Mobilicity is currently under court protection from its creditors and it could be an interesting week for the struggling wireless carrier. Previous reports indicated they had enough money in the bank to last until mid-February, but after holding an auction to sell off its assets, it was recently discovered that there are potentially three offers on the table from WIND Mobile, Videotron and TELUS.
During the 2008 spectrum auction, Mobilicity invested $243.1-million for 10 licenses in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa, and the carrier has about 175,000 subscribers. WIND reportedly bid $190 million, Videotron $200 million, and TELUS upwards of $350 million.
For TELUS, this is the third attempt to acquire Mobilicity. Industry Minister James Moore previously shot down the idea as it went against the government’s 2008 agenda to inspire more wireless competition, stating the “spectrum set aside for new entrants was not intended to be transferred to incumbents. We will not waive this condition of licence and will not approve this, or any other, transfer of set-aside spectrum to an incumbent ahead of the five-year limit.”
It seems, if a spokesman for the Industry Minister is not bluffing, that TELUS will not be able to say “3rd time’s a charm.” In an interview with Reuters, Jake Enwrigh echoed that “the minister has made his position clear already on spectrum transfers. We’ve been clear that we will not approve any spectrum transfer that results in undue concentration.”
Time will tell to fully understand the fate of Mobilicity. We could possibly get an update by the end of the week or early next week. In the meantime, many Canadians are awaiting the results of the 700 Mhz spectrum auction that’s currently in progress.