Just the other day we reported that according to The Globe and Mail, Rogers and TELUS were both vying to purchase the troubled Mobilicity for around $300 million. TELUS had already made an offer that was turned down by Industry Minister James Moore, but now the government may be softening its demands. It seems that the government is willing to allow the sale to go through provided that Mobilicity’s Ontario-based AWS-3 spectrum goes to WIND Mobile and the buyer can retain the spectrum in Alberta and British Columbia. Well, it also seems that Obelysk Inc., a company controlled by Mobilicity founder and Sirius XM Canada majority shareholder John Bitove, is making some demands (requests) of his own – he wants the company to continue its operations as a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) once Rogers or TELUS purchase the company.
In an effort to turn Mobilicity into a MVNO, the employees and founder made an ‘offer’ to Industry Canada and the Government of Canada to have the new buyer set them up as a MVNO. As a MVNO, Mobilicity would retain, “the current loyal subscriber base of 155,000 active customers – the current dealer network of over 150 points of distribution – the existing call centre operators – and other contractors vital to the operations.” They claim their intention is to offer the markets that it currently operates in – Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa – a fifth wireless operator.
The group goes on in their plea with an effort to secure their current employees, suppliers and other contractors their jobs as well as uninterrupted service to its 155,000 subscribers. Mobilicity currently has about 100 employees in their two call centers and about 30 full-time employees in their main office. They also point out that this would continue to foster competition in those five major markets in Canada where they operate. This is something that the Canadian government has been trying to do for years, so maybe they will actually listen to this plea from Mobilicity.
Obelysk Inc. summed up its proposal by saying, “Mobilicity has weathered many storms and yet is still in business today. We owe it to the customers, dealers, contractors and employees to stay in business going forward and not face uncertain demise like Public Mobile or other past wireless operators in Canada. The Big 3 telecoms want Mobilicity spectrum and this Group is not objecting to that sale. Continuing to bring competition and multiple options to wireless Canadian consumers going forward is our collective goal.”