While rival carriers aren't happy, the Canadian government welcomes Verizon with open arms

While rival carriers aren't happy, the Canadian government welcomes Verizon with open arms
Back in June, Verizon made a bid to buy Canada's WIND Mobile for $600 million to $800 million. The final price depends on what Big Red's accountants find out when they go through the books. With a little more than half a million subscribers, WIND is Canada's fifth largest carrier. If three executives from the country's top mobile carriers have their way, there will be no WIND blowing through Verizon's hair. The three executives and the mobile operators they work for have started a public relations campaign aimed at Verizon using full-page ads and a web site called www.fairforcanada.ca. The domestic Canadian carriers are worried that the entry of Verizon into the country would lead to job losses for Canadians and the website allows you to quickly write and send out complaints to the proper Canadian authorities. But the Canadian government has a different thought on the entire matter.

Just last week, Canadian Industry Minister James Moore said that all regions of Canada need to benefit from competitive market forces. "We will continue to stay the course by ensuring Canadians benefit from a competitive telecommunications industry;" the Minister said. And Verizon is looking to purchase more than just WIND Mobile. There is speculation that the largest mobile carrier in the U.S. is also in talks to buy Mobilicity. Verizon's entry into the Canadian market would also help the Canadian government as it would presumably lead to Big Red's participation in an auction of spectrum by the Canadian government scheduled for next year. Verizon would be expected to bid on two blocks of spectrum. What happens when a deep-pocketed bidder enters an auction? Prices go up sharply and in this case, it would be the Canadian government, as the seller of the spectrum, getting the benefit of Verizon's entry into the Canadian market.


Verizon has 100 million subscribers in the states, ten times as many as the largest Canadian carrier, Rogers. This gives Verizon an edge when it comes to buying handsets, attracting talent and competing in Canada. Still, Morningstar analyst Imari Love wonders if it really would be worth it for Verizon to spend the time, money and effort to build up a business in Canada. Love says, "I don't ever see them truly piercing the oligopoly of the big three or matching their scale in terms of subscribers, nationwide coverage, and integrated network infrastructure."

source: Reuters

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22 Comments

1. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

If played right, I see Verizon dominating the Canadian telecom industry in 5-10 years. Whether thats good or bad is above my pay grade. the big question here is how will Verizon run, or be allowed to run its Canadian branch? Will it still be WIND? Will both buyouts go through and be merged into Canadian Verizon? Will Verizon be able and willing to put all of its strength behind its Canadian branch to achieve dominance, or will the Canadian branch be left to fend for itself without the American sides help? If they can, they can build an LTE network that spans all the populated areas in Canada in just a few years, attract the best handsets, and have the most aggressive marketing.

2. tuminatr

Posts: 1169; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

it will be a good thing the canadian market is less competitive than the USA, and they have more companies provideing the service. It looks like they bought the cricket of canada so they have some building to do

3. milesboy5

Posts: 179; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

Why don't they perfect one market before moving on to the next... just because they have the most 4g LTE markets in the United States doesn't mean they should sit back and relax. Maybe put some money into the good 'ol R&D program so software updates go through "testing" quicker, or improve the customer service as it has been slipping in recent years. Food for thought. Current Verizon customer by the way..

8. MobileLyfe

Posts: 8; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

They are currently working on VOLTE to be rolled out by the end of next year, and completly off CDMA and totally 4GLTE/A reliant by 2025. Customer service rated #1 for the past 3 years,(can't link, check JD Power), so not slipping at all. Current Verizon customer myself, and I have noticed the difference majorly. But I don't just go off of the internet hype, I do my own research as well.

9. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

A friend of mine is working on the VOLTE rollout, they're shooting for mid 2014. And I talked to the assistant to the president for the great plains region (my area) about LTE & CDMA, & she said the plan is to keep up CDMA for another 15 years. It'll be just like the switch over from analog to digital, we still had analog running for around 10 years after digital rolled out. The audio quality wasn't as good, but analog had twice the reach of digital.

