Wind 700MHz auction bid scuppered by internal dispute

Canadian operator Wind Mobile has pulled out of the country’s 700MHz spectrum auction, due to a lack of internal support by key shareholder Vimpelcom.

Industry Canada, Canada’s department for industry, confirmed that Globalive, which operates Wind Mobile, has withdrawn from the process via its website.

CEO Tony Lacavera also confirmed the news via Twitter, and admitted that the firm does need to acquire more spectrum to support its LTE service.

“It is business as usual at Wind – we do need more spectrum so I am not happy we had to withdraw from 700 but onwards and upwards for here!” he said.

“There are no changes to Wind, we continue as we are today – same service and value – but we must acquire more spectrum long-term for LTE!”

Internal disputes are thought to be the reason for the withdrawal. According to national newpaper, the Globe and Mail, VimpelCom, Wind’s main shareholder refused to support the bid for spectrum due to a conflict it is having with the government over Ottawa’s foreign investment rules, which have prevented it from taking full control of the Canadian operator. Under Canada’s foreign investment terms, any bid exceeding $334m for a Canadian firm must pass a government review to determine that the deal generates a “net economic benefit” to the country.

Lacavera added in another tweet that he is still hopeful of securing investment for future spectrum. “We will get there — given Wind growth there is investor interest – but of course we miss 700…” he said.

Industry Canada’s 700MHz spectrum auction will use the combinatorial clock auction format. 98 licences will be made available during the auction. The government department will announce spectrum winner within five days of the end of bidding.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.