Wind Mobile Drops Out of Canada's Radio Spectrum Auction
Published on: 14th Jan 2014
By: Simon Davies
Canadian mobile network Wind Mobile has dropped out of the country's radio spectrum auction on the eve of its starting.
The decision to drop out reportedly comes after its main shareholder, Russia's VimpelCom decided not to fund the necessary investment. The company was said to be concerned about the government's ongoing restrictions on foreign shareholders in local telecoms companies.
The decision is a blow to the government which had hoped to sell spectrum to a viable fourth mobile network in the key markets of Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, which amount to 63 percent of Canada's population.
The first round of bidding is set to begin today, and Wind said that it did not have time to secure additional funding from other sources.
"From Wind Mobile's perspective, there will be no change in our day-to-day business as a result of this decision," the company said in a statement. "Wind Mobile remains firmly committed to serving our customers and we are determined to continue to be a vital influence on mobile competition in Canada."
However, without the additional spectrum, the long term future of the company is also now in doubt.
VimpelCom acquired a controlling stake in the firm when it bought the stake from Egypt's Naguib Sawiris