The story that keeps on giving.
Earlier this month, after much speculation, Verizon’s CEO informed Canadians that they won’t be making a bid in the upcoming 700Mhz spectrum auction in January. Lowell McAdam said the entire speculation of Verizon coming to Canada was “way overblown.” There were rumours that Verizon would make a play for either WIND Mobile or Mobilicity.
A new report in the Globe and Mail today states that Verizon did indeed table offers for both carriers, specifically noting a proposed $350-million for Mobilicity and a $700-million offer for WIND Mobile. Both carriers have a combined subscriber base of approximately 900,000 – WIND has over 650k and Mobilicity has 250k. In addition, Verizon also considered becoming an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), which is how PC Mobile and Speak Out Wireless operates by leasing towers from the Big 3, but in the end Verizon pulled the plug on all options to focus on capturing 100% ownership of its U.S. wireless unit for $130 billion.
Yesterday a report came out that no United States-based carriers are taking part in 700Mhz spectrum auction. Jeff Fan, Scotia Capital analyst, reported that “We have received confirmation from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile USA that they did not submit applications for the Canadian 700 MHz auction. We believe the absence of a large U.S. operator removes a threat for the Canadian wireless carriers… Although there is still speculation about other large global operators being involved, we do not believe they would have the same impact on Canada as the U.S. carriers.”
On Monday the CRTC will reveal the complete list of bidders in the upcoming 700Mhz spectrum auction.