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WIND Mobile CEO: Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford Network Expansion in the Works

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Last week it was announced WIND Mobile CEO Anthony Lacavera’s company Globalive Capital regained control of the wireless carrier, as it bought out the Canadian stake held by former parent company VimpelCom, now allowing the chief executive to control the network’s destiny.

In an interview with BCBusiness, Lacavera revealed WIND Mobile has future expansion plans for BC, aside from its existing presence in Vancouver, its second largest market after Toronto.

When asked about plans for BC, he revealed network expansion plans are in the works for Abbotsford, Kelowna and the provincial capital, Victoria. The CEO noted their network has to be great for first-time customers or “people won’t buy from us again”:

What plans do you have for B.C. specifically?

We’ve done all the site surveys in Abbotsford, but we need coverage to be much better to include them in the network. I just saw a plan for Kelowna in the office, which is a whole other market basically. It’s a market like London, Ont.—isolated, an hour drive to anything significant. Smaller than London, but geographically much bigger, so it’s a challenge because that’s the whole equation in our business. If you can put up one tower, it’s about an eight-kilometre radius around it. If you have a thousand people, that’s better than 10 people. And so the economics start to fall off. That said, we think that those markets are going to be very good for us. We already have sites on-air in Whistler. Even though it’s very small, we think it’s a good market for us. Victoria is a logical next market. But there’s no point in opening a store in Abbotsford or wherever if the network’s not great. People won’t buy from us again. We have one shot.

Lacavera noted the company has 1,100 employees but over the past two years hasn’t had a high turnover rate compared to before, a positive sign for the company. Also, customers have remained with WIND despite reports the company’s future could be up in the air. He ended with “Wind’s here to stay—for like the 500th time.”

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