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Interesting

Mobilicity launches “Multi-Month payment options” plus they are offering the $40 Unlimited Data with calling etc.

and

WIND now offering all-talk, text and unlimited data for $40

With all the deals prior to Christmas, it makes me wonder, what is going to happen in 2011. Can Mobilicity, Wind and Public Mobile jack the prices back up and expect people to pay?

Have they lowered the prices so much that people won't sign up unless they get one of these deals?

Will these companies last until 2012?

Thoughts on these questions?
 

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I think Wind will go back to using temporary promotions to bring in customers and hope they stay when the promotion has expired. They'll also use aggressive expansion to bring new people in. Look for them to launch in several smaller Southern Ontario cities such as Barrie, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, St. Catharines, and Niagara, as well as Victoria, BC in the first half of the new year. The second half will likely see Winnipeg and possibly another city (Red Deer? Halifax?) along with expansion outwards from the various current home zones and network refinements.

Mobilicity's rates are almost as low normally, so they shouldn't have any trouble returning to those. They're almost done their launch cities, so after Calgary in early 2011 it will be mostly network refinements and bringing in customers.

Public Mobile hasn't really discounted their plans much, though a minor realignment of their two plans is apparently imminent. They will continue their slow expansion mark, biding their time and waiting for the 700MHz auction. They'll also launch their first data device in the first half of 2011.

I think they also survive to the end of 2011, but at least one of them is badly limping by that time. Not sure which one though.
 

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I think eventually Wind and Mobilicity should merge. I don't think on their own they can make much of a dent into the big three's subscribers. I agree that Wind will expand heavily next year. I also think that the new carriers will still be here in 2012. Since Wind will have national coverage, I see them growing quite well in the next 4 or 5 years. I think Mobilicity might be cutting their rates too much in order to be profitable. If Wind keeps their regular prices the same, then I think they can still be profitable. Their new deals they have now are great, and you get to keep them for life, as long as you don't change your plan.

Now if Apple ever released a version of the iPhone for that frequency, then Wind and Mobilicity will do very well, IMHO anyways. I would still be with Wind if there was an iPhone compatible with their network.
 

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I don't think an iPhone will help them much. How many people are going to spend $700 to get an iPhone when the other providers will give one for $200? I think Wind would benefit more from a quality Android device at the low-end, like the Mobilicity Motorola Spice. The two they have now are not great.

Wind seems like a higher risk, higher reward than Mobilicity, but if they can get themselves truly national (excluding Quebec of course) in a couple of years while retaining their different pricing model (no contracts and lower rates) they have huge potential.
 

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I can't comment on Wind and Mobilicity since they are not in the Montreal market. Here it's Public Mobile and Videotron. And Videotron is part of the big Quebecor machine, so it's very difficult to consider them an alternative.

So far from my own personal use of Public Mobile, I do think there is a market for these alternative carriers. And, I do believe that they have a future. In Public Mobiles case, I think their TV ad campaign was terrible. I had seen their ads and thought their service was garbage. But, when I went into the store, and had a sales person explain the $ costs of what the plans actually offered, Plus no contract, and a free month, I took the chance. The other thing that I believe is a problem for the new entrants is that people have contract plans with their present carriers. So, they can't really jump until those plans end.

Overall, these new carriers need to survive, because if they don't. we'll all pay more in the future.
 

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They wouldn't offer these plans if it came at a loss (or they wouldn't offer it open-ended like wind's latest, if so)
So $ viability isn't the issue there

With the rates, any sane person (i.e. understands their "free"/cheap phone isn't really free/cheap) who spends the majority of their time in a home zone would most certainly jump ship when their contract expires.

So I dont see gaining subscribers a problem, unless the predatory practices escalate (e.g. chatr)
 

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Loss is relative term. The cost may cover operating costs but not capital costs and the amortized cost of the billions spent on spectrum.

Rogers sold Internet Service for years at a loss in order to build marketshare because they were subsidizing the losses with huge profits from cable.

Wind has some deep pockets behind them and maybe they could be buying marketshare with plans that long term aren't sustainable.

