Archive for Wind Mobile

Shaw Buys Wind Mobile

Posted in Commentary with tags , on December 16, 2015 by itnerd

Shaw Communications who once tried to start their own wireless service has now drop $1.6 Billion for Wind Mobile according to the Globe And Mail:

“Wireless was a missing piece,” Shaw CEO Brad Shaw said in an interview, adding that now the company will be able to match its main rival Telus Corp., which already has one of the largest cellular businesses in Canada and competes with Shaw for television and Internet customers.

“Now we’re on the same page, we’re at the same level…. and we’ve improved our competitive position in Western Canada just by doing this deal.”

The deal needs to be okayed by the Competition Bureau, but this is big news. One has to wonder if they plan to really take a serious run at the “big three” carriers, or is that club about to become the “big four.” Does that mean that Wind’s expansion plans are about to ramp up or slow down? We will  have to wait and see on both those fronts.

Wind Mobile Secures Funding To Build LTE Network

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 11, 2015 by itnerd

It seems that Wind Mobile is stepping up their game in a serious way. The upstart wireless company announced yesterday that they got $425 million in funding to build an LTE network with help from Nokia:

Under the five-year deal, Nokia Networks will provide a comprehensive end-to-end solution that includes deployment of new radio LTE, LTE virtualized core and OSS (NetAct to support the LTE and core elements). The company will also deploy a full cloud-based core based on OpenStack, which will include all of the elements: IMS, HSS, VoLTE, VoWi-Fi and Evolved Packet Core. 

The modernization of WIND’s network will involve network implementation, network planning and optimization and care services in order to ensure consistent quality and a successful upgrade. Nokia Networks will also provide cloud wise services, including systems integration for VoLTE and packet core deployment. 

By having an LTE network, it would make Wind competitive with the “Big 3” telcos. So this is good news for Wind subscribers. It also could allow them to finally get the ability to sell the iPhone as not having an LTE network is said to be an impediment to that.

Apple Steps In To Try And Stop Wind Mobile From Selling “Lightly Loved” iPhones

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on August 4, 2015 by itnerd

You might recall that Wind Mobile started selling lightly loved iPhones to their subscribers. Basically it was a way for them to get around the fact that they didn’t have access to selling new iPhones. At the time, I said this:

I’d keep an eye on this as I can see this going in one of three ways:

  • This will get Apple’s attention and they will tell Wind to stop doing this.
  • This will get Apple’s attention and it will spur Apple to allow Wind to sell new iPhones.
  • Apple will not care.

It seems that the correct answer was “This will get Apple’s attention and they will tell Wind to stop doing this.” Sort of. It seems that Apple has called up computer distributor Ingram Micro who was supplying Wind Mobile with their iPhones and asked them to stop doing this:

Three industry sources say Apple and Ingram exchanged correspondence in late July, with Apple Inc.’s Canadian subsidiary demanding that Ingram stop selling used iPhones in Canada, arguing that it was a breach of Ingram’s contract with Apple.

Ingram distributes iPads and Apple accessories on behalf of Apple in Canada and does business with the Cupertino, Calif.-based company worldwide.

Ingram’s interpretation of the contract was that the distribution of used iPhones was not a breach and it expressed concern about cutting off Wind’s supply of the device, but ultimately said it wanted to co-operate with Apple, the sources said. Reached for comment on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Ingram did not respond ‎before publication deadline.

Lovely. And it seems one of the “big three” telcos was behind this move by Apple:

Apple’s decision to demand that Ingram stop selling used iPhones to Wind could have been prompted by a request from BCE Inc.’s Bell Mobility, according to the sources. Bell was said to be upset about Wind being able to access the Apple product and planned to ask Apple Canada to shut the supply down, the sources said. (BCE owns 15 per cent of The Globe and Mail.) Ingram also supplies Bell Mobility with “peripherals” such as cases and chargers.

