WIND Mobile to team up with Blockbuster to sell handsets

By on December 14, 2009 at 6:43 AM.

WIND Mobile to team up with Blockbuster to sell handsets

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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.

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WIND Mobile's price plans leak out

By on December 12, 2009 at 8:33 AM.

WIND Mobile's price plans leak out

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One day after it was announced that WIND Mobile is allowed to launch its network without without delay, Canadians across the country are still giddy with excitement as they anticipate the impending launch of the nation’s fourth major wireless carrier. And while WIND has yet to publicly announce plan pricing (or a specific launch date, for that matter), HowardForums user Windsider has publishing what is claimed to be the official plans and their respective pricing. So without further ado, hit the jump to check out the plans; they’re impressive to say the least.

Thanks to everyone that sent this in! More →

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WIND Mobile in Canada given a green light?

By on December 11, 2009 at 9:14 AM.

WIND Mobile in Canada given a green light?

wind-logoWe’ve just started to hear reports that WIND Mobile, Canada’s Robin Hood, has been allowed to start operating “without delay.” This is a huge win for the Globalive team as you’ll remember Canada’s CRTC committee put the brakes on their act a little while back. We’ll be updating this as we get more information. Now, who’s excited for some damn good competition in Canada’s wireless industry?

Thanks, Mohamed and everyone else that hit us up!

UPDATE: Here’s the official word

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Inside a WIND Mobile retail store

By on November 20, 2009 at 1:15 PM.

Inside a WIND Mobile retail store

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While WIND Mobile might never launch thanks to parent company Globalive’s illegal ownership structure, that didn’t stop its CEO Ken Campbell and his entourage from celebrating the completed renovation of one of its retail stores. It’s a departure from the typical Bell, Rogers or TELUS location to say the least. BG thinks it looks like a “New York subway car in white lacquer” and Andrew said it’s nothing but an “Apple store with mahogany”, so naturally we’re curious to know what you think. So hit the jump, check out the pics and give us your thoughts!

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Rogers, Bell willing to buy WIND's spectrum

By on November 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM.

Rogers, Bell willing to buy WIND's spectrum

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While Canadian carrier hopeful WIND might not be launching any time soon thanks to its foreign ownership structure, outsiders are already drooling at the prospect of buying up all of WIND’s spectrum in the event that it doesn’t launch. WIND CEO Ken Campbell dismissed such things as “media speculation” during our interview with him and repeated ad nauseam that WIND is currently weighing its options, but now more of its would be competitors are speaking up on what might be. Said Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed on Friday: “Spectrum is a very valuable asset. Rogers for sure would be interested in picking it up.” Snapping up all of WIND’s spectrum wouldn’t be cheap considering it was originally purchased from Industry Canada in 2008 at a cost of $442.1 million Canadian ($420.4 million USD), but the possibility that several of the Big Three would buy it in parcels if the launch never happens remains relatively high. After all, Bell has previously said it would be willing to purchase half of WIND’s spectrum at $0.50 on the dollar.
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BGR sits down with WIND CEO Ken Campbell

By on October 31, 2009 at 1:19 PM.

BGR sits down with WIND CEO Ken Campbell

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Canadians have long craved for a new wireless carrier to bust onto the scene and break up what is often described as the anti-competitive practices of incumbents Bell, Rogers and TELUS (aka “The Big Three”). Following Industry Canada’s 2008 auction of Advanced Wireless Services, the majority of hope was placed in a swaggering upstart which recently announced it would operate under the WIND brand name. But this Thursday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission informed WIND that it that it couldn’t go live with its HSPA network. The reasoning behind the CRTC’s decision was that if felt WIND’s parent company, Globalive Wireless, did not meet the criteria set forth in the Telecommunications Act which stipulates all carriers must be majority owned and controlled by Canadians. To meet these requirements, at least 80% of the board of directors and voting shares must be controlled by Canadians and the company cannot be “otherwise controlled by persons that are not Canadian.” What the CRTC found was that Oracsom, Globalive’s Egyptian financiers, controlled 65.1% of WINDs equity, the Canadian rights to the WIND brand, carried the majority of the company’s debt and that liquidity rights were “inconsistent with the relative voting interests of the shareholders.” The situation is complex, but all is not lost for WIND. With this in mind, we sat down with WIND’s CEO Ken Campbell and asked him what the future holds.

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Canada's CRTC takes the air out of WIND's launch

By on October 30, 2009 at 9:38 AM.

