothing was national. 2 years later, plans got better and cheaper. In a few years, plans will be a lot better again.

    • Nexzen

      Did u really just say wind would be better under the big 3? Wind would be no more under the big 3. It would slowly be transitioned into Fido. Fido minimum 1gb plan is $65 and that’s with wind in competition. What do u think prices will be with wind gone? With wind under the big 3, no need for chatr. Chatr exists only because of Wind and Mobilicity. Without Wind, telus has no use for public mobile which is already being transitioned into koodo. “Prices not that bad?” Today’s prices are with competition with wind and they are terrible what in the world do you think they will charge without wind?

    • J-Ro

      Telus was mandated to keep the unlimited talk plans by the government with public. So the same thing can be done to who buys Wind. Right now, Wind is in a position where more business could lead to a bad experience. They either need investors or to be bought out. The latter is the only one that is likely if the government would allow it.

    • Nexzen

      Only til December. In 2015 telus can do whatever they want. Public will turn into koodo.

    • Nexzen

      .

    • J-Ro

      Only time can tell. Is customer choose to stay on public, the brand would be worth telus keeping.

    • Nexzen

      Telus is not accepting new customers. It is because the prices listed on their site are only for existing customers. Only the $19 plan and $25 plan are available for new customers due to the govt mandating that. They rather have a new customer sign up with koodo than public. They won’t do anything to hurt their high arpu. Also, the prices listed for existing customers are not gaurunteed for life so this is only a temporary thing they are doing to make peace with the govt because telus was more interested in their spectrum than the brand.

    • J-Ro

      The $19 plan is unlimited. It’s only the data that is no longer unlimited. Isn’t that what consumers wanted? Unlimited talk for less than $19, on a solid network.

    • Kebbun

      Domestic investors are too few and too soft.

    • J-Ro

      Our investors only bet on sure things. Wind is a bit of an unknown, so that is a no-no for investors.

  • Lakh Jhajj

    Go WIND Go , Go WIND Go, Hip Hip Hurray!!!

  • Nexzen

    I hope Wind makes it.

  • Steven KC

    I’ve been a user for 4 years now and they’ve improved so much since then. I commute from Brampton to downtown Toronto everyday and the service has been great. Even when i sometimes leave the GTA, there’s coverage. Hamilton, Niagara, Kitchener. The best thing is i still only pay $30/month for unlimited talk, text, data without a problem

  • Nexzen

    I’m expecting a 40ish dollar plan with unlimited roaming included. It could really boost its arpu and subscriber base with this.

  • disqusmy

    Look forward to it. Pretty sure when the roaming came out with government backing. it most likely with talk and text, data would not be on table at least no unlimited. However people wish unlimited everything even on roaming. Understandable. Government will make the roaming good this time since the last 5 year rules is about to expired, they know they need to continue, otherwise the new entrant are dead if no backing, the 3 will stop them using their tower.

  • hoo dat

    This could be a winner for WIND but it’s dependent on two things: Firstly what network you’re allowed to roam on? Currently it’s 2G only through Rogers. Anything less than 3G just won’t fly these days. Secondly; how much? I doubt WIND will be able to charge $15 as per the US plan unless the government pulls a rabbit out of their hat with their domestic roaming regulations, but judging by their past performances in Canadian telcom I can only assume it’ll be another screw up.

  • WiZZLa

    Coincidentally, they had what seemed like a Canada wide outage yesterday.

    • 5Gs

      When ? What time ? I didn’t experience any outage. Actually I was watching fifa and post game till midnight on my phone.

    • WiZZLa

      View:
      canadianoutages (dot) com/status/wind/news/16408-problems-at-wind
      As well as their WindMobile and Wind_Cares Twitter accounts.

  • Calile

    PLEASE bring your services to the Province of Quebec. I can’t wait to switch to WIND!

    • Philosoraptor

      Not gonna happen. They don’t have spectrum in Quebec. Videotron has it all.

  • Steve

    Ha! Big 3 will remain the bigger fish until they decide to eat the smaller fish as they did with Mobilicity.
    This is somewhat dirty politics in the country and almost in every business. Like you cannot just import goods from China thinking one day you will compete Walmart. Its clearly a monopoly game so don’t dream, wake up!

    Btw I really like Bell and Wind’s new website.

    • deltatux

      TELUS has already withdrawn their bid to buy Mobilicity. Mobilicity is still independent. Struggling, but still alive.

    • J-Ro

      Walmart started from a dream. Sam Walton was a long haul thinker. These new companies weren’t thinking past tomorrow or they would be doing better.

  • 5Gs

    Great news.Must hurt those people who has been trying to kill WIND through their words. Can’t wait till new roaming unlimited plans to roll out soon. Then I am all set for life ;-)

    Go Wind Go!

  • 5Gs

    Indeed and we need people to join our friendly WIND family.

