WIND Mobile Claims To Be The Fastest Growing Wireless Carrier In Canada

by Gaurav Kheterpal on May 16, 2011

Image Courtesy BGR

While the ‘Big Three’ – Rogers, Telus and Bell all posted solid Q1 results, there’s no doubt that they lost significant market share to the newer players such as WIND Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile. Wind Mobile reported Friday it added 39,000 new mobile phone subscribers in its latest quarter, a 30 per cent increase from the previous period.

WIND claims it’s now the “fastest growing wireless carrier in Canada” with a combined user base of 300,000. Collectively, the Big three added 72,292 new wireless subscribers in the first quarter. In contrast, WIND Mobile grew at a staggering pace capturing a larger share of so-called “prepaid” market and is now firmly staking its claim as “Canada’s fourth national wireless carrier”

Chairman Anthony Lacavera believes WIND’s strong performance is a “proof that wireless competition has been long overdue.”

WIND currently operates in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. It’s no mean achievement that WIND accounted for 35% of all the net addition in the Canadian market, and it added more wireless subscribers than Bell, Rogers and Telus added in the same period. Though WIND’s growth has been limited to the prepaid segment – generally considered to be the least valuable and most volatile segment, it’s a refreshing sign that new entrants are finally making their presence felt in the Canadian wireless market.

WIND’s performance in urban areas was even more impressive as it notched up close to 50% share of the new prepaid subscriber segment. Interestingly though, Wind’s average monthly bill is only $29, significantly lower when compared with the ARPU of the Big Three. Chairman Anthony Lacavera says the lower ARPU is partly due to the fact that

Wind factors in promotional activity on top of its relatively small subscriber base of several hundred thousand customers. When short-term discounts are excluded, the number climbs to about $35.”

Bell president and chief executive officer George Cope isn’t sure though if “there’s money to be made” in the prepaid segment. BCE lost more than 75,000 customers in Q1 but it gained 80,000 post-paid customers. There’s no doubt that Bell’s loss has been WIND’s gain.

WIND declined to provide a break down of how many smartphone customers versus basic talk-and-text customers it attracted during the quarter.

Despite an impressive Q1 performance, WIND says it has no plans to launch in Atlantic Canada this year. Additionally, Chief executive Ken Campbell quashed rumors that WIND is interesting in picking up Blockbuster Canada once the retailer goes up for sale.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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