New WIND Mobile CEO Urges Ottawa to Increase Wireless Competition


The government needs to take additional steps to foster competition in the Canadian mobile landscape, Wind Mobile’s new CEO Alek Krstajic claimed yesterday at a Toronto telecom conference, reports the Globe and Mail.

Besides reiterating that he and company co-founder Anthony Lacavera strive toward the same goal of Wind emerging as the fourth national player, Krstajic said that competitive pressure will help “keep everyone honest”, and that Wind will offer lower prices than its incumbent competitors. It can anyway, because incumbents have a profit margin to maintain, which makes harder for them to drop prices.

“At the end of the day, [the incumbents] have to feed the beast that is this 49-per-cent [profit] margin and so it’s very difficult for them to drop prices and sometimes do what a new entrant would do,” Mr. Krstajic said, after noting the incumbents often announce similar price changes and product launches at roughly the same time as each other.

In his first public speech since being named as CEO, Krstajic also criticized the incumbents for their anti-Verizon campaign of two years ago that targeted the government.

“Our industry rides on assets given to us by the regulator. We forget that and it’s at our own peril,” Mr. Krstajic said, noting the “attack on the government may have scared off American suitors,” but Ottawa stuck to its approach.

But isn’t just Wind Mobile who applauds CRTC’s approach to regulation: small internet providers say the regulator needs to continue to put pressure on the market to promote choice for customers.

The incumbents, in contrast, said that the regulator needs to ensure players who have invested hard money in building their own network infrastructure have the incentive to invest.

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