WIND Mobile CEO Anthony Lacavera has taken to the company’s blog to publish an article titled “Time to separate myth and reality.” In regards to the incumbents’ ongoing ‘Fair for Canada’ campaign, Lacavera says “it is a ridiculous campaign and I have been mostly ignoring it and focusing on competing in the wireless market. Imagine that!”
The CEO also commends Minister Moore and Prime Minister Harper for “their unflinching commitment to Canadian consumers in the face of this aggressive and dishonest campaign led by Bell and TELUS.”
Lacavera goes on to retell how the 2008 AWS auction began plus details how WIND Mobile had to exit the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications as the organization did not support newer entrants, deeming the CWTA “a mere puppet of the Big Three.” The WIND CEO then breaks down numerous CWTA’s arguments, which calls Ottawa’s plans “anti-consumer.”
Here’s a snippet of one CWTA argument squashed by Lacavera:
The CWTA claims that if Verizon were to enter the Canadian market in the upcoming 700MHz spectrum auction, Canadian firms would be “blocked from bidding on 50% of our own country’s assets.” This assumes that the Big Three are the only “Canadian firms” – they’d like to be but that is precisely would the policy is designed to prevent. Instead, the auction will be an open and competitive process with national and regional carriers bidding fiercely at every stage.
In fact, when the policy first came out, we were very disappointed. In our view, the policy (still) virtually guarantees that the Big Three, who already have almost all the spectrum in this country (most of which was given to them by the government for free), will acquire 75% of the prime spectrum available.
The truth is the auction structure for 700MHz is not unfair to the Big Three at all. Perhaps Bell, TELUS and Rogers have lost some perspective after decades of getting handouts and protections from the Canadian people. It’s understandable, I suppose. After all, in the early days of cellphones and wireless technology the government simply gave them bucketloads of Canadian spectrum for free. If that is their baseline for what’s “fair”, then it’s not hard to understand why the Big Three feel so hard done by when they have to actively compete.
The CWTA did get one thing right, though. As Canadians we do indeed “instinctively know unfairness when we see it.” For many Canadians, they see it every month when they open up a cellular phone bill from one of the Big Three.
Back in July, Lacavera said Rogers, Telus and Bell are being “disingenuous” with their claims of being untreated daily by Ottawa. With Verizon reportedly delaying its bid for Mobilicity, earlier this month the Lacavera said WIND Mobile would consider acquiring the bleeding wireless entrant if the U.S. carrier wasn’t.
Earlier today some telecom analysts expressed the ongoing ‘Fair for Canada’ campaign has caused backlash rather than gained support from Canadians. What do you think about Lacavera’s argument?