The other day I went to speak with Mobilicity CEO Dave Dobbin. He dished out some quality quotes on the Canadian wireless scene and even though they were the last of the new entrants to launch, he stated the “other new entrants follow us, we don’t follow them”.
During the 2008 Wireless Spectrum Auction Mobilicity (Dave Wireless) invested $243.1-million for 10 licenses. They currently operate in Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa and will open up soon in Calgary. Mobilicity has consistently offered cheap Unlimited plans with the lowest price at one point hitting $40/month for Unlimited Talk,Text and Data. These heavily discounted monthly rate plans along with a no-contract handset model seems to be working out for them. Hopefully their subscriber numbers will be released as I often wonder how they make money, or on a greater scale when they’ll turn a profit.
The reason I bring this up is because I was granted a tour of their corporate office and was completely shocked. Compared to other Canadian carriers they are located way up in the boonies in Vaughn, ON sharing office space with Priszm Brands (Chairman John Bitove is an owner in Mobilicity and also Priszm which owns several KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut franchises in Canada). There is nothing fancy about their office space, everyone is in cubicles which were purchased used on eBay (so were the office chairs). Also, the entire staff of over 130 people are scattered throughout the floor. Accounting might be in the same area as network, systems and marketing. Apparently this is to build teamwork. What’s even more amazing is that the exec team all work in the trenches in cubicles too. There are no desk phones, they all use a Mobilicity device as their main office number.
In the center of all of this is are 3 screens. On the left is a real-time view of everything that’s happening with Mobilicity such as people calling into the call centre, subscribers (I saw 193 new subs added the few seconds I looked at it). In the middle is a massive countdown clock to their 1-year anniversary which is happening in May 2011 (we hear they’ll be doing “something big” then). Finally, the 3rd screen is for a view of their network and how things stand in regards to issues, load etc.
It was pretty cool to see how truly low-budget/cost effective they really are… it seems Mobilicity is passing the savings on to the customer.