WIND has had enough of poor wireless network results and has finally taken the necessary steps to make the carrier really competitive: It has partnered with Nokia Networks to build its LTE network and so significantly increase network capacity and speed, achieve substantial network efficiency gains, and deliver better network experience for customers.
The two parties have signed a five-year agreement under which Nokia Networks becomes the sole provider for LTE and cloud-based core technologies. Nokia will provide a comprehensive end-to-end solution that includes the deployment of new radio LTE, LTE virtualized core, and OSS (NetAct to support the LTE and core elements).
“We have worked with Nokia Networks since our inception in 2009, and they have been a trusted partner as we’ve expanded our footprint and subscriber base over the years,” Alek Krstajic, CEO, WIND Mobile, said. “This new partnership with Nokia Networks as our sole source LTE network provider allows WIND to bring the most advanced technologies available to our customers. With Nokia, WIND is positioned as Canada’s fourth largest wireless provider, bringing affordable wireless service to even more Canadians.”
Actually, WIND has already said that this would be its next step towards improving its position in the wireless market. To take this step, WIND has closed a new senior secured debt facility that allows up to $425 million (CAD) of financing to support its LTE plans.
“The combination of our new financing, new spectrum acquired earlier this year, and approved by, the Federal Government, and with Nokia as a world-class technology partner, WIND fulfills the requirements to move to the next stage in its growth and network functionality,” said Chief Executive Officer, Alek Krstajic. “It is also important to note,” he added, “the support we have received from our syndicate of Canadian banks and that they have recognized both the evolution of WIND and its importance in delivering a competitive choice to Canadian consumers.”
According to the press release, the strategic bank financing, which is backed by a syndicate of major Canadian banks such as TD Securities, BMO Capital Markets, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, as well as additional support from export credit agency of Finland (“Finnvera”), enabled re-financing of existing debt facilities and consists of multiple delayed-draw tranches to fund both operational growth and network expansion.