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Verizon Has Reportedly Bid $700 Million for Wind Mobile and Initiated Talks with Mobilicity

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The Canadian mobile landscape is about to change, and most of us will love it: Verizon has placed a $700 million opening bid for Wind Mobile and is in talks with Mobilicity, people familiar with the matter told the Globe and Mail.

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Last week, the company’s chief financial officer publicly admitted that Verizon is dipping its toe in the water, but today’s news reinforces earlier rumours claiming the red US carrier is interested in entering the $19 billion Canadian wireless market.

However, the bill for entering the market won’t be small: analysts estimate the amount to be between $1 billion and $2 billion, which is the total bill for acquiring two struggling wireless startups — Wind Mobile and Mobilicity — and a possible participation in the federal government’s auction of wireless licences scheduled for next year.

Verizon’s re-entrance onto Canadian soil — it held 20% of shares in Telus in the company’s early days — could save the government’s efforts to establish for a fourth wireless player in each province, a condition wireless startups couldn’t meet for lack of financial power.

“We think Verizon remains very interested in the Canadian market as a potential growth opportunity. Benefits to the company include the opportunity to acquire an asset at a steep discount to book value, to acquire 700-MHz spectrum contiguous to its U.S. spectrum, to leverage existing Verizon products in the Canadian market and to achieve net roaming savings,” Greg MacDonald, a telecom analyst with Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd., said in an e-mail.

The buying power of Verizon would reignite the much-needed wireless competition on Canadian soil, as it could acquire the latest smartphones at prices that potentially undercut the incumbents, and with the participation in the upcoming spectrum auction, it could create a much-needed national network.

However, it is unclear whether the deal will go though, as the U.S. wireless player is weighing up its options, but its entrance would certainly make many Canadian subscribers happy.

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  • crosseyed_mofo

    borderless plans plz

  • Chrome262

    Unfortunately, while I hope that happens, in terms of pricing I can’t see them dropping prices so dramatically, I mean we pay some of the highest prices in the world, Verizon would be silly to let part of that go. They could charge us more then what they charge in the states and still be better then the big three though. And traditional while you can get plans in the States to have borderless roaming it has not been the trend here. If they do buy wind, it would be interesting to see how big of a shake up they actually do to the industry. Never been a fan of Verizon’s CDMA only strategy, how other Carriers world wide have adopted GSM and CDMA if they were using it before, but not them, so you are stuck using their version of phones, and have less options when it comes to phones on the secondary market. Although I have no clue if they are changing that now, and hey its different up here so we will see. Not if t-mobile would buy something up here we could have some serious comp

  • crosseyed_mofo

    totally, cant happen unless verizon gets off cdma’s teat

  • Chrome262

    agreed. Or at least a mixture, like Bell has.

  • xxxJDxxx

    LTE + CDMA ?

  • Anthony

    Verizon has the most expensive plans in the state. It will not be any different than the Big 3. Also, I will only consider if Verizon hires people for call centers and such in Canada instead of using employees in the US. Nothing against the US but that’s how it should work.

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