The Competition Bureau has given the green light to various spectrum transfers, meaning Rogers now owns Mobilicity, while WIND Mobile also gets much-needed spectrum, part of a dizzying deal helped orchestrated by the latter’s CEO Alek Krstagjic.
In an interview with Bloomberg, the WIND Mobile CEO said they partnered with Rogers over TELUS because “Telus wasn’t willing to give up enough, Rogers was. Rogers prevailed,” referring to the amount of spectrum each incumbent was ready to hand over to WIND.
In order for Rogers to acquire Mobilicity and meet wireless competition demands of the federal government, the incumbent had to hand over some spectrum to WIND, but also Shaw was involved, too. As the Financial Post puts it:
Others can explain this better, but 10 Mobilicity spectrum licenses will transfer to Rogers. Rogers will transfer those licenses to Wind in exchange for some portion of Wind’s existing spectrum. At the same time, 18 spectrum licenses will move from Shaw to Rogers. Rogers will keep two of those licenses and transfer 16 to Wind.
WIND also exercised an option to pay $25 million to Rogers for half of Mobilicity’s cell cites and network equipment.
The Rogers deal for Shaw’s unused spectrum finally went through. Shaw stated the total proceeds for the transaction to Rogers totalled $350 million ($50 million purchase price; $200 million deposit plus an extra $100 million for the option); the company paid $190 million for the spectrum in 2008. Not too shabby.
WIND Mobile’s efforts now, explain Krstagjic, is to find an equipment supplier to help build out its LTE network and “getting newer iPhones into its stores.” Just today, WIND Mobile launched refurbished sales of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
The wireless startup also says it could engage in talks again about partnering with Videotron’s parent company, Quebecor.
Krstajic was optimistic its current 800,000 subscriber base will continue to grow: “Whether we’re 1, 2, 3, or 4 million subscribers, whatever that absolute number is, it’ll represent some market share,” following up with “We are going to take a bigger piece of the pie, I don’t know how big a piece yet.”
This is good news for WIND Mobile’s existing customers and potential customers. The company now has the pieces to put together a better network, which would definitely help it land the iPhone, officially.