My take? Apple really should spend more time closing the security holes in their products rather than trying to stop people from buying used iPhones from a carrier that they don’t do business yet. Better yet. Why don’t they cut a deal with Wind Mobile to sell new iPhones? That would be better for all parties. Right now, Apple looks like a bully who needs to be smacked back into reality.

As for Bell. I guess they’re afraid to compete. In other news, the sky is blue and the sun rises and sets. In other words, business as usual for Bell.

Wind Mobile Announces Coverage Of Toronto’s Line 1 Subway Route

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 13, 2015 by itnerd

A press release just popped online announcing that Wind Mobile has lit up coverage of the downtown loop of the Toronto Subway Line 1 route:

WIND Mobile customers can now make calls and access wireless data in subway stations from Bloor-Yonge station, right around the Line 1 downtown loop and as far north as Spadina station. Service is also operational at Bay station on Line 2, for a total of 15 stations altogether.

They promise that additional coverage will be online soon. I do have a question that is the same one that I though of when Wind Mobile first announced that they would have coverage in the subway. I wonder how long it will take Rogers, Bell, and Telus to do the same? I’d also be interested to know if Wind Mobile has seen a bounce in subscribers because of this? It does set them apart from the “big three” and I would think that it may influence the decision making of some customers.

Wind Mobile CEO Calls Out Telus In Interview

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 25, 2015 by itnerd

I just caught wind of a Bloomberg article that has an interview with Wind Mobile CEO Alek Krstagjic. His company was part of the Rogers purchase of Mobilicity because Rogers needed to dispose of spectrum to make sure that the government approved the deal. In the interview he has this to say:

Alek Krstajic, a telecommunications industry veteran who took over the top job at Wind in March, said he partnered with Rogers instead of Telus Corp. because Rogers was able to hand over more spectrum to Wind than Telus as part of the deal.

“Telus wasn’t willing to give up enough, Rogers was. Rogers prevailed,” Krstajic said by phone. Telus spokesman Shawn Hall declined to comment.

Ouch. That’s kind of nasty. The rest of the interview is more tame. But that comment really got my attention as it isn’t every day that a CEO says something like that in public. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that these two companies aren’t going to be holding hands and singing Kumbaya by the fire anytime soon.

Wind Mobile Selling “Lightly Loved” iPhones

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 24, 2015 by itnerd

If you want an iPhone and you’re buying direct from a Canadian carrier, the only way to get one is to buy it from Bell, Rogers, or Telus. Otherwise, you need to buy an unlocked one from The Apple Store and take it to the carrier of your choice. Now Wind has gained a significant amount of traction by having people bring their iPhones to them to use on their network as they work just fine on Wind’s network. But the carrier has been unable to sell iPhones. That was until yesterday when Mobilesyrup reported that the company was planning to sell “lightly loved” which means gently used in my mind iPhones:

While not the new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, “It is with great excitement we announce WIND will carry ‘lightly loved’ iPhone models beginning on Thursday, June 25 2015. WIND will carry these two models in 16GB configuration only,” reveals an internal document we received.

The iPhone 5s will be available in metallic grey, and iPhone 5c will only be offered in white. This is different than the usual “lightly loved” devices that Wind sells – a fancy for saying refurbished – because each comes with a six-month warranty from the date of purchase­­.

As for price, the cost is $499 for an iPhone 5s and $349 for an iPhone 5c, outright. Customers will also be able to purchase these refurbished devices on all Tab options, which drops the pricing down to $0 with a monthly “boost.”

This is a very interesting development and one I suspect will get Apple’s attention as I am not aware of any carrier in Canada or elsewhere that is doing something similar. I’d keep an eye on this as I can see this going in one of three ways:

  • This will get Apple’s attention and they will tell Wind to stop doing this.
  • This will get Apple’s attention and it will spur Apple to allow Wind to sell new iPhones.
  • Apple will not care.

Stay tuned to see which one of these actually happens.

