Of all the new entrants coming into the Canadian wireless market the most feared by Bell, Rogers and TELUS is not Public Mobile or DAVE Wireless, but Globalive.
Spearheaded by Globalive Chaiman Tony Lacavera, he managed to bring on a titan in the wireless world, Orascom, and get them to invest $700 million over 4 years into his organization. Orascom is a major player with over 100 million wireless subsribers around the world. They know their business and mean business. So why does Globalive raise converns with the other carriers? Well, simply because they know how to succeed.
Over the past couple months TELUS has shown that they are worried. Recently they succeeded in having the CRTC to look into how Globalive Wireless is structured and how much foreign investment they actually have recieved from Orascom. To enter the Canadian wireless space a foreign investor can only hold 20% voting shares. The hearings will take place on September 23rd and 24th in Gatineau, Quebec and a decision will be released 30 days after.
The soap opera continued on Friday when TELUS went back to the CRTC and asked for a new “Directions on Procedure”. Globalive stated in a press release today that the “Directions on Procedure proposed by Telus could give it access to Globalive Wireless’ business plans and could have the effect of extending the hearing beyond the dates established by the CRTC.”
It certainly seems that TELUS wants to delay Globalive from entering as much as possible. This new competition coming in is big business, billions of dollars are at stake. If somebody came into your backyard with the muscle that Globalive does, would you not try everything in your power, from every angle to stall, postpone or even eliminate them from the game?
All Globalive (and the other new entrants) want to do is fulfill the desire from Honourable Jim Prentice, past Minister of Industry. When he announced the Wireless Auction way back in May of 2008 he said “Our government’s intentions are clear: to achieve lower prices, better service and more choice for consumers and business. We believe in relying on market forces to the maximum extent feasible because competition benefits consumers, and consumers benefit most when markets are as competitive as they can be”.
In response to the latest move by TELUS, Globalive came out swinging:
Anthony Lacavera, Chairman of Globalive Holdings said “The Government of Canada has ruled that we are fully compliant with the wireless entry requirements and we are confident that the CRTC will make the same ruling. Game-playing by the incumbents will only serve to delay our investment into the Canadian economy, the creation of new jobs and ultimately, Canadian’s already overdue access to a new competitive offering.”
Naguib Sawiris, Chairman and CEO, Orascom Telecom Holdings said “We intend to completely adhere to all legal and regulatory requirements but will not be deterred by our competitors’ attempts to prevent Canadians from receiving world class competitive services”.
Ken Campbell, CEO of Globalive Wireless said “We are well advanced in our network rollout plans and will continue to work toward our goal to provide Canadians with a more competitive offering. Canada is lagging way behind the rest of the world in terms of wireless penetration and price and our entry into the market will introduce competitive prices and advanced services to the market. With the global experience and financial support of Orascom at our disposal, Canada could quickly rise from 128th in the world in cellular penetration to the top tier.”