Shaw Inc. Looking to Enter Telecom Market via $1.6 Billion Purchase of Wind Mobile
The Canadian cellular phone game has always been one where we, the consumers, have continuously been dealt a losing hand. With some of the highest cell phone rates in the world, speculators attributed this to the lack of competition in the industry. Even when Wind Mobile entered the market in 2009 and introduced unlimited talk and text plans for a set price to both post and pre-paid customers, the big three (Telus, Bell and Rogers,) simply retaliated by launching similarly priced alternatives that didn’t really give consumers a bigger, better deal.
But the proverbial wind seems to have started to blow in a favorable direction… Shaw Cable Inc. announced its plans to purchase Wind for a whopping $1.6 Billion, and it looks like Wind is on the verge of accepting this offer.
What Does This Mean for us as Consumers?
The introduction of another telecom giant, (since Shaw Inc. offers cable, internet, home phone and now potentially cellular services,) means competition! And competition usually means a reduction in price, and increase in actual customer and value added services. WIN!
In order to be effectively competitive, Shaw would need to improve its coverage and upgrades its network to LTE, a price venture which might see currently “low” price points for plans increased. LOSS!
Offering multiple services introduces customers with other matching services the option of bundling and receiving a greater number of services at a lower price point. WIN!
There are certainly many more pros and cons but these would have to be the ones we consider the most pertinent and as such, it looks like this purchase will be a WIN for Canadian consumers as a whole.
What Does This Mean for current Wind Mobile Customers?
An increase in service coverage and introduction of LTE network. WIN!
The cost of upgrading Wind’s current coverage and network will be lofty to say the least if Shaw aims to use this service to be able to compete with current providers, and since it’s standard business practice to offset majority of the cost of expansion on the customers, expect to see a rise the price of services offered. LOSS
One of Wind Mobile’s benchmarks was not offering contracts to customers, but rather, a “tab” system where post-paid clients would receive a “tab” discount on their hand held device, but need not sign a contract for the actual service. Shaw Cable did not traditionally offer contracts, but in order to compete in an ever changing business environment, they to now offer a contract system, and if this be the case with their cellular services, then what would current Wind consumers be faced with? (Food for thought….)
Looks like current Wind customers might not be left in the best position, but when you consider the improvements to network strength and coverage, as well as the potential to bundle your Saw services to receive a greater discount… Things may not be so bleak.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s a move that we think will benefit Canadian consumers as a whole, the introduction of an alternative service provider will definitely incite some competition, which will result in WE the consumers getting better value for our hard earned dollars, and that is an all-round win. Look for this deal to be struck sometime this year (2016)
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