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BREAKING: Globalive Given Green Light To Launch WIND Mobile In Canada!

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At the end of October 2009, Globalive and their WIND Mobile brand was denied by the CRTC to begin operations in Canada. Well this morning, the Canadian Federal Government overruled the CRTC ruling:

We have concluded through normal review that Globalive meets the Canadian ownership and control requirements

For. The. Win. I would love to see the Rogers/Telus/Bell boardroom meetings this morning!

Check out the National Post release below:

OTTAWA — Industry Minister Tony Clement said Friday the federal government would overrule the federal telecom regulator and allow Globalive Wireless Management Corp. to offer cellphone service in Canada.

“We have concluded through normal review that Globalive meets the Canadian ownership and control requirements,” Mr. Clement said in a press conference Friday morning.

The much-anticipated announcement comes six weeks after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission denied Globalive’s bid to be the country’s fourth-biggest wireless operator. The CRTC initially said Globalive’s corporate structure violated foreign-ownership rules, as Egypt’s Orascom Telecom Holding SAE held too much control through debt financing.

The decision is expected to be a blow to the big three wireless providers — Rogers Communications Inc., BCE Inc., and Telus Corp. — as they fought to keep Globalive out of the Canadian market.

Under the federal Telecommunications Act, the federal cabinet has the power to vary CRTC decisions. Mr. Clement said he is satisfied the debt financing provided by Orascom does not constitute foreign control and no changes would be required to the company’s organization. “We are satisfied that in this particular case [Globalive’s] board of directors cannot be controlled by the foreign investor.”

He said the decision is effective immediately, and was based on legal facts of the ownership structure – and should not be interpreted as a signal of pending changes to the country’s rules governing foreign investment.

In recent days, the federal Conservative has come under attack from opposition politicians for layoffs in the mining sector courtesy of foreign-owned Vale Inco and Xstrata PLC.

“Let me emphasize – this variance is specific to the facts of this case and is based on the application of Canadian ownership and control requirements to these particular facts. The government is not removing, reducing, bending or creating an exception to [foreign ownership rules] in the telecommunications and broadcasting industries.”

Canadian foreign-ownership legislation, as pertains to telecom, restricts the number of voting shares that can be held by non-Canadians, to 20% at the operating company level and 33.3% at the holding company level. Further, the CRTC must be satisfied that foreigners do not exercise “control in fact” over the company.

The Minister said Ottawa is satisfied with Globalive’s structure, as Canadians will own at least 80% of the voting shares and 66.66% of Globalive’s holding company. Further, the board is dominated by Canadians.

Even though he said this decision was based solely for legal reasons, Mr. Clement acknowledged Globalive’s entry should be a boon for consumers. “[This] will enhance competition for the benefit of consumers … by giving more choice at better prices and higher quality.”

His decision was issued roughly an hour before stock markets opened in North America. It also marks the second time that the Stephen Harper-led Conservative government rewrote a 2006 CRTC decision dealing with deregulation in the local-phone market.

As it happened, Industry Canada had initially approved Globalive’s application last March.

He said cabinet has the right to review CRTC decisions, and that differences of opinion between arms of government are not unusual. The cabinet signed off on the decision on Thursday.

“This is and should be a subjective test, so it is possible that two branches of government could reasonably come to two different conclusions,” Mr. Clement said, noting he consulted with provincial government prior to issuing his decision.

Prior to Mr. Clement’s announcement, potential rivals were already playing down Globalive’s potential entry. On Thursday, Rogers Communications Inc. chief executive Nadir Mohamed told Bloomberg News that Canada’s wireless market can’t sustain a fourth national mobile carrier.

“There’s no question in my mind that Canada cannot support more than three national facilities-based players,” Mr. Mohamed. “It’s inconceivable to me.”

I find Nadir’s comments particularly amusing. Is the collar getting a bit tight? 🙂

Alright Apple, wake up! There is a new iPhone carrier in town!

Update from Globalive’s press conference:

  • Launch cities are Toronto and Calgary.
  • The company is looking to launch within the next two weeks.

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  • Tazcorp

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii no more olygopoly!!!!!! Welcome wind goodbye Rogers!!!!

