Industry Minister Tony Clement has given Globalive under the Wind Mobile brand the go ahead to start operations immediately. The holdup was based on control with the government stating that with the company’s voting shares controlled by Canadians and with some 80% of their Directors being Canadian they did not violate the foreign ownership regulations. The face of the Canadian wireless industry has officially changed with this decision as a new national mobile carrier can begin operating.
This decision reverses the ruling set by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission who had previously ruled that because foreigners held two-thirds of Globalive’s equity and would be the primary source of technical expertise as well as provided access to an established trademark they didn’t meet the test of Canadian ownership.
This decision by the Federal government restores the previous decision by Industry Canada. This conflict in the interpretation of the foreign ownership regulations has come to highlight how two different branches of government can come to two completely different conclusions.
Globalive will be testing their network in Calgary and Toronto where they will launch the network first with an emphasis on the major metropolitan areas in Canada where they can reach between 15 and 18 million Canadians.
This is a good day for Canadians that want new choices in mobile making it a more competitive environment which will lead to lower costs for the consumer over time. A press conference is scheduled by Globalive for 11:00am EST in Toronto where Globalive will discuss the ruling and what the future holds now that the roadblocks have finally been removed.