  • Sensualpoet

    WIND Mobile has been around for 5.5 years and spent most of it whining corporately about being a victim of government and competition. It has failed to attract any new capital investors, failed to partner even with bankrupt competitors like Mobilicity, failed to partner with regional partners like Videotron or Eastlink. WIND Mobile has some pluses, including a base of 735,000 of which about half are post-paid. But until it invests in better infrastructure (ie network) and customer service, the public will continue to find that $40 is no bargain vs incumbents. US roaming is nice but even WIND says 96% of its customers don’t subscribe.

    • mason

      I switched to Wind from Telus recently and was very pleasantly surprised. The lesser coverage is of no consequence to as I do not need to be connected every moment. If I am out of Wind coverage area wi-fi works quite well for most people’s needs. With the big three I feel you get less than what you pay for but with Wind it is the opposite scenario.

  • Peter

    The key line is “it won’t make any money in 2014″ Their goal is to get as many clients as possible and then get bought out. Heck, they aren’t even setting themselves up for future success by participating in the new spectrum auctions.

    • J-Ro

      They can’t. How can you buy anything with no money? They have to become profitable before any more purchases can be made.

    • OgtheDim

      “How can you buy anything with no money?”

      Banks make a ton of money out of their answers for that question.

    • AGoodM8

      True, but a telecommunications startup can’t be run like a bank. Banks can afford to borrow money and pay it back because their clients will concurrently be paying back their loans at a high rate of interest (alongside all those transaction fees banks love to take advantage of). There’s a profit to be gained from that business model. Wind can’t operate in this manner as they are in a completely different industry.

      Of course, they could still stand to gain from borrowing money to invest more in their network and attract more subs from having a better network than they would have been able to otherwise … but that’s a risky proposition. If you’re in the telecommunications industry and you aren’t an incumbent, you’re up against it. Wind is doing an admirable job given the circumstances but the reality is they have a difficult path ahead of them.

  • Martini

    I keep hearing rumblings about WIND offering an unlimited Canadian roaming add-on at some point, but has this even been confirmed? I don’t recall WIND themselves saying anything about this.

  • ScooterinAB

    Props to Lacavera for consistency, but his company is a complete dumpster-fire. The only way Wind is going to stay in it for the long haul is if the double their ARPU, create a viable and sustainable business model, completely reform their company, and replace their network. The company simply cannot attract the customer base it needs to sustain its business nor grow in any meaningful fashion. Their network is simply too limited to handle any more customers or growth, yet they don’t have the funds to develop it any further.

    I’ll credit Lacavera for his show of strength, but what Canadians need is the truth, not a bunch of handwaving and wishmaking.

  • adam m

    If they buy Wind prices will go up right now Wind has an insane offer.
    $39 dollars per month unlimited data, unlimited canada wide and unlimited US roaming.
    If videotron can beat that would be awesome

  • Jeremy Herring

    I hate Rogers, and feel dirty having to use their service, but at least it works. The three months I spent with Wind (live and work in downtown TO) were terrible, data barely works during the day and definitely not inside a building.

  • Jeremy Herring

    I hate Rogers, and feel dirty having to use their service, but at least it works. The three months I spent with Wind (live and work in downtown TO) were terrible, data barely works during the day and definitely not inside a building.

    • Kotoula

      I’m with rogers currently and I can’t use data inside my 3 storey office building that is well within Calgary city limits. I can’t update an app, or even load a pic on Facebook. Pathetic. My co-worker has wind, and has full data ability inside the same building….I’m switching to wind. I’m tired of feeling dirty. FU rogers.

  • Sandra Faucher

    It`s a shame they don`t want their current customers to stay with them for the long haul though. I`ve had no problems with WIND. They just don`t value their customers at all.

  • Ali

    Even tho wind has lots of haters due to their network coverage size, but u love how they are forcing competition. Otherwise the but 3 would still be having a forever lasting 3some and price fixing (they still if the price fixing part)

  • AGoodM8

    “The rate that we were successful in getting from this U.S. carrier, to whom we mean nothing, is 3.5 times less than what these legislated caps will provide,” said Simon Lockie, Wind Mobile’s chief regulatory officer.

    So, 3.5 x $15/mo (what Wind charges for an unlimited US roaming add-on) = $52.50/mo for an unlimited 3G data + talk + text domestic roaming add-on. Of course, this is assuming Wind uses the same exact proportions in terms of how they divide the roaming rate between absorbing it themselves and billing the customer, and also assuming they are being charged the maximum wholesale rate.

    Alternatively, there is the possibility that Wind can partner with a big 3 carrier that is willing to supply the roaming services for a rate lower than the legislated limit, but that would require some back-and-forth negotiating.

  • Thomas C. Riddell

    I love wind

  • M1LK

    I’m sitting on my final year with my corporate plan. If my cell plan provider plans on forcing me to terminate my current contract and stick me on one of there 60-80+ plans I’m going to take my phone and go to wind.

  • Ramzi.Aladin

    Having unlimited everything while I travel to U.S. for $15 add on is super sweet deal. I love companies like Wind, Netflix and Google.

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