Globalive Wireless Management Corp. has added Calgary as a “home zone” to its mobile service area.
Toronto-based Globalive, which uses the Wind Mobile brand in Canada, does not require users to sign contracts and currently offers four handsets, including Research in Motion Inc.'s BlackBerry Bold 9700.
It announced the opening of four retail stores in Calgary, plus three Blockbuster Video outlets will sell the handsets.
Its least expensive voice plan -- dubbed Chat -- costs $15 a month, includes 100 minutes of calls in the home zone and 50 outgoing text messages. That does not include voicemail. Users making or receiving calls when outside the home zone pay 25 cents a minute. Its data plans do not have a download limit but the firm will throttle users who transfer more than 5 Gibabytes of content in a given month.
For users of the $15 and $35-a-month voice plans, the home province is considered the local calling area.
"The price will be attractive for a lot of people, but when you’re coming into the market to establish yourself just based on low price and simple plans, it’s hard to see how they’re going to make money," said industry analyst Jon Arnold, principal of J. Arnold & Associates of Toronto.
Most of Globalive’s voting shares are held by chairman Anthony Lacavera, but Telus Corp. complained last summer Globalive was really controlled by Orascom Holding SAE of Egypt, which loaned Globalive the money it spent on wireless spectrum and holds enough voting shares to give it 65 per cent of Globalive’s total equity.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) echoed the foreign ownership concerns concerns of Telus – and Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. – when it denied Globalive permission to operate as a carrier.
Though the CRTC is a regulator operating at arms length from politicians, the federal Cabinet overturned the CRTC ruling earlier this month on the grounds that Globalive does in fact comply with the foreign ownership limits of the Telecommunications Act.