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Surprise! Verizon Really Wanted Wind and Mobilicity and Thought of Creating an MVNO

September 20, 2013 - Written By Cory McNutt

There were strong rumors back in June that Verizon was interested in buying the Canadian carriers Wind Mobile and Mobilicity. All three use the 700MHz spectrum so a Verizon acquisition would not be out of the question, and to fire the speculation, Canada was about to sell off some more 700MHz spectrum at auction. The Canadian carriers felt that Verizon would have an unfair advantage, as the Canadian government does spot foreign companies, as a means of investing in the country, some monetary breaks.

Verizon tabled a $350 million offer for the struggling mobilicity and a $700 million offer for Wind Mobile, when combined has over 900,000 subscribers. Verizon even looked into becoming a “Mobile Virtual Network Operator,” or MVNO in Canada as well. This where a carrier owns no spectrum of their own, but leases it from existing towers. All of this was going on while Verizon’s CEO Lowell McAdam, denied they were interested at all.

In August, the Globe and Mail, reported that Verizon decided to “put off” any acquisition talks until the spectrum auction on January, giving them until September 17 to pull out of the auction and get a refund of their deposit, which they eventually did. Rumors had it that Rogers, BCE, and Telus launched their multimillion dollar campaign “Fair for Canada” as a way to drum up opposition for Verizon buying their way in, but they denied that and claimed they only wanted a fair playing field with no special treatment for foreign carriers.

In the end, Verizon pulled out because they were able to secure Vodafone’s 45-percent ownership of Verizon Wireless for $130 billion to gain total control over their wireless network. I would ask Verizon what this does this acquisition mean for the company and its customers, but I know they would just lie! What do you think about Verizon Wireless as a whole – happy with their service, unhappy with them, and are you thinking of changing carriers.