Canada's wireless startups snag a quarter of all new subscribers but still have a long way to go: Report

Posted by Knowlton Thomas

Startup wireless carriers like Wind and Mobilicity and capturing one in four new subscribers, according to a report by the CRTC, but they still have a long way to go.

Public Mobile, Videtron, Mobilicity, and Globalive (which owns Wind) have combined to snag a full quarter of all new wireless phone subscribers over the past year—but as far as the whole market is concerned, their share amounts to a mere 2 percent all of subscribers in Canada after two years in the business.

Iain Grant, managing director for research firm SeaBoard Group, stated that the incumbents—Rogers, Bell, and Telus—"have actually done a good job off holding off the new entrants." He did acknowledge, though, that "the new entrants are just getting started."

Even if the newbies own only 2 percent of the market, their mere presence has sparked a new wave of competition in the telecom industry, prompting (slightly) better deals from the incuments. The proof is in the pudding, with the CTRTC affirming that the average monthly cellphone bill is down one dollar from $59 to $58.

But the future may yet change everything. The government has some 700 megahertz spectrum on reserve that it intends to auction off within the next couple of years—and who can bid on it may determine the fate of Canada's wireless industry. If the Big Three are allowed to buy it up, they will, thanks to their vast financial resources dwarfing that of the startups. And if they do, the newbies gain nothing, lose any potential advantage, and all is lost.

Time will tell.

Company:
Telus Corp.
Website:
http://www.telus.com
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Technology is a key enabler for TELUS and our customers, providing advantage and differentiation in the marketplace. By managing the life cycle of current technologies and the timely introduction of new technologies we deliver superior service value to our customers and long-term growth oriented investment performance to our shareholders. For investors, TELUS is succeeding in managing technology and capital... more

Company:
Bell Canada
Website:
http://www.bell.ca
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing the most comprehensive and innovative suite of communication services to residential and business customers in Canada. Operating under the Bell brand, the Company's services include Bell Home Phone local and long distance services, Bell Mobility and Solo Mobile wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell TV direct-to-home satellite and VDSL television,... more

Company:
Rogers Communications
Website:
http://www.rogers.com
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

We are a diversified Canadian communications and media company. We are engaged in wireless voice and data communications services through Wireless, Canada's largest wireless provider and the operator of the country's only national Global System for Mobile Communications ("GSM") based network. Through Cable we are one of Canada's largest providers of cable television services as well as high-speed Internet access... more

Company:
Wind Mobile
Website:
http://www.windmobile.ca
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Simply put, we want to create the most unforgettably positive customer experience in Canada. How? By speaking with you, not at or over you. By making every site you visit, every store you set foot in and every call you have with us into a meaningful conversation to help build something better - together. We'll make it as easy as possible to be a customer. You'll have more control over your mobile experience than... more

Company:
Vidéotron
Website:
http://www.videotron.com
Location:
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Videotron is a leader in Canadian telecommunications. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Quebecor Media inc. and partially owned by Capital d'Amérique CDPQ inc., Videotron is an integrated communications company engaged in cable broadcasting, interactive multimedia development, Internet access services, cable telephony and wireless telephone services. Videotron has had, for many years, a great reputation thanks to its... more

Company:
Mobilicity
Website:
http://www.mobilicity.ca
Location:
Vaughan, Ontario, Canada

We believe that Canadians deserve an alternative wireless experience that delivers better value, more freedom and most of all choice. Simply a better wireless experience No Term Contracts Unlike other providers that lock you into a term contract, Mobilicity has no term contracts or cancelation fees. We are so certain that you’ll love us and want to stay that we don’t have to force you – the choice is yours to make... more

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is an independent public organization that regulates and supervises the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications systems. The CRTC does not regulate newspapers, magazines, cell phone rates, the quality of service and business practices of cell phone companies, or the quality and content of TV and radio programs. As an independent... more

Company:
Public Mobile
Website:
http://www.publicmobile.ca
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Formed in 2008, Public Mobile provides unlimited talk and text services to value conscious customers in Ontario and Quebec. There are no contracts, no credit checks and no surprises. Public Mobile launched its network service in May 2010 in Toronto and in June 2010 in Montreal. Public Mobile is building its network from Windsor to Quebec City. The company purchased its spectrum licence for $52M in July 2008.... more


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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and exploring weird side streets. more



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