Telus Deal to Acquire Public Mobile Approved by Industry Canada [u]

Ottawa has approved a deal for Telus to acquire Public Mobile’s wireless spectrum, reports the Financial Post:

The federal government has approved a deal for startup carrier Public Mobile to sell its wireless airwaves to Telus Corp.

Industry Minister James Moore said in a statement Wednesday afternoon his department approved a proposed transfer of spectrum licences in the G-block frequency.

In the same statement, Moore hinted a similar deal to acquire Mobilicity might not be approved due to restrictions on AWS spectrum:

“Our government will continue to enforce the moratorium on the transfer of set-aside AWS spectrum to incumbents,” Mr. Moore said. “We will not approve any spectrum transfer request that decreases competition in our wireless sector to the detriment of consumers.”

Meanwhile, Telus has issued a press release in response stating it has entered into an agreement to obtain “100 percent ownership” of Public Mobile and ensure the latter’s 280,000 customers continue to get service, now pending approval from the Competition Bureau.

Alek Krstajic, Public Mobile CEO, said in a statement “TELUS stood out as the company most committed to strong customer service and innovation. We are confident this is the right decision for our customers, our company, our employees and our investors.”

Eros Spadotto, TELUS EVP of Technology Strategy and Operations says Public Mobile’s airwaves, specifically its PCS G block will be valuable for iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c users:

“…the iPhone 5s and 5c have this spectrum ecosystem incorporated within their chipset, consistent with the trend across smartphone manufacturers to produce products that can be sold globally with a lessened need for customization on a market-by-market basis.”

Public Mobile has its wireless operations in Ontario and Quebec.

Update: Industry Minister James Moore clarifies the spectrum policy in this press release:

“G-block spectrum licences were acquired in the 2008 spectrum auction but were not part of the 2008 Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) set-aside. G-block spectrum is not used for the latest data plans and smart phones in Canada and is of a significantly lesser value than other types of spectrum. This transaction does not materially change the spectrum concentration of incumbents in this country and therefore will not diminish competition in our wireless sector.”

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • So this will start out like when Rogers bought Fido. “Oh sure, we’ll keep everything as it was, Fido is a separate company!” they claimed. And then…as time wore on, we know what happened – Fido became Rogers Jr.

    It will be interesting to see if Telus handles this, but I think that Public Mobile customers will have one thing in their future – bigger bills.

  • Chrome262

    Fido still has cheaper plans then rogers, and they still offer fido dollars and per second billing. do their data plans suck, sure, are they better then rogers, yes. it is at times only a marginal improvement, but still not Rogers like. And both are better then bell lol

  • The price plan differences are negligible now, and they get you on technicalities by removing options from plans that are included on Rogers in order to get every penny on extras.

    And per second billing went out the window over a year ago.

  • ????Dennis

    Do you guys think this would be a good time to sign up for Public mobile. Get a great plan. Then Telus takes over and get their coverage. Do you think they will grandfather the original plan? I remember Fido customers keeping their original plan, which is why I’m asking.

  • ace

    could be a good idea..:)

  • Tim

    Public Mobile isn’t (wasn’t) really much of a competitor to higher end plans. Their phones are crap, they apply traffic shaping to all kinds of content on the “unlimited” data plans. This hurts basic dumb phone users more than the general audience of this site.

  • Chrome262

    I still get it, and they offered it to me on the new plans. So I wouldn’t say out the window.