Canada's CRTC takes the air out of WIND's launch

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Back in August, Globalive, a big winner in Canada’s AWS auction, announced that it was going to launch its network under the WIND brand and shake up the Canadian wireless industry. Now it looks as if this will not be happening — at least in the immediate future — as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruled yesterday that WIND does not meet the Canadian ownership rules. The rules, which are set out in the Telecommunications Act, stipulate that wireless carriers must be majority owned and controlled to the sum of 80% by Canadians. Because Orascom, an Egyptian company, owns 65.1% of the equity in WIND as well as the rights to the WIND brand in Canada, the CRTC ordered that WIND not launch its network until the company is fully compliant with the Act. Strangely enough, during last years wireless spectrum auction, Industry Canada ruled that WIND did indeed meet Canadian ownership laws as set out in the Telecommunications Act, but strong opposition from the existing major carriers — Bell, Rogers and TELUS, companies whose ownership meets complies with the Act — at a hearing on October 1st likely helped the ruling. So what does the future hold for WIND and its $442mm CAD ($413.8mm USD) worth of 1700MHz UMTS/HSPA spectrum? Nothing unless it manages to re-organize its board and find new investors. More →

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RIM makes the BlackBerry Bold 9700 official, hitting in November

By on October 21, 2009 at 7:01 AM.

RIM makes the BlackBerry Bold 9700 official, hitting in November

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It’s always a lot of fun for us — and hopefully for you, the readers — any time we can run wild with pictures, news, and even reviews of an unannounced handset. Today, however, RIM spoiled our fun and formally announced the BlackBerry Bold 9700. Things like carriers, release dates and pricing have been withheld for the time being, but RIM has made a statement saying that we should all expect to see the BlackBerry 9700 go on sale “around the world beginning in November.” Spec wise, nothing has changed since our pre-release review, but just in case some of you forgot or weren’t paying a whole lot of attention, here’s a quick refresher on the critical specs:

  • BlackBerry OS 5.0
  • 624MHz CPU
  • 256MB flash memory and support for microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Quad-band UMTS/HSDPA (800/850/1900/2100 MHz) or tri-band UMTS/HSDPA (900/1700/2100 MHz)
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g with UMA support (carrier dependent)
  • A-GPS
  • 2.44″ HVGA+ display
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • Optical trackpad
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP/AVCRP
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • 6 hours of talk time and 17 days of standby (3G)
  • 109mm x 60mm x 14.1mm, 122g

In short, this is the BlackBerry device of your dreams. We’re expecting pretty much every single major GSM carrier on the planet to pick up the 9700 sooner or later, so we’ll be sure to keep the updates coming. As always, high res pics and a few other odds and ends are available after the jump.

UPDATE: AT&T, Rogers and T-Mobile have announced they will be carrying the Bold 9700 in the weeks ahead. AT&T and T-Mobile’s 9700 will go for $199.99 after a $100 MIR on 2-year deals while Rogers will be asking for $299.99 on a 3-year contract with a monthly minimum voice and data plan of $45. Bell and TELUS have yet to come forward with pricing but have confirmed they will be carrying the device.

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WIND’s smartphone lineup allegedly leaked

By on October 14, 2009 at 8:21 PM.

WIND’s smartphone lineup allegedly leaked

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The upcoming Canadian wireless entrant WIND has been pretty secretive about its plans other than the fact it wants to shake things up, but thanks to a tipster within the company, we might have just found out the handsets it will be launching its 3G network with. The first is the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the second is the HTC Snap, the third is the Huawei U8220, and the fourth is an unknown QWERTY slider from Samsung. Other than that, it’s alleged that WIND will start off with three n0-contract price plans, have no SAF, not charge clients for features like caller ID and voicemail as well as not bill for intra-Provincial long distance and all dealerships will be outfitted with Microsoft’s Surface. Sounds nice to us, but what do you think, Canada?

Thanks, Fil!

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Globalive to launch Canadian wireless services as WIND

By on August 10, 2009 at 5:51 PM.

Globalive to launch Canadian wireless services as WIND

Globalive Wireless Management Corp., one of the big winners of last years Canadian AWS auction and overall trash talker towards Bell, Rogers and TELUS, has announced that it will offer its HSPA services in the Canadian marketplace as WIND. If the name sounds familiar, WIND is already a successful brand in Europe — particularly in Italy (where it was founded) and Greece — and its Canadian brand controllers are hoping to “not only leverage WIND’s challenger status, but also its operational intelligence and experience.” Canadians can expect to see WIND launch in key markets later this year with general availability (excluding Québec) in 2010. In the distant future, WIND will be making the transition from HSPA to LTE, although a time line for the move has not been made public.

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Attack of the Netbooks: MSI Wind 2 set for November

By on October 21, 2008 at 9:28 AM.

Attack of the Netbooks: MSI Wind 2 set for November

Netbooks have pretty much become almost like an overnight sensation with manufacturers like Asus, Dell and HP dishing out these tiny little computers. MSi is releasing the Wind 2 this November to add to the flurry of options available to consumers. For $600 you’ll get a new look, new case, 128 GB hard drive (and SSD option at some point), 3.5G modem, 1GB of memory, Windows XP and the awesome Intel Atom N270 processor. Look for the MSi Wind U120 to make its way in Asia in November, and possibly the U.S. soon after.

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