19. MobileLyfe

Posts: 8; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

But with everyone rolling out LTE all over the world, VOLTE is going to be great for world devices as well. Maybe we will start recieving those dual-sim flagships sometime in the future. *fingers crossed*

14. alpinejason

Posts: 262; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

actually i read somewhere at&t ranked #1 this year

20. milesboy5

Posts: 179; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

I've been with Verizon for close to ten years now, and their customer service is good don't get me wrong it could be a lot worse but I think for the premium that you pay for their service they could have a bit better of customer service. I am grateful they rolled their 4G service out and are moving onto VOLTE thats amazing how quickly they achieved their goal, but don't forget about the one-on-one customer service...which in my opinion has been better.

4. james004

Posts: 486; Member since: May 15, 2013

As a wind user, I'm worried. I know wind can't afford that spectrum and I do wish LTE coverage. At the same time its scary cuz all I heard about Verizon is bad news. I rather have At&t take over

7. Gawain

Posts: 448; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

AT&T may have just earned a good consumer report, but Verizon rules the roost. Its prices are higher than Sprint and T-Mo, but in exchange you get...actual coverage. Pricing is better than AT&T. Verizon has its warts, but it is probably one of the best managed companies in the world. If Canada should be worried about anything it should be seeing its market being left behind. This where size matters (economies of scale) on the business end and VimpelCom apparently can't make it work. Verizon isn't always sexy, but of all the American companies to make an inroad to Canada, Verizon is far-and-away the best choice...by miles (or kilometers, whatever they use of there)...

5. JGuinan007

Posts: 699; Member since: May 19, 2011

interesting

6. ilani

Posts: 90; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

People are Naive sometimes! Verizon wont be super cheap, by any stretch of the imagination. because for the same price, they can offer sooo many features! First, Imagine a plan with no roaming in an american under Verizon, or unlimited internet. Next, imagine verizon canada ends up like Marshals or Target Canada! Missing some stuff that make the american counterpart so great! Or end up like the BIg Three and join in on the gouging! The point is, it can go either way and we shouldn't be focusing on that. what we should be focusing about is that Canadians will have more choice! that the "BIG THREE" will have to be competitive for the first time in their history. I CANT WAIT!

10. thelegend6657 unregistered

Verizon sucks bananana

11. tuminatr

Posts: 1169; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

no but it rhymes with lock

12. Luuthian

Posts: 332; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

I'm just hoping for cross border data plans that aren't sickening amounts of money.

13. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I welcome them in myself. I've had it with big 3 here, they usually buy out competition and hike prices. (like former companies that tried to make a name for themselves here) Bring the heat Verizon.

15. alpinejason

Posts: 262; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

you mean big two.sprint and t mobile are a quarter of the size of att or verizon

16. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

No in the sense I meant, was about the big three carriers to us in Canada, Telus, Rogers an Bell. We need Verizon to smack these bullies around some.

18. miket247

Posts: 81; Member since: Apr 16, 2013

Dude this article is about Canada, so he is talking about Cdn companies, read a little before you write.....

17. miket247

Posts: 81; Member since: Apr 16, 2013

After being stationed in Europe for the last ten years, I have just come back to Canada and found that the telcom market here is controled by the Big 3 (rogers/bell/telus) and theres no deals and 3 year contracts on new phones. Theres no sales unless its last years or old stock phones. Fido, a sub of Rogers gives 2 year contracts and offers better rates than the big 3. I'm glad to see a new player in the market. The Cdn Gov't reviewed the 3 yr contracts and found them to be restrictive/not competitive, and have told the big 3 to change there policies, get rid of 3 yr plans! The big 3 have been making big profits for so long, they are now crying the blues telling Cnds that this is not right if a Huge American Co. comes into Cda, they have not help to build the infrastructure that exists. Well if Verizon gives 2 yr plans with decent rates and offers some sales on new phones, and puts there 2 cents in upgrading the infrastruture, I'm all for it!

21. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

Shorter contracts anyone?

22. zeepux

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

It is about time for the three robbers to actually look into the interest of Canadians. Greatest news of the day, rogers and telus have been downgraded by RBC capitals on news that verizon will enter canadian markets. The best news of the day....

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