Globalive, Wind Mobile's cellular application rejected by the CRTC. What next ?

I have a dream. A dream that one day the CRTC will pull their bureaucratic heads out of the quicksand they seem to have it stuck in. That maybe they'll actually serve Canadian's interests for the better and be guided by what the populace actually needs, wants, and deserves.

What's my beef with the CRTC ?

If you have been following this blog you will obviously know that Canada has some new cellular competition about to enter the market. Public Mobile, Dave Wireless, and Wind Mobile (Globalive).

Wait a minute. Small correction.

Public Mobile and Dave Wireless.

Where's Wind Mobile ?

As of yesterday they're not doing that well and unfortunately the wind isn't exactly at their backs.

Wind Mobile's cellular application was approved by Industry Canada in March. Their ownership structure was scrutinized at the time and deemed to be acceptable. Wind Mobile, in partnership with Egypt's Orascom, were set to launch Canada's next and fourth national carrier network until the CRTC got their regulatory claws into the deal. Apparently they have taken issue with Orascom's foreign investment and yesterday denied Globalive's cellular application. What should have been a rubber stamp by the CRTC has turned into a mallet.

The Canadian consumer should be pissed. We have opened up wireless spectrum to allow for more competition in the marketplace. We need this competition to drive down prices and improve service. We should be in a national uproar that these CRTC hearings even happened, and now that their application was denied it's the Canadian consumer that will suffer.

What can Globalive, Wind Mobile's parent company, do ?

They can appeal to the federal government. Hmmm ... Appealing to bureaucrats about the bureaucrats decision. I'm sure Globalive will try but they don't make quick decisions in Ottawa so it could be summer 2020 before they consider an appeal.

They could go into quick partnership with Shaw, MTS, or Quebecor. Partnership could come in many flavours. Globalive could lease their spectrum to any of these carriers, sell their spectrum, or get a loan from any of these carriers.

They could try and find some other local Canadian financing. Maybe some banker on Bay Street has got a few hundred million dollars burning a hole in their pockets.

They can make some major changes to the current structure to overcome the majority foreign ownership.

In the mean time, the CRTC is a stodgy, unnecessary relic that at one time was probably useful, but in 2009 with the rapidly changing Telecom , internet, and TV landscape no longer serves any real useful purpose.

As for Wind Mobile, the prediction I made a couple of weeks ago was that of the 3 new carriers entering the market, in one year's time they would be the only one still standing. I still believe that to be the case. This is a hurdle, not a barrier.

Written by: Jeff Wiener. Follow by: RSS, Twitter,, or Friendfeed

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