The Canadian wireless saga continues with Mobilicity taking front and center stage as its September 26 deadline for court protection from creditors is nearing its expiration. The financially strapped Mobilicity is asking for its seventh extension to run through December 1 and we are left wondering what could possibly happen between now and then to make any difference in their survival or ability to find a buyer. The Government in its neverending quest to keep the incumbent carriers from purchasing up the smaller ones has block a couple lucrative offers from WIND Mobile. While I understand their position of increasing competition, does it make sense to let a company fail and its employees lose their jobs if another company is willing to buy them out – especially when it is not one of the Big Three – WIND Mobile needs to increase its size if it is to compete with the likes of Rogers, Bell or TELUS.
Quadrangle, one of Mobilicity’s early backers, believes that some of Mobilicity’s problems are government related and filed a claim with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice against Industry Canada for $1.2 billion. They stated that the government “breached its assurances that it would enforce foreign ownership rules, require incumbent carriers to provide roaming and access to cell towers at reasonable rates and terms, prevent unfair and anti-competitive competitive practices and allow spectrum to be transferred.” They believe these factors had a direct impact on what is happening at Mobilicity.
Mobilicity’s explains its reasons for an extension – they claim that a “number of events have taken place since the last extension…that are relevant to [their] restructuring efforts.” Secondly, they need more time “to review and consider the restructuring alternatives that may be available to them” and to consult with their stakeholders. They also claim that they have sufficient resources to meet their obligations during the extension period.
As Mobilicity fights to stay above water, there are a few positive signs, such as they have actually added 1,697 new, net subscribers since August…the most it has grown since December 2012. They have also closed down cell sites from its network that were “redundant or carried very little traffic,” as well as closing its Vancouver sales office. They have also stopped offering their longer plans and are forcing customers to sign up on a month-to-month basis.
Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know if you are still with Mobilicity and has the closing of cell sites caused any disruption in your service…as always, we would love to hear from you.