WIND Mobile’s Launch: Too Hasty?

by Jordan Richardson on March 11, 2010

A new report by the SeaBoard Group has been making the rounds and its inferences aren’t being met with praise by at least a few telecommunications experts. The basic crux behind the report is that WIND Mobile, one of Canada’s new wireless entrants, wasn’t ready for launch when it opened its doors last December.

SeaBoard Group is “Canada’s leading technology research and strategy consulting company” and they file reports on everything from security issues to communications policy. How much actual industry clout SeaBoard Group has is admittedly a mystery to me, but news of the report has spread far and wide.

The report certainly got the attention of WIND Mobile chairman and CEO Anthony Lacavera, who admitted to some “shortfalls” but called the conclusions of the SeaBoard Group report “premature.”

The plan for WIND Mobile, a branch of Toronto-based Globalive, was to offer a low-cost alternative to Canada’s Big Three companies. By taking on Rogers, Telus and Bell directly, WIND Mobile was designed to give consumers a way out of standard packages and formats.

But the SeaBoard Group maintains that the introduction of WIND Mobile was rushed by Globalive.

One of the key signs of distress, says the report, is that WIND Mobile’s chief customer officer Chris Robbins stepped down while citing “internal shifts.” According to the SeaBoard Group, any sort of major restricting this soon into the game is never a good sign. It denotes a lack of internal stability, the report points out.

There are also some consumer problems, notes the report, as customers have had trouble with networks and have experienced difficulties buying company phones and paying bills online. These are all issues that Lacavera says are being addressed, however, and it is true that a few hiccups at the start of a new venture are common in any line of business.

Lacavera has said that “hundreds” of Canadians are switching to WIND Mobile each day, but there have been no actual numbers produced as of yet to back up this claim. Indeed, the SeaBoard Group reports numbers in the neighbourhood of 30,000 subscribers in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton. Those numbers are disappointing when one considers the pool of nine million people living in those areas.

In contrast to Lacavera’s hopeful tones, the SeaBoard Group’s report considers WIND Mobile as a cautionary tale in the industry and cites them as an example of what not to do when launching a wireless company in Canada.

These sorts of reports are, indeed, quite common in the industry and it can be hard for an outside observer to know what to make of the SeaBoard Group’s research.

Reports of this nature rely on a sort of “call them like we see them” approach and can never be viewed as completely accurate forecasters of a company’s success, but WIND Mobile’s ability to grow as a business and as a provider in Canada will have a lot to do with how ably they address some of the report’s valid points.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS >, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

{ 2 trackbacks }

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August 13, 2012 at 5:51 am
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