Waterloo VoIP Firm, Fongo Enters Bid for WIND Mobile

Waterloo, ON-based Fongo Inc. wants to acquire WIND mobile, but the wireless carrier seems to be shrugging off the offer as an early April Fools’ prank.

VimpelCom is looking for a buyer for the fourth largest wireless carrier in Canada and while there has been speculation that some US-based mobile giants such as AT&T and Verizon may be interested, no official bids have been made public – until now.

“WIND Mobile has done a fantastic job of signing up some of the most forward thinking mobile consumers in the country and has taught Canadians that there can be alternatives to traditional wireless service,” said Jody Schnarr, CEO of Fongo Inc.

Schnarr continues: “By combining WIND’s wireless assets with Fongo’s proven ability to deliver innovative mobile solutions, Canadians will have true choice and a service that is radically different from anything else out there.”

The offer of $1 plus a 49 percent equity stake in Fongo, has been scoffed at, however.

Simon Lockie, WIND’s chief regulatory officer tweeted: “I hereby publicly offer to buy Fongo for $1 and half my sandwich.”

More than 250,000 Canadians, including many WIND Mobile customers, have signed up for Fongo’s free mobile phone service, which includes a free phone number, unlimited free messaging, and unlimited free calling across Canada through a mobile app that can be downloaded onto any iPhone, iPod touch, or Android phone, regardless of carrier.

WIND Mobile’s network coverage is mainly concentrated in Ontario, with extensions in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Fongo proposes to immediately extend the WIND Mobile service offering across Canada to mirror Fongo’s coast-to-coast free calling network, while making a transition of WIND’s customers to Fongo within 12 months.

Dvai Ghose, a research analyst with Canaccord Genuity, who first broke the news that WIND was up for sale, questions whether Fongo has the capital or expertise to make the proposal worthy of serious consideration.

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