Verizon previously confirmed that it was exploring opportunities in Canada’s wireless market. According to a report from Reuters, the company has made a bid for Canadian wireless provider Wind Mobile. Verizon is said to have presented the carrier with a tentative offer of between $600 million to $800 million. The final price will be decided upon after the company completes its due diligence. Verizon is also reportedly in talks to acquire rival wireless startup Mobilicity. The Canadian government previously denied domestic wireless carrier Teleus’s bid to license Mobilicity spectrum. Officials will likely welcome Verizon’s proposal because it would increase competition in the Canadian wireless market.
WIND Telecom SpA announced on Thursday that the shareholders of Russian mobile operator VimpelCom have voted to approve the acquisition of WIND Telecom for $6 billion. VimpelCom said regulators approved the acquisition as well. The deal covers all of WIND Telecom’s assets, which includes Orascom Telecom, a major WIND Mobile shareholder, and VimpelCom will add nine new markets including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Italy and Canada to the eleven it already covers. When finalized, the purchase will make VimpelCom the world’s fifth largest mobile Teleco with more than 173 million subscribers. “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,” said Anthony Lacavera, WIND Mobile’s chairman, adding that the purchase will give WIND more access to long distance roaming services. Lacavera said he would provide more information as new details on the acquisition emerge.
Over the last several days, rumors have been swirling that the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 would be making its way to WIND Mobile — especially after the device surfaced in RIM’s software database. Now, one of our ninjas from the North has sent us visual confirmation of the device in Wind Mobile’s inventory system. Judging by the two listings, it appears as though the handset will be offered in two colors; we’re assuming a gray or black and something a tad bit brighter. Pricing and availability have not yet been determined… anyone excited?
Did we nail it or what? Today Rogers announced the creation of chatr, the low-cost wireless brand we exclusively told you about last week. Created to serve what Rogers calls a “niche” market that is not currently served by its flagship and value brands Rogers Wireless and Fido, chatr will offer no contract voice and text plans as well as unlimited talk and text plans. Data is not a part of chatr’s game plan. According to Rogers, the big draw of chatr is not only its great plans, but that for the first time it gives urbanites who simply want to make calls and send texts affordable service from a “network they can trust.” We were pretty curious about the timing of this launch, what with WIND Mobile now being half a year old and Mobilicity having only been on the scene for six weeks, so we asked Rogers about it. Surprisingly, they were adamant that they could not care less what their competitors are doing or where it is they are operating. They were quick to point out that chatr has been one year in the making and that it actually designed to mimic business model that allowed MetroPCS to go from a small time carrier to the 5th largest in the United States. Sadly this was about as much extra information as we could squeeze out of Rogers. As much as they want to get chatr up and running today, they’ve still got a few more things to do behind the scenes before it launches by the end of summer. This means that they can’t get into specifics about when the network will launch. But as we have said before, thanks to our connects we know that Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa are a lock. Anyone planning to wait with baited breath?
Alright, Vancouverites, you’ve been a bunch of good sports politely clapping as WIND Mobile rolled out in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton, but your time has finally come. Starting today, much of Metro Vancouver will be transformed into a WIND Home Zone with the flip of a switch by Chairman Tony Lacavera and friend of BGR CEO Ken Campbell. Launch day festivities will kick off at 10am for members of the media, but Joe and Jane Public will be able to hit up the Yaletown store at 11am to get a first-hand glimpse of what WIND’s all about. Just exactly how far WIND’s coverage will reach in Lotus Land we’re not sure, but here’s to hoping that WIND’s outrageous roaming fees won’t bite too many people in the backside. More →
It’s not a surprise that WIND Mobile and Blockbuster are joining forces to serve their own unique interests, but we’re told the partnership will be official very, very soon. All told, there will be 16 locations with 13 serving the Greater Toronto Area and 3 serving Calgary. No mention was made of any expansions outside of those two metropolitan areas after the network is up in running in other cities, but one can be forgiven for assuming that will be the case. Let’s just hope each 150 square foot “store within a store” is a lot prettier than those full-fledged WIND stores. For WIND, the partnership means greater visibility and reduced costs. For Blockbuster, well, it just means that maybe people will actually go into their stores.
UPDATE: A long-time friend of the site just sent us in a pic of one of the kiosks. So far the consensus at BGR HQ is no, the kiosks are not prettier than the retail outlets. Check it out the pic after the break.