Rumours have been circling around the Canadian telecom community for a while now that new wireless entrant WIND Mobile is in talks to acquire competitor Mobilicity. Both companies, alone with Public Mobile have shaken up the Canadian wireless industry since they launched two years ago, to the point where Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed admits they have been stronger competition than expected within Canada’s $18 billion mobile industry. Mobiliticy’s CEO, Dave Dobbin resigned last month, while WIND Mobile’s CEO Ken Campbell did the same back in June, which leaves a big question mark as to the actual state of both organizations.
WIND Mobile is well financed due to a large investment from Egypt’s Orascom Teleco, but of course this has also caused tremendous controversy as the government is still trying to clarify rules on foreign ownership. Mobilicity raised $215-million in debt financing in April of this year should also still be in good shape financially. Of course whether the deal goes through or not, they still face the current “Big Three” with Bell, Rogers and TELUS owning over 80% of the wireless market share in Canada. Looking at the numbers, Wind has aproximately 400,000 customers in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, while Rogers had 9.29 million mobile device subscribers at the end of the third quarter, compared with 7.37 million for Bell. As we move into the 2012, we’re going to see a stronger fight from the “Big Three,” so maybe it is time that WIND Mobile and Mobilicity do as the song suggest, and “know when to fold them” and allow for an acquisition to go through.
Both WIND Mobile and Mobilicity have declined to comment on this story, but we’ll keep you up to date as more on this story uncovers.