Wind Mobile, a newcomer to the Canadian wireless scene, has been facing major challenges with the government and the Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC) since before its launch in 2009.
It was just reported that Tony Clement, the Canadian industry minister plans to appeal a recent decision made by the federal court earlier this month that aims to withhold Wind Mobile’s license. This issue is with foreign ownership regulations. Currently, 65 percent of the company that owns Wind Mobile (Globalive) is owned by Naguib Sawiris, an Egyptian that also controls an Egyptian-based Telecom, Orascom Telecom.
On February 4th, federal court justice Roger Hughes ruled that Globalive’s Wind Mobile should not be granted a license to due to foreign ownership regulations and stated that the government’s decision was based “on errors of law and must be quashed”.
The government has been fairly vocal in the matter, stating that Wind Mobile is a Canadian company with foreign backing, and is completely within the limits of the Canadian telecommunications act. This news follows a string of complications that began back in 2008 when the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television Commission) first tried to hold back Globalive’s license, this was swiftly overturned by the Canadian government.
We are convinced that Globalive is a Canadian company and meets the Canadian ownership and control requirements under the Telecommunications Act. Globalive should therefore be able to continue to offer service in the wireless telecommunications market.
Wind Mobile has brought Canadians a cheaper alternative to the giant carriers, offering deals like unlimited data, and considering the high cost of a typical wireless plan in Canada, it’s a great choice for a lot of consumers. Since 2009, Wind Mobile has collected over 250,000 subscribers and has driven its competitors to offer more affordable discounted packages.
We are pleased that the Government has decided to appeal the Federal Court’s decision,.. From the beginning, Industry Canada and then Cabinet maintained, with a full knowledge and understanding of the facts of our structure, that we are fully compliant with the Telecom Act rules, and we are pleased that the Government is vigorously defending its decision. — Anthony Lacavera, Chairman of Wind Mobile.