Sugar Mobile isn’t giving up just yet, as the wireless subsidiary of Ice Wireless in Northern Canada, has announced it plans to continue to offer a WiFi First network for Canadians, with “guaranteed lowest prices and the best value”.
CEO Samer Bishay wrote in a company blog post yesterday:
We’re proud and eager to continue working hard to bring a WiFi First network to Canadians. Together, we’ll lead the transformation of how regulators view the market and how Canadians consume mobile.
Bishay says Sugar Mobile brings “possible disruption” in the Canadian wireless market, which is why incumbents wanted them shutdown, backed by a CRTC ruling in March.
However, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains ordered the CRTC “rethink its decision and reconsider the WiFi first model” back in June, giving Sugar Mobile a lifeline, with a review to be completed by March 31, 2018.
A WiFi First network provides mobile devices with Wi-Fi access first, only to have gaps filled in with cellular service, provided by roaming off incumbent wireless partners.
Sugar Mobile’s original WiFi First model leeched off the cellular roaming agreement its parent company, Ice Wireless, had with Rogers. Obviously, Rogers said this was a violation of the terms setup with Ice and complained to the CRTC to shut it down.
Bishay teases the company plans to let Canadians “pay for the data that you need and not a byte more. Everything else is free.” On top of “guaranteed lowest prices”, Sugar Mobile will also offer the best value.
Sugar Mobile has high hopes on the CRTC report set to come out in a few months, which may decide in their favour. But if it doesn’t, it’s just more struggling for mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) to launch in Canada.