France’s Orange SA considering entry into Canada as MVNO?

OrangeVerizon Wireless toyed with the idea of expanding into Canada this summer but eventually passed on the move when its parent company decided instead to buy back Vodafone’s 45% stake in the U.S. carrier instead. A new player may now be considering setting up shop in Canada and it’s not a U.S. one this time. According to The Globe and Mail, France’s Orange SA,the world’s eighth-largest mobile carrier with 174.7 million mobile customers, is considering the move as it seeks new business opportunities.

Unlike Verizon which considered setting up its own network, Orange Horizons is looking at the cheaper alternative of operating as a “mobile virtual network operator” (MVNO) and simply lease capacity on an existing carrier’s network to offer its own wireless service.

“Exploratory talks” were held between Orange Horizons, part of the Orange SA conglomerate, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Industry Canada and Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service. That meetings took place was confirmed by both the CRT and and Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada while Industry Canada would only say, “The government routinely meets with stakeholders in the wireless telecommunications sector.”

Orange Horizons is looking at a number of other markets and there is no guarantee at this point that it will move beyond this preliminary investigation. If nothing else, it does prove that there is interest in Canada’s wireless market outside of our borders.

Source : The Globe and Mail