Globalive Wireless Management Corp. announced Tuesday it will offer wireless service for Research in Motion Inc.'s BlackBerry Bold 9700 phone under the Wind Mobile brand.
The move comes less than a week after Industry Minister Tony Clement over-ruled the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which turned down Globalive’s application to be a telecommunications carrier due to the influence of its Egyptian partner, Orascom Telecom S.A.E.
Globalive, which spent $442 million last year on wireless licences from Industry Canada, is the first of eight new entrants to launch service.
The firm is expected to announce pricing Wednesday.
Corp. offers the BlackBerry Bold 9700 for $649.99 without a contract and $199.99 with three year contract.
"That pricing will be really critical," said Michelle Warren, president of Toronto-based MW Research and Consulting. "It will not be competitive at over $650."
Warren added it is interesting Globalive is offering a device with Wi-Fi capability.
A complaint from Vancouver-based Telus resulted in CRTC hearings, which resulted in the regulator denying Globalive permission to launch.
Canada Enterprises Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. also opposed the launch.
BCE and Rogers have operated mobile phone service since 1985, while Telus became a national facilities-based cellular carrier when it acquired Clearnet Communications Inc. in 2000. Microcell Telecommunications Inc. which launched digital personal communications services (PCS) in 1996 using the Fido brand, was acquired by Rogers for $1.4 billion in 2004.
The CRTC has yet to announce carrier licences for two other new entrants.
Toronto-based Public Mobile had promised to launch late this year but now says it will debut in the first half of 2010.
Data and Audio-visual Enterprises (DAVE) Wireless Inc., also based in Toronto, spent $243 milllion on spectrum covering major cities from B.C. to Ontario, and plans to launch in the first half of 2010.