Globalive Secures Telus Partnership as Part of Bid to Buy Freedom Mobile

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Globalive announced on Thursday it has signed a network and spectrum sharing agreement with Telus, conditional on its successful bid to purchase Freedom Mobile from the Rogers-Shaw merger.

Founder and chairman of Globalive, Anthony Lacavera, also the original founder of Freedom Mobile when it was known as WIND Mobile, said this deal is the first time a wireless carrier in Canada has signed a network and spectrum sharing deal “with a pure-play independent wireless competitor.”

What this deal means is if Globalive is able to purchase Freedom Mobile, the latter will share resources with Telus to avoid building a duplicate network. “This is an agreement that benefits all Canadians, providing them with best-in-class mobile services at a competitive price,” said Globalive in a press release.

“The positive aspects of robust, independent competition are clear. Canada needs a truly independent fourth carrier to ensure consumers have the benefits of a competitive market and a level playing field. We’re excited to bring Canadians closer to that reality with this transformational announcement,” says Anthony Lacavera, Globalive’s founder and chairman, in a statement.

Globalive says the agreement would span a minimum of 20 years, if successful, and would remove the possibility of Freedom Mobile being repurchased by Rogers at some point in the future.

“When we first founded WIND Mobile as an independent, pure-play competitor, we were able to successfully bring wireless prices down by as much as 20 per cent across our operating markets. We know we can do it again,” said Lacavera in a statement. “The success of this agreement will allow us to combine superior pricing with best-of-class network quality for Canadian consumers. It’s a groundbreaking moment for the Canadian telecommunications industry and we commend TELUS for recognizing the benefits that true competition will bring.”

Back in March, Globalive said it offered $3.75 billion to buy Freedom Mobile back from Rogers, while one month later he called the sale process a “non-competitive sham”.

While the CRTC has approved the transfer of broadcasting licenses in the Rogers-Shaw deal, the Competition Bureau has outright denied the merger.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada still has to decide on the merger, but will likely force the divestment of Freedom Mobile from Rogers and Shaw. Other bidders apparently in the mix to buy Freedom Mobile include Quebecor and Xplornet.