Good news, Canadians – it looks like wind mobile is a go. Industry Minister Tony Clement has overturned the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s decision to deny Globalive’s upstart wireless carrier from entering the market due to the majority being owned by Egyptian telecom Orascom. Apparently the definition of ownership differs slightly between the CRTC and Industry Canada: Clement’s reversal was made on the grounds that 80% of voting shares are owned by Canadians, and is therefore perfectly eligible to operate; the CRTC’s decision was made on the fact that wind mobile’s operating debt and board of directors was in the hands of non-Canadians – in short, two different takes on the same foreign ownership law.
This added competition is great news for Canadians, but not so much for Rogers, Bell, or telus . telus was one of the first to take the offensive on wind’s Canadian launch, and Rogers is getting enough heat as is from Bell and telus’ new HSPA services. Yesterday, before the decision, Rogers’ CEO mentioned he actually found it “inconceivable” that Canada could handle more than three national carriers. We’ll just have to see about that, won’t we?
wind is setting up some kiosks in Blockbuster stores across Toronto and Calgary, so if you’re in the neighbourhood, keep your eye out – they might even be showing their inaugural lineup now that a proper launch is inevitable. Be sure to read up on wind mobile if you’re a Canadian and haven’t heard of them – they’ve got some neat ideas about how to run a service provider.
[via Industry Canada]
Update: The fine folks at MobileSyrup attended wind‘s press conference in Toronto, where the excitement and elation was palpable. Execs made it clear they hope to launch stores in Toronto and Calgary as early as next week, and hope to have a few locations open before Christmas. HTC (not Android), Samsung, and BlackBerry devices are all named explicitly as being a part of their lineup, but are holding off on commercial launch for specifics. Quote of the show: “We will not have the iPhone, but the BlackBerry is a very nice phone.”