Is Wind Mobile All But Dead?

Wind Mobile’s growth has stagnated. Based on early projections, it should have well over two million subscribers by now. Instead, it has fewer than 700,000, adding an anemic 39,000 during its last quarter.

This was a big reason why Wind’s foreign owner, VimpelCom, pulled Wind out of this year’s government-issued wireless spectrum auction, a move that crippled Wind’s ability to expand and improve its network to remain competitive. Now VimpelCom is dealing further blows to Wind.

Quoth the Financial Post:

Wind Mobile has been called “all but dead” after its foreign owner VimpelCom Ltd. declared Canada’s fourth-largest carrier as virtually worthless amid a “reassessment of the prospects of continuing operations in the country.” VimpelCom … posted a US$2.67-billion fourth-quarter loss, mainly reflecting a US$3-billion in non-cash impairments from slashing Wind Mobile’s value and a writedown of its assets in Ukraine.

“The Company fully impaired its assets in Canada, mainly relating to the challenges the Company is facing in the country, which resulted in the strategic decision to withdraw from the 700 MHz spectrum auction and the reassessment of the prospects for continuing operations in the country,” VimpelCom said in a statement last week.


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Now Wind is looking less than ever like a legitimate contender and more than ever like prey just waiting for one of the Big Three—Rogers, Telus (which already bought Public Mobile), and Bell—to swoop in.

“Wind appears all but dead,” according to Dvai Ghose, head of research at Canaccord Genuity, who wrote in a note to clients last week that, “despite the Government’s intentions, the national wireless incumbents appear to be in a strong position, while new entrant survival remains challenging.”

Wind’s chief, Anthony Lacavera, denies Wind’s ill fate. He is quoted as saying that it is “business as usual at Wind” and plans to complete long-term in Canada’s market.