With the posting of Orascom Telecom’s second quarter financial results, we have once again gotten a glimpse at how WIND Mobile is faring in Canada. The Canadian carrier added 18,732 subscribers during the quarter to top the 620,000 subscriber mark at the end of the quarter. This is up over 35% from just over 450,000 subscribers the same quarter a year ago.
The carrier’s ARPU was CA$28.30 for the quarter, again higher than it was a year ago.
WIND Mobile Canada launched BlackBerry Q10 and Samsung Galaxy S4 in line with the major operators to enhance credibility and brand image with these iconic devices. Many other devices were added in the middle and low range to complement WIND Mobile Canada’s existing lineup and align with the rate plan strategy including the Samsung Ace IIe, Huawei Ascend Y210 and Samsung T169.
WIND Mobile’s future remains hazy as the carrier’s foreign financial backers continue to assess options for the carrier. Orascom, which owns a 65% indirect and non-voting equity share in the Canadian carrier, is currently considering a “final strategic position” that could see it sell the carrier.
Verizon is among the suitors as it considers expansion into Canada. It reportedly made an initial US$700 million offer to buy out WIND Mobile and has also reportedly held talks with Mobilicity. Canada’s incumbent carriers are worried enough about Verizon entering that Canadian market that they have launched a public campaign called Fair For Canada, asking for a “level playing field.”
Another suitor is Toronto-based Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc. Its offer would be backed by Rogers Communications which would receive a spectrum sharing agreement in exchange for some funding for the bid.
WIND Mobile’s cellular network now covers over 14 million Canadians with over 1,300 sites on air and 313 locations where its wireless devices can be picked up.