Bitove lost money on XM for five years so maybe he's doing it again hoping to gain marketshare.
 

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By bringing in a core customer base at $40/month Wind can be more confident in their customer base not all deserting while at the same time hopefully acquiring a group of rabid, vocal supporters. That may be worth razor thin profits for them. If each of those customers convinces two friends...
 

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I don't think an iPhone will help them much. How many people are going to spend $700 to get an iPhone when the other providers will give one for $200?
Wind has the tab system now, so they could offer it for the same price as the other providers offer it for. But I think it will be a while before Apple makes a compatible iPone, if they ever do. Maybe the iPhone 6 version
 

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I recently watched a Q&A with Wind's CEO and Public Mobile's CEO. It was very interesting, especially since the two of them seem to get along really well. From the sounds of it, Rogers, Bell, and Telus have been bullying them pretty bad (ie: chatr), or failing to meet the terms that they agreed to in regard to tower-sharing. In my opinion, that's going to be their biggest hurdle. People don't want to see more cell towers, but the incumbents are playing games to ensure that they don't have to share towers with the new guys, even though the government mandated that they have to.

In the US, towers are owned by independent companies. I think, in Canada, they should either be owned by the City/town/jurisdiction, or by independent companies. Canada doesn't need more towers at all. We just need a third-party to control the towers so the new guys have a chance to compete.

Wind and Public Mobile also hinted that there might be some sort of consolidation between the companies. That would be great, IMO, but Mobilicity would need to be part of that same group if they really want to survive past 2012.

As for these new pricing plans, I don't see them as being any different than when Fido temporarily offers 6gb/month, or free activation, or whatever else. After the cut-off date, all promotions are closed until they decide to do it again. All it does is generate good will among new and existing customers.

As for the iPhone... well... *shrug*
I'm not a fan, but my wife has one and loves it. She's with Fido, and she's happy. It's going to continue to be the most popular phone for awhile, I'm sure. But, just like the RAZR, its time will come. ;)
 

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I think we will see some kind of merger or a company dropping out and selling it's spectrum. I don't see how prices can go up too far at this point since coverage is obviously not comparable to the others. Personally I think Rogers should be forced to offer Chatr plans to all of it's coverage area. But if they continue to get away with this Bell and Telus will join in.

It is very difficult to quantify the break even point on a new cellular service. In the initial stages so much money is going into network building that there is no hope or expectation of a profit. Adding large numbers of subscribers for the most part is about keeping the investors happy so that you can keep the money coming in to build the network. It is a double edged sword though because the more customers they add the more traffic and people finding dead zones in the network and they have to keep the plans fairly low to compensate. This effects ARPU which effects investor confidence.

I think there needs to be more network sharing between the new companies. Building a network in Canada is a monumental task. Even Rogers doesn't have full coverage of the Trans Canada Highway from Coast to Coast after all these years.
 

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^^^^
When the the "PCS" carriers started, years ago, there were at least 3 of them. They've now all been bought by Rogers or Telus. Hopefully, there's some protection against a repeat. As for the TCH, there are many stretches where any cell coverage would lose money. Years ago, I used to frequently travel Hwy 11 between Hearst and Long Lac Ont. That stretch was about 135 miles, IIRC, with nothing but rocks, trees, moose and a single gas station & restaurant, which was located at Mooseland, about 40 miles west of Hearst. Last I heard, moose weren't big cell phone users. ;-)
 

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... From the sounds of it, Rogers, Bell, and Telus have been bullying them pretty bad (ie: chatr), or failing to meet the terms that they agreed to in regard to tower-sharing. In my opinion, that's going to be their biggest hurdle. People don't want to see more cell towers, but the incumbents are playing games to ensure that they don't have to share towers with the new guys, even though the government mandated that they have to.

In the US, towers are owned by independent companies. I think, in Canada, they should either be owned by the City/town/jurisdiction, or by independent companies. Canada doesn't need more towers at all. We just need a third-party to control the towers so the new guys have a chance to compete...
Tower-sharing IS easy to manipulate in accordance with the regulations but it also isn't so simple to add more antennas to structures that weren't designed for it initially in many cases. Plus optimizing the various antenna locations when different bands are involved given what may be conflicting priorities for minimizing costs/number of towers for the new entrants vs the incumbents' priorities.