  • Sylanel

    Great news, thanks for the info! Time to sit back and look how the other telco's will react to the arrival of “official” competition!

  • rorypiper

    Great news!

  • Carl

    Awesome! There's hope for when my contract expires in 2011!

  • inotel54

    it's not available in Quebec 🙁 we are still getting f*ck in Quebec !!!! :@ F*CKING PIERRE-KARL PELADEAU AND QUEBECOR !!!!!!

  • LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!

  • Emuler

    Ahhh Yessss!!!!! Goodbye Robbers!!! Hello Wind!!!!

  • WildOne

    Let the showdown begin!!!

  • dudemaster

    I will seriously consider moving to this new service once I hear what they offer. Unfortunately I am 18 months into a 3 year contract but I will not agree to paying for tethering as I see this is adding to my data plan without consent. That may get me out of my contract….

  • Flaxx

    haha! my condolences to ya!

  • Flaxx

    i think a lot of people share your opinion on this. when rogers introduced the charge for incoming sms for plans without txt's, i threatened to jump ship (have three cells, one of which doesn't need txt), so they added a txt msg plan for free. of course it's not ideal because after my contract they'll probably try and charge me again. The point is, they don't want a class-action-lawsuit or mass-exitus, so they'll likely credit you. Another carrier is just another bargaining chip or refuge from 'robbers' when the credits run out.

  • Rob

    Let's hope their service is more stable than their website. 😉

  • Dusty

    LOL!

  • Dusty

    Good news!

  • artikas

    Guys, I'm as excited as you all are. But we need to chill for a secound and see what happens. Those big corps all just want our $$$. I wouldn't be surpriced if the pices are not convincing enough to get even 10% of us switched over to WIND.

    I used to live most of my life and cell phone companies there are like nigh clubs. They come and go or get bought off every week. Most of them fail to have a successful launch.

    All I'm saying; don't get your hopes up.

  • ReyT

    The 3 big companies see Wind as a competitor. 'Hopefully Wind takes advantage and lure customers to go to them and hopefully come up with “inviting” offers. They have to start a database of customers, in time for the next generation of smart phones (iPhone, that is…)

  • Viktor

    I cant waite For Wind to came next week to Toronto !

    Goodby Bell , heloo Wind ! Wind operates in Europa for long time and they are great company !

    FINALY ! WHAT OBAUT THE CABLE COMPANYS ? THEY ARE FUCKING US TO . I WANA PICK MY OWN CHANEL .DO NOT WANA PAY FOR CHANELS DONT WATCH ,PLEAS!

  • Anonymous

    see this post from wind:

    http://www.windmobile.ca/WIND-news/detail/answering-questions/

    might have to wait for the next version of iPhone…

  • kensmartz

    Wind from a company that is essentially bankrupt?

  • mofoman

    Yaaayyyy, I'm as excited as most people are, but I'm definitely feeling very pessimistic.

    Their “leaked” plans are decent for the light user and great for the power user, but for most average users its hard to find something. Again, this is going off speculative plans, but we'll find out for sure in about a week.

    The worst thing is their spectrum frequency (1700?). It'll definitely make phone compatibility very tough, especially those with iPhones. Furthermore, most of us with iPhones are locked in for another 2-3 years. So what are we going to do now?? Jump ship and pay all the cancellation fees?

    I really hope WIND can make change in this terrible cellular market. But to me it seems like it'll take a few years, if ever, for these guys to make a dent.

    Regardless, I'm rooting for ya underdog!! For the sake of Canadian cellular subscribers everywhere.
    😀

  • Half-pint

    You're assuming the Big Three (Two?) don't sit down with Globalive and cut a deal. They already tried to outright block competition from happening, what makes you think they'll stop now?

  • Half-pint

    You're assuming the Big Three (Two?) don't sit down with Globalive and cut a deal. They already tried to outright block competition from happening, what makes you think they'll stop now?

  • Pingback: WIND Mobile Monthly Plans Leaked? | iPhone in Canada Blog - Tips, Tricks, News, and Tutorials for Canadian iPhone Users()

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