Coming this fall to Canada – some new cellular competition. Profiling Public Mobile

by Guest on August 26, 2009

Public MobileIs Public Mobile going to present a phenomenal, and welcome, case of under-promise/over-deliver, or will this be another company claiming to be the next big thing, but is all sizzle – no steak?

After announcing their plan to provide Canadians, well for now only those that live in Toronto or Montreal, an alternative to the big 3 cell providers, Public Mobile is looking to jump in bed with Wal Mart to ensure that they continue to become known as the low cost, high-frills option in the Canadian cell phone market.  The company is interested in placing their products in the hands of “ value conscious” Canadians in Ontario and Quebec, and feels that their target market is available at Wal Mart and other convenience location.

And Public Mobile knows something about being value conscious.  Scooping up the G-band for only $53 million in the wireless spectrum auction last year – nearly 80% less than what the other parts of the spectrum went for. Public Mobile has been able to show that they are serious about providing real competition to the big players: Telus, Rogers, and Bell.  The question is; can they afford to be the affordable cell phone provider?  With no hardware designed to be used in this spectrum, combined with a target market of 2 million customers, this will be an interesting company to watch. But everyone loves an underdog!

PM is planning on an unlimited talk/text plan for $40, with no contracts, no credit checks, and no hidden fees.  It sounds too good to be true, but they are sticking to their story.

It seems like there are some out there that think PM is going to be a winner.  OMERS (the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) has agreed to invest up to $50 million into the PM brand to help them grow.

One concern here is whether PM can get the phones working within the spectrum, using CDMA in the g-band.  They seem to have overcome this by using CDMA and a “simple software change” to make the first phone call in Canada in the g-band.   Another concern is about the viability of the spectrum that no one else wanted.  Will Public Mobile be heroes or horrors?

Stay tuned, because I sure will be!

More: I asked a friend and budding Telecom enthusiast Brian Cole to comment on the above. His thoughts:
I seriously think out of the three new entrants to the market, Public Mobile has the potential to do the most damage to the established telcos. The funny thing here is they are positioning themselves as a “budget brand”, but I think they will have the potential of grabbing some heavy business users as well – customers that most providers want and need. Wind Mobile (Globalive) will have to really be aggressive to compete in this marketplace. They will be battling Public on one side and the established three on the other. I don’t even know where to put DAVE Wireless; they have been playing their cards close. This will be very interesting to watch !

I sent an email to Public Mobile asking them these 2 questions:

How are you going to differentiate yourself in the Canadian market ?

Do you think the lack of a data offering will negatively affect your long term chances of success ?

I will post these answers in my next post.

More: You can read about the other two new cellular companies coming to Canada. TheTelecomBlog.com has profiled:
Coming to Canada this Fall – profiling Wind Mobile
Coming to Canada this Winter – Dave Wireless

I wrote a post in November 2009 titled: Public Mobile using Nortel hardware ? Huh ?

Want to review Public Mobile’s voice plan – click here:

Jeff, www.digitcom.ca

{ 15 trackbacks }

Public Mobile will NOT have a data plan at launch. Could this be their downfall ? « TheTelecomBlog.com
August 27, 2009 at 6:18 am
Public Mobile will NOT have a data plan at launch. Could this be their downfall ? | The Telecom Blog
August 27, 2009 at 6:18 am
Coming this fall to Canada – some new cellular competition. Profiling Wind Mobile | The Telecom Blog
September 4, 2009 at 6:06 am
Coming this fall to Canada – some new cellular competition. Profiling Wind Mobile « TheTelecomBlog.com
September 4, 2009 at 6:08 am
Coming to Canada – some new cellular competition – profiling Dave Wireless | TheTelecomBlog.com
September 22, 2009 at 8:06 am
Coming to Canada this Winter – some (MORE) new cellular competition – profiling Dave Wireless « TheTelecomBlog.com
September 22, 2009 at 8:15 am
Canadians should be in a National Uproar over the Globalive / CRTC hearings. Is Globalive Canadian owned ? Does it matter ? | TheTelecomBlog.com
September 28, 2009 at 6:44 am
Canadians should be in a National Uproar over the Globalive / CRTC hearings. Is Globalive Canadian owned ? Does it matter ? « TheTelecomBlog.com
September 29, 2009 at 6:16 am
No Kanadian Kindle? | TheTelecomBlog.com
October 12, 2009 at 6:42 am
3 new cell companies coming to Canada. My guess - 2 are doomed. Public Mobile, Wind Mobile, or Dave Wireless ? | TheTelecomBlog.com
October 13, 2009 at 6:48 am
3 new cell companies coming to Canada. My guess - 2 are doomed. Public Mobile, Wind Mobile, or Dave Wireless ? | TheTelecomBlog.com
October 13, 2009 at 6:48 am
3 new cell companies coming to Canada. My guess – 2 are doomed. Public Mobile, Wind Mobile, or Dave Wireless ? « TheTelecomBlog.com
October 13, 2009 at 6:50 am
Public Mobile using Nortel hardware ? Huh ? — TheTelecomBlog.com
November 5, 2009 at 12:03 am
Public Mobile - The Plan, Handset, and Coverage Reviewed — TheTelecomBlog.com
November 11, 2009 at 6:42 am
Wind mobile doing all the right things — TheTelecomBlog.com
December 8, 2009 at 6:32 am

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Coojell October 12, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Is Wal mart going to start selling the iPhone 3G and for how much?

consultance November 3, 2009 at 3:00 pm

China government will invest 500 million USD to Public Mobile and bind state-owned vendor ZTE to support low price competition in Canada. What is influence to market? If PM go bankrupt 2 years later what is left for Canada telecom market?

joyce March 21, 2010 at 12:42 am

when will this new company be launching?

and what exactly will the plans be? anyone know?

Jeff Wiener March 21, 2010 at 8:54 am

We just did a follow-up post on that. Take a look at this:
http://www.thetelecomblog.com/2010/03/19/public-mobile-nearly-almost-launches-maybe/

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