For our Canadian friends, the wireless industry could get even more interesting. Today, Globe and Mail are reporting that Verizon might make a play into Canada again. Verizon is the number one US carrier with over 100 million subscribers and $20 billion revenues per quarter.
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Verizon is looking to set up shop in Canada and create the much talked about 4th national carrier the government desperately wants. Verizon and WIND Mobile have reportedly engaged in some “exploratory talks” with investors. Additionally, Mobilicity is also a consideration for Verizon.
The Globe is reporting that “the game plan would be for Verizon to take over a smaller player such as WIND Mobile and participate in the coming auction of new wireless spectrum to create a strong fourth carrier, said two industry sources familiar with the situation. The most attractive target is WIND, the larger and healthier of the two small operators, but Mobilicity is also an option. ‘They [Verizon] are definitely taking a hard look right now,’ said one source.”
Last year, the government changed the foreign ownership rules that allows non-Canadian companies to own a Canadian carrier that has 10% market share or less. Which makes Mobilicity and WIND a perfect target.
Scotiabank’s analyst Jeff Fan sent out a note to hsi clients that he sees the Globe’s report as “noise… like many other headlines over the past few weeks.” Scotia also believes that Verizon taking over WIND is “highly unlikely”.
“VZW cannot invest in wireless outside the continental U.S. due to the VZ/Vodafone shareholder agreement and it would be unlikely that VZ would invest in wireless outside of VZW… We do not believe VZ sees Canada’s 4th operator as attractive based on the track record, the lack of spectrum and inferior network. We also believe that VZ does not see the Canadian regulatory environment as stable based on the policies that the Canadian government has put in place to artificially support a 4th operator.”
We’re interested to see what our Canadian readers think about Verizon possibly entering Canada taking over WIND Mobile or Mobilicity. Let us know in the comments down below.