BREAKING: Wind Mobile To Be The First To Have Mobile Service Inside The Toronto Subway System

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 17, 2015 by itnerd

Just a few minutes ago, this Tweet appeared online:

This caught my attention as some TTC stations have WiFi and there have been discussions for years about having mobile phone service in the subway. So it’s interesting that the first to the table will not be one of the big three carriers, meaning Bell, Rogers, or Telus. This gives Wind Mobile a significant advantage over those three as they operate in one place they don’t. The subway. I suspect that you’ll see the big three try to get onto this bandwagon as quickly as possible so that it neutralizes that advantage.

Stay tuned. This could be interesting to watch.

Globalive Now Owns 100% Of Wind Mobile

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 16, 2014 by itnerd

The future of Canadian upstart Wind Mobile got a boost today with the announcement that Globailve has completed a deal to buy the stake that VimpelCom was looking to dump giving Globalive 100% control:

This announcement is a positive development for WIND Mobile and Canadian consumers, including WIND Mobile’s 750,000 happy customers. “With stable, long-term ownership and secure financing, WIND Mobile is moving into an exciting new phase,” said Mr. Lacavera. “WIND Mobile is now poised to continue to bring True Mobile Freedom to Canadians for many years to come.”

“The federal government’s delivery on its promise to create the conditions for viable long-term wireless competition has not gone unnoticed by the investment community,” said Greg Boland, President and Chief Executive Officer of West Face Capital. “We and our partners are pleased to invest in this transaction and we are excited by the future of WIND Mobile.”

The deal is subject to approval by the feds, but I don’t see that as an issue as they want competition in the marketplace. We’ll see what Wind does next. My guess is to go big into the spectrum auction that is due to be held in 2015. They really need that spectrum to build out their network. This deal will help them on that front I suspect.

Wind Drops US Roaming Rates To $15 Unlimited…. Why Can’t The Big 3 Do That?

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 3, 2014 by itnerd

Roaming rates to other countries for Canadian cell phone users are too high despite the fact that the big 3 have made seemingly huge cuts to those rates over the last few months. That’s being highlighted by the fact that Wind Mobile has announced a $15 unlimited US roaming package that gives its customers unlimited data, talk and text across the United States. It goes into effect today. What gets my attention is the fact that roaming in the US is now cheaper than roaming in Canada for Wind customers. Although domestic roaming is going to be dealt with by the Canadian Government shortly.

So, this makes the following thought pop into my head. First of all, if Wind can offer a deal this cheap for US roaming, why can’t Rogers, Bell, and Telus do the same? Is it because they want to keep the profits that they make from roaming in their pockets?

It’s a question that I suspect that they’ll have to start answering today.


Wind Mobile Drops Out Of Spectrum Auction At The Last Minute

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on January 13, 2014 by itnerd

Any hope for real competition in the Canadian wireless space is now doomed.

Late today Wind Mobile dropped out of the spectrum auction that is due to start on Tuesday citing lack of funding. Here’s what else the CBC had to say on this:

The announcement, disclosed Monday on the Industry Canada website, leaves mainly the big three telecom companies — Telus, Rogers and Bell — in the running for airwaves that will allow consumers to connect to a new generation of devices.

“From Wind Mobile’s perspective, there will be no change in our day-to-day business as a result of this decision,” the company said in a written statement. “Wind Mobile remains firmly committed to serving our customers and we are determined to continue to be a vital influence on mobile competition in Canada.”

However, it also said this:

Amsterdam-basedVimpelCom Ltd., Wind’s main investor, told the government of its intention to withdraw from the 700 MHz spectrum auction earlier Monday.

“Wind Mobile’s shareholder VimpelCom decided not to fund Wind Mobile’s participation in this auction, but confirmed that it remains in discussions with the federal government and Wind Mobile’s other shareholder AAL Holding to craft a path forward that will continue to build Wind Mobile as a strong competitor in the Canadian wireless market,” Wind Mobile said in a statement.

Thus that means Rogers, Bell and Telus are going to get all the 700 MHz spectrum and cell phone prices in Canada are unlikely to drop. Which means that consumers get screwed.