New Canadian operator Globalive – backed by Egypt’s Orascom and trading under the Wind Mobile brand – believes it will be the sole challenger to the country’s incumbent operators and could even acquire fellow rival start-ups. “There is room for only one more national operator in my opinion,” chairman Anthony Lacavera told The Ottawa Citizen. “In three or four years there will be only one new national carrier. I know I’m going to be that one.” In another interview, Lacavera told Bloomberg that “there will be M&A activity and the question is how distressed is the target… We’re not sellers, we’re industrialists. We could definitely be acquirers.” While Globalive’s business plan is focused on acquiring subscribers, not companies, “it is certainly possible given our horizon that we could end up in those conversations,” Lacavera said. Asked whether that might be with fellow newcomers Public Mobile or Mobilicity, he said “potentially.”
The operator launched at the end of last year after borrowing US$700 million from Naguib Sawiris’ Orascom Telecom Holding SAE. Although it has launched in Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa and Vancouver, the operator has received criticism for its efforts to date and was at the centre of an earlier dispute over its adherence to domestic ownership rules. The company is still in negotiations to raise several hundred million dollars in additional capital with banks but Lacavera claims it has enough cash to roll out its business plan over the next two or three years. Globalive is one of five new Canadian entrants hoping to steal market share from incumbents Rogers, Telus and Bell. Aside from Public Mobile and Mobilicity, other new players include Videotron (which plans to launch in Quebec this summer) and Shaw Communications.