Also, while it is true that SOME US cell companies have sold SOME towers to 3rd parties in SOME places those towers were for the most part built by the cell companies. The lease agreements with the cell companies and tower owners are private leases that don't seem to reflect any general pattern of greater tower-sharing in the US except in very high-density metro areas like LA.
 

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With a flurry of deep discounts on rate plans and phones from the new players in recent weeks in a hurried effort to add subscribers, speculation is growing that a day of reckoning fast approaches for at least one.

Sources suggest it is Public Mobile that has blinked first, seeking a partnership or merger.

“We have been approached,” a source within a rival new entrant confirmed last week, asking for anonymity. Another close to the second said Public Mobile has inquired directly with its investors.
This is hardly a surprise, I just am not entirely sure what Wind or Mobilicity would do with Public. I'm sure they'd both love the chance to get into Montreal, but Public's spectrum won't mesh with their networks.

You could offer all their Toronto customers a chance to migrate to the Wind or Mobilicity networks, but that would be expensive as you'd have to give all those people a free phone. On top of that, with the weaknesses in their networks, they're bound to have some upset new customers. They'd still have to maintain the old Public network in Montreal at the very least, and probably Toronto as well if they don't want to switch.

I only see two satisfactory outcomes with a deal with Public and the new entrants. One is to split the company in half, sell Toronto to Wind or Mobilicity and Montreal to Videotron. The other is to maintain separate operations but come to tower sharing agreements in order to help both companies expand and improve their network faster.

I think it makes far more sense to sell to one of the older companies, particularly Bell or Telus. I assume that as they're CDMA devices, Public's handsets could theoretically roam onto the Bell or Telus CDMA networks. If that's the case, that would mean that with minimal work Public's devices could work nationwide, and then Bell or Telus could just bury the brand. Even if that's not possible, any of the Big 3 could just offer all of Public's customers a cheap free phone. Of course this isn't actually possible, since the Big 3 can't buy Public for another 3 years (5 years from the 2008 auction date).
 

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Public is basically screwed. None of the new, modern carriers support the old CDMA technology, and the older companies still maintaining those legacy networks are not allowed to purchase them.

Of course, the whole reason they are looking for a buyer is that tech saavy customers realize there is no future for CDMA, and the manufacturing community is shying away as well.

Their net worth is basically their spectrum assets, and that's pretty much useless too...
 

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I very much doubt either of those are true. They're not marketing to tech savvy customers, they want the average Joe. Tech savvy customers would be scared off from the lame handsets and lack of data before the CDMA nature of the network. What's scaring customers away is the lower/better prices and handsets at Wind/Mobilicity/Chatr/Solo, as well as the small network with no roaming.

Manufacturers aren't exactly shying away from CDMA either. Just look at the high-end CDMA smartphones on Sprint/Verizon/US Cellular from manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, RIM, Motorola, and LG. And all Public needs are mid-range devices. The problem is that nobody makes phones using their obscure G-band spectrum. That could change though, as Sprint (or possibly ClearWire, not sure which) are looking at using it for a 4G network.
 

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I was at Erin Mills Town Centre yesterday and notice a Wind kiosk set up about 75' from a Koodo kiosk.

There was lots of buzz around Wind but the Koodo rep looked lonely.
 

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The news media and people in general are always talking about "deep discounts" that Wind and Mobilicity are offering.

I prefer to think of it as more realistic prices, based on other services offered in other countries, and I'm not talking 3rd world countries either. Until Wind and Mobilicity moved in, Canadians were basically getting screwed with cell phone service by Rogers, Bell and Telus (and all of their subsidiaries). Just ask people that come and visit from other countries like Korea, India, Japan, and most any European countries.

I think these "deep discounts" are here to stay, and if the "big 3" of the cell services industry in Canada want to stay alive, they'd better keep up.
 
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