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WIND cleared to be Canada's 4th national carrier

updated 11:20 am EST, Fri December 11, 2009

Globalive cleared to rival Bell, Rogers, Telus

The Canadian government today cleared Globalive to run what should be the country's fourth national carrier. After initially letting the CRTC reject Globalive's WIND service due to concerns about foreign ownership, Industry Minister Tony Clement now says the results have been overturned as it's been decided that the foreign investment in the company doesn't constitute "in fact" control that would violate Canadian ownership laws. The decision takes effect immediately and clears WIND to run as soon as it's ready.

The move is expected to significantly expand Canada's relatively closed cellphone market. Unlike the US, where four major national carriers operate and are also countered by numerous more regionalized carriers like Alltel and Cellular South, Canada's cellular market is dominated almost entirely by Bell, Rogers and Telus. This market recently opened up with all three running similar HSPA 3G networks, but plans are often similar and sometimes provide little to no difference in features.

Smartphone owners in particular are often limited in Canada as they often receive fewer voice minutes for the money and have relatively low data caps. In some cases, though, providers compensate by allowing data tethering without paying extra and often include MMS/SMS messaging in the bundle.

Incumbents are known to have vehemently opposed Globalive's efforts and championed the original CRTC decision as it would have prevented a new competitor from challenging their dominance.

WIND should initially use its acquired 2GHz spectrum to roll out an HSPA-based phone network. Among its initial plans have been to offer unlimited data for smartphones, including tethering.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jascam

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More details

    Thankfully this might change the landscape here with telco carriers!

    You can get more details at -

  1. wingdo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That's a lot of National Carriers

    for a country with about 11% of the US population base. How can they all make enough money to expand their networks to deliver higher speeds and capacity?

  1. thebiggfrogg

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Is this...

    'breaking' news? Thank you, I'll be here all week.

  1. jstephe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Foreign ownership?

    I don't mind foreign ownership of the company as much as the perception that they now have ownership of our government. CRTC rejects our bid, buy some favours and your good to go.

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