There are only 2 weeks to go before the Canadian Wireless Auction closes, 3 weeks to auction awards and things are getting… interesting.
T-Mobile dropped off the list several weeks ago and more recently Niagara Networks withdrew their application.
This means there are now zero foreign applicants on the roster, right?
Hmm, not necessarily. Upon closer inspection we see that one of the Canadian numbered companies is owned in no small part by a few well known US VCs, with Canadian firm Novacap leading the charge.
Something else that’s rather peculiar about this list on first glance is the missing MSO / Cable Companies. On that note, I have it from a reliable source that Cogeco is also in the running, Quebec’s largest cable provider. The same is true for the Alberta numbered company, we already know that one is Shaw.
There are also some smaller firms that are looking to break into the cellular market in Canada, one such company is GlobaLive.
The privately held company, which sells telecommunications services under the Yak brand, said it was seeking 1,892 bid points with a required deposit of $235 million, making it the sixth-most-aggressive seeker of spectrum so far. The company said it was receiving funding from Egypt-based Weather Investments, which runs cellphone providers in Italy and Greece, as well as London-based Novator, which operates carriers in Poland and Iceland.
From all of the known contenders I think Globalive and MTS (the incumbent in Manitoba) are the most interesting. They both have SIP infrastructure deployed in the public realm and both could bridge the gap between wireless and wired networks in a very seamless manner. Standards compliant VoIP across wired and wireless networks, very interesting.
I will be covering this closely from here on so stay tuned.
erik | sipthat.com