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Wind Mobile Merger with VimpelCom

Submitted by on Friday, 18 March 2011No Comment
Wind Mobile Merger with VimpelCom

There is a potential merger in negotiation between VimpelCom and Orascom (large owner in Canada’s Wind Mobile), that will likely benefit Canadians coast to coast. The telecom industry has certainly been an oligopoly for the past decade with three major players. The rise of foreign investment has paved the way for new startups in Canada. One such start up is Wind Mobile which focuses on contract free subscriptions, however, phones are expected to be purchased outright. This is a potential area where customers may benefit depending on the company’s direction (assuming the merger takes place).

A larger financial backing with more economies of scale can help Wind bring down the cost of handsets but also invest in its infrastructure at a much faster rate. Over the last year Wind has made some significant contributions to delivering Canadian’s value for their money. This merger might bring about even more value for consumers and provide Wind Mobile a larger international footprint. This was clearly a positive note according to Anthony Lacavera, Chairman of Wind Mobile, “This is great news for us. Our partner, Orascom, will be even larger and stronger as a financial partner. This gives us more leverage and increased scale with telecom network equipment manufacturers and more importantly, for devices including handsets and tablets. This will also give us more access to international cooperation for roaming and long distance services. All of that means the ability to deliver even more value to all of our customers.”

This will post tough challenges for the big three in terms of competition. As it stands, the big three are fighting against Wind’s presence in Canada, claiming there is too much foreign ownership invested in Wind. Last year, Rogers Communications Inc., launched a brand called Chat-r wireless to compete directly with Wind. Although their prices met most of the basic plans Wind had, they failed to understand that Winds target consumer were consumers who wanted the benefits of both voice and data, an offering Chat-r didn’t have. Furthermore, the selection of handsets were prehistoric when compared to the availability on the market today. The same could be said about Telus’ Koodoo brand.

The big question now is what direction the company will take if the merger does happen. Will it be a repeat of the big three’s strategy or will Wind continue to drive its contract free, data and voice rich packages at unbeatable prices for Canadian’s. The hope is Wind wants to retain its loyalty and not back down on its commitment to delver value, as a result, things might look even brighter for Canadians. We are glad to see a change in structure to the mobile industry and welcome the competition in an effort to save Canadian’s even more and delivery the value they deserve. Clearly a positive note for Canadians.


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