We all know that 50% of new businesses fail, and Canada just had three new companies jump into a fiercely competitive market—the Canadian telecom market—recently. So, which one is going to crash and burn? Will it be the heavy weight Wind Mobile, backed by some of the most powerful people in the world? Or will it be plucky little Public Mobile, with their former CEO from Bell Mobility?
There are lots of rumours swirling about the fates of the three new providers. Naguib Sawiris believes his Wind Mobile will buy out both Public and Mobilicity pretty quickly, effectively placing his contender at the top. But will this improve competition with the incumbents, or will they just become another happy member of the semi-monopoly the Big Three have enjoyed for years?
But all that might just be a rich man’s fantasy. From an outside observers view, it looks like Mobilicity is doing quite well. They may have had a shaky start a few months ago, but they seem to have gotten into the swing of things. They have better deals, lots of advertising to create a brand image (something Wind has been lacking recently, if you don’t count the subway ads), and have been expanding quicker than anyone ever imagined (they’ve already spread to Edmonton and Vancouver, two places Public Mobile has yet to touch.)
Public Mobile, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be doing so well. They have yet to upgrade their line up of phones (their choice of network severely limits the kind of phones they can sell), they’re super short selling themselves to catch up with the other two, and have almost completely stopped advertising. On top of all that, they still haven’t spread their network. Sure, they now cover most of the Greater Toronto Area, but what about other cities across the country? Their master plan may be to focus on Toronto and Montreal, but if they want to compete, then they have to expand.
When Public Mobile announced their pricing before launch, there was a bit of shock in the tech world. Not because they were so good but because they were higher than everyone else. Mobilicity and Wind both offered unlimited plans for $35 while Public wanted $40. What are they offering for the premium price? Not much.
None of the new guys are going to be gone next year. They all have enough money backing them to last a few years—even with horrid sales. But my prediction for the first to die screaming? Public Mobile.
I like you Public. You’re cool. But you wont last long unless you make some major changes.