Fed approves Globalive’s entry into Canadian wireless market

The wireless carrier's entry into Canadian marketplace is approved by the federal government, which says the company meets Canadian ownership standards.

Globalive Wireless Management may launch Wind Mobile as early as next week, as the carrier received approval to operate in Canada from the federal government this morning. Minister of Industry Tony Clement overruled an earlier CRTC decision that denied Globalive permission to launch its wireless brand because of the regulator’s ownership and control requirements.

‘Globalive is a Canadian company, and meets Canadian ownership and control requirements under the Telecommunications Act,’ Clement said in a release, asserting that in varying the CRTC’s decision the government is not bending or creating exception to any rules. While the influence of non-Canadian shareholders can amount to control, the Governor in Council in its decision determined ‘that is not the case with Globalive.’

Wind Mobile will be the first major wireless competitor to go to market in an industry dominated for the past decade by three entrenched carriers, Rogers Communications, Bell Canada, and Telus Corp. The incumbents protested the company’s launch during CRTC hearings on the issue in September, arguing that it did not conform to Canadian ownership rules.

‘We knew the incumbents were not going to make this easy for us,’ said Ken Campbell, CEO, Wind Mobile this morning in a press conference at the Wind Mobile headquarters in Toronto. ‘But we expected that after we launched.’

This month Wind Mobile launched a media campaign, handled by Starcom MediaVest and developed by Clean Sheet to engage consumers in the wireless debate, and educate them about the benefits new competition would bring, such as lower prices and better service. Company heads said they are confident consumers will take to the brand, and that there will be lots of Wind ‘mobiles’ underneath the Christmas tree this season.

‘It is not going be perfect out of the gate, but we’ve got an opportunity to build a relationship with Canadians in the long term,’ said Anthony Lacavera, chairman, Globalive and Wind Mobile.