US Carriers Looking to Buy WIND Mobile, Enter Canadian Wireless Market

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Due to recent changes to foreign ownership rules, U.S. telecom giants such as AT&T or Verizon may be looking to acquire WIND Mobile and step in to the Canadian wireless market, according to a report by The Huffington Post. With new foreign ownership rules, U.S. wireless carriers can now own and operate a telecom company in Canada. Sources are also claiming that WIND’s Amsterdam-based parent company VimpelCom has already started a process to sell its subsidiary.

It has been tough for new entrants to make inroads into Canada’s wireless market, with the ‘Big 3’ carriers, Bell, Telus and Rogers, owning about 95% of the market. Previous rumours have also suggested that one of the ‘Big 3’ would acquire WIND mobile. However, if a U.S. telecom giant succeeds in acquiring the small Canadian wireless player, it would become the first American company to own a wireless telecom company in this country after years of foreign ownership restrictions. The new regulations allow foreign ownership of companies with 10 per cent or less of market share.

The loosening of those ownership rules has made Wind more attractive to players outside Canada. Wind has since had “inquiries” from major wireless companies in the U.S., Asia and Europe, the source said.

A Wind takeover by a large U.S company such as Verizon or AT&T could give Canada a powerful fourth player, a scenario that some industry-watchers say would shake up the industry and could benefit Canadians by bringing more choice and lower prices to the market. Earlier today, T-Mobile announced that it will be getting its own version of the iPhone 5 to accommodate the network’s AWS LTE spectrum bands, fuelling rumours that the company may be one of the contenders for acquiring WIND Mobile.

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  • FragilityG4

    I’ve given up on the thought that another telecom will bring change. Why would they change? As it stands the companies would make a ton of money because their gouging is protected by the CRTC.
    Assimilation is contagious when it comes to making profit.
    Our bills will change if the CRTC changes.

  • MleB1

    No real value to an outside provider unless they can gouge as heavily as The Big Three do here. Just ask the Dutch Company trying to sell off Wind.

    And the contracts that Rogers, Bell, Telus (and their offshoots) use are from boilerplates of those originally created in the US. So if you don’t like the Canadian EULAs…

    No, if a big player from elsewhere came in, there would be a brief flurry of activity as they offered deals too good to be true and some churn. And then it would return to same old.

  • VanK

    I hope T-Mobile is the company to acquire Wind, and to bring the newly announced AWS-enabled iPhone 5 to Canada.

    It’s about time to have another big player in wireless field, and compete with the Big 3. I believe the announcement alone will force the Big 3 to re-evaluate their business practices.

  • Jon

    Not needed. Videotron can easily use the new AWS iPhone on its network.

  • Anthony W

    US carriers are the ones who wrote the book on terms and contracts. The pie (market) is too small for any real investor to put in money to invest anyways. Most likely the US carrier just want to buy it and then sell it back.

  • VanK

    True, but we need a nation-wide carrier such as Wind, Mobilicity, or ideally T-Mobile to bring the AWS iPhone to Canadian consumers.

  • draz

    The only US Company that would make sense is T-Mobile. VZW and ATT would not bother because their networks are different.

    It would probably just be a bunch of shareholders coming together to buy it.

  • bradg17

    Not needed? Videotron doesn’t have enough coverage

  • Biggy604

    Exactly this, just like how Canadians were all excited that Target is replacing Zellers. Everyone thought cheaper prices, but no same prices different Business Brand. There will be no special “US prices” here, blame our market and all the hidden taxes and cost for everything. Yes even mobile providers that tout the “no hidden fees”, the fees are there, just as a minimal thing. Just like if one were to eliminate all that hidden tax costs on gas prices. We’d all have better gas prices. Oh well, anyways only my opinion.

  • N

    Please Lord let it be Verizon and not AT&T!

  • reformcanada

    The nanny state CRTC department would never allow free market in the telecommunication sector.

  • Andy Trieu

    Why iPhone5, piece of junk. get the new Blackberry

  • HaHa

    Are you guys kidding a US telecom company coming were to Canada? Ya like thats going to happen.Good luck with that.

  • peter

    three big price too high. goverment need to do something.