Public Mobile launch date ? Not soon enough. Better hurry up or you will miss the race

by Jeff Wiener on January 8, 2010

With all the recent hype regarding Wind Mobile’s successful cell launch in mid December it seems that the market has forgotten that there are 2 other cell providers that will be coming to market (SHORTLY) ? Dave Wireless and Public Mobile.

I interviewed Dave Dobbin, President of Dave Wireless, in mid December. It appears that they are getting close to launch and seem to have a handle on the market and what it will take for a successful launch.

The other carrier, Public Mobile, seemed to be on track for a late fall early winter launch, however, they put this statement on their web site in late December:

Our original plan was to launch service in late 2009/early 2010. It now looks like we’ll be offering service in the first half of 2010. Last summer’s city strike in Toronto held up the permitting process for building our DAS (distributed antenna system) network. We want to make sure our customers have access to the best possible network technology available. So, rather than building 200 large towers, we’ll be using approximately 1,200 DAS nodes. The benefit to our customers is high quality reception and the ability for the network to handle a high volume of calls at the same time.

The fact that they have chosen to proceed with a DAS (Distributed Access Network) is curious. It might also be more difficult to get regulatory approval for cell placement of 1,200 nodes vs 200 towers. Although the nodes themselves take up much less space, Public Mobile will need to negotiate for significantly more real estate with a greater number of landlords.

What’s even more troubling is the fact that they won’t be ready to launch until what seems like late April, May time frame (I am reading between the lines here). Their closest competitor, Wind Mobile, has not only launched, but fought through a significant battle with the CRTC. They will have had a 6 month head start in the market which will make it that much more difficult for Public Mobile to “fight through the competitive noise”.

How will they differentiate themselves in this market when their competitor has had such a head start ? They might actually lose the race before they even start !

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Written by: Jeff Wiener. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Identi.ca, or Friendfeed

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