WIND Eyes 4th Carrier Spot, Ottawa Says Competition Coming without Verizon

Speaking with CBC’s Lang & O’Leary Exchange, WIND Mobile CEO Anthony Lacavera says his company is ready to be the fourth national wireless carrier when the wireless spectrum takes place in January of 2014:

“I don’t think we ever did need a Verizon for Wind to achieve its business plan,”

“The demand for our products is clearly there. Prices have come down almost 18 per cent in the markets that we operate in,”

Lacavera says Ottawa’s policies aimed at helping newer entrants will give the company a chance to compete against the Big 3:

“What’s key for us on spectrum side is government has put in place a policy framework now that ensures the availability of spectrum for new entrants, and that wasn’t so clear up until June of this year when the government announced the Telus and Mobilicity decision,”

“It’s now clear there will be four carriers in every market and all those carriers will have access to sufficient spectrum to roll out next generation wireless,”

The CEO has been critical of wireless incumbents of late, accusing them of serving up a “buffet of misinformation” with their ‘Fair for Canada’ campaign to win support from its Canadian customers to pressure Ottawa into changing its wireless spectrum rules.

Despite Verizon yesterday clearly stating it has zero intentions to enter the Canadian wireless market, Industry Minister James Moore says the conditions are ripe for a fourth competitor, even without the U.S. carrier coming to Canada.

Moore explains industry watchers may be surprised at the newer entrants set to emerge in the fall auction of spectrum. He also clarified the possibility of Verizon was always based on speculation, a statement which echoes the latter’s CEO who earlier today blamed the media for hyping up its Canadian ambitions:

“We’ve said all along that our policy is not dependent on whether Verizon comes or doesn’t come. We always knew that it was speculation whether Verizon decided to come to Canada,” Moore told The Lang & O’Leary Exchange.

“If [Verizon] had decided to come, it would have provided a different kind of competition and the incumbent firms would have to arrange their affairs differently.”

The Industry Minister would not eliminate foreign telecoms bidding on Canadian spectrum, only to say Ottawa is firm on its wireless spectrum rules and nothing will change.

“It’s a highly valued asset that players will want to bid on,”

“Ottawa’s policy has always been the same — more choice for consumers, more competition for the marketplace,”

WIND Mobile currently has 650,000 subscribers and is partly owned by Netherlands-based Vimpelcom Ltd. The carrier has also previously stated if Verizon does not pursue Mobilicity, they would possibly pursue the financially cash-strapped entrant.

Would you support WIND Mobile as our fourth national wireless carrier? If they are able to bid and win substantial spectrum blocks and offer the iPhone to go along with their competitive plans, they just might have hope of taking on the Big 3.

Thanks Todd!