WIND Mobile launches BlackBerry Bold 9900

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Oct 202011

BlackBerry Bold 9900As promised, WIND Mobile today launched the BlackBerry Bold 9900.

The thinnest-ever BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone is beautifully built to combine the iconic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard with a brilliant, 24-bit high-res touch screen.

More BlackBerry devices are also coming to WIND Mobile in the near future. Both the BlackBerry Curve 9360 and the BlackBerry Torch 9810 have been announced (along with some non-BlackBerry devices).

WIND Mobile is offering the BlackBerry Bold 9900 for CA$169 on the WINDTab+ or CA$569 without.

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WIND Mobile to launch BlackBerry Bold 9900 on October 20th (and more devices coming)

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Oct 172011

RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900WIND Mobile today announced that it will launch the BlackBerry Bold 9900 on Thursday, October 20th. If the Bold 9900 is not your thing, they are also planning to launch a few additional devices:

  • BlackBerry Curve 9360: All the latest BlackBerry features in a super-slim contoured design
  • BlackBerry Torch 9810: The original touch and keypad combo improved with double the processing power, the BlackBerry 7 operating system and HD-video capability
  • Nokia 500: An entry level phone with Nokia quality that lets customers change the look of their phone instantly with changeable covers in black, orange and purple
  • Huawei U8350: An affordable Android that pairs a QWERTY keypad with a touchscreen
  • Huawei U2801: An easy-to-use phone that makes calling and texting simple

WIND Mobile did not announce pricing for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 or any of the other devices coming.

WIND also quietly confirmed that St. Catharines and Welland are now part of WIND’s network. It also promised that additional coverage is coming, including improved coverage in Guelph, Scarborough, Mississauga, Bowmanville, and Vancouver. And they are not done: “We aren’t going to slow down until we’ve painted even more cities orange!”

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WIND Mobile expands to St. Catharines and Welland

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Oct 162011

WIND Mobile appears to have extended its southwestern Ontario coverage to both St. Catherines and Welland. Both cities now appear as WIND Zones on the company’s coverage web page and store locations at the Pen Centre in St. Catharines and at the Seaway Mall in Welland are now open.

WIND Mobile coverage in St. Catherines and Welland

No official announcement (aside from a Facebook post about the store openings) has been made so far. Perhaps this week?

Niagara Falls could soon follow as well as is now showing service in the area.

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Sep 302011

WIND MobileCanada’s next wireless auction is set to take place in late 2012. Consultations on how to conduct the next auction have been underway for some time with carriers arguing for or against setting aside spectrum for new players (as was done in 2008). At least one carrier, WIND Mobile, is already securing funds in preparation for the auction.

“Provided the conditions are right, [Wind] is prepared to participate and participate substantially,” said Tony Lacavera, Globalive’s chairman and chief executive.

VimpelCom, the company that last year acquired Orascom Telecom which provided much of WIND Mobile’s debt financing, is prepared to extend more than CA$500 million to the carrier. The funding is dependent on Industry Canada only allowing new carriers to bid on certain portions of the spectrum to be auctioned.

The report also indicates that WIND Mobile is now nearing the 400,000 subscriber mark, up from 317,000 early this summer.

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WIND Mobile launches Alcatel One Touch 908s

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Sep 152011

Alcatel One Touch 908sWIND Mobile today launched the Alcatel One Touch 908s, an entry level Android smartphone.

Alcatel One Touch 908s specifications:

  • Operating system: Google Android 2.2
  • Cellular connectivity: Quad-band GSM and and dual-band AWS HSPA
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Display: 2.8-inch QVGA
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Rear-facing camera: 2MP
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Battery: 1,300mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 110 x 57.4 x 12.4 millimeters / 120 grams

WIND Mobile is offering the Alcatel One Touch 908s for CA$120 with no contract (or CA$0 with the WINDTab).

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WIND Mobile to launch Pay Your Way mobile data plans?

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Sep 142011

WIND MobileWIND Mobile could unveil as early as tomorrow new data plans that offer unlimited data to customers for short, temporary periods of time. Unlike plans where you sign up for a month, the new Pay Your Way data plans target customers who have low daily usage but need it for a specific small period of time.

According to a leaked internal document obtained by The Cellular Guru, WIND Mobile will offer two Pay Your Way plans:

  • CA$0.20 for 6 minutes of unlimited Internet
  • CA$2.00 for 60 minutes of unlimited Internet
  • Each plan has a daily maximum of CA$5

The plans are clearly intended for occasional users and do not make sense for anyone who uses data daily. At CA$5 per day, your monthly rate would be CA$150, far more than WIND Mobile’s CA$29 Infinite Laptop plan.

These new plans will be limited to mobile internet stick or hotspot users.

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WIND Mobile Guelph Home Zone launch imminent

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Sep 112011

It looks like it will not be long now before WIND Mobile launches its network in Guelph. Its latest blog entry reads:

We’ve also got great news for existing and future customers who are looking forward to KW coverage expansion – if you’ve got your WIND phone in Guelph this weekend you’ll see some WIND Zone coverage there as we get close to opening the doors at our newest locations soon…

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WIND Mobile ownership ruling headed to Supreme Court of Canada

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Sep 082011

WIND MobileWIND Mobile’s legal saga over its ownership status is headed to the Supreme Court after Public Mobile made good on intentions first announced back in June. Public Mobile filed an appeal motion last week just days ahead of a deadline to do so. It claims that the government “acted on faulty legal assumptions when in late 2009 Cabinet reversed a decision from regulators barring WIND from launch.”

Public Mobile will be going at it alone as TELUS has decided to drop its motion against WIND. “We believe it’s time to let the market work,” a TELUS spokesman said.

In June, WIND Mobile won its latest appeal with a unanimous verdict from the Federal Court of Appeal. It was hoping that this would mark the end of a long legal battle over its ownership (is it Canadian enough?). Instead, it is now preparing to head back to court next spring.

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WIND Mobile outlines southern Ontario expansion plans

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Aug 292011

WIND MobileIn a lengthy interview with editor and publisher Greg O’Brien, WIND Mobile CEO Anthony Lacavera outlined some of his company’s expansion plans. With its legal and regulatory issues behind it (although there is still an appeal to the Supreme Court), WIND Mobile is looking to get back the growth of its coverage area back on track.

Less than two weeks ago, WIND Mobile launched its sixth WIND Zone in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. It is now looking to expand that zone to Guelph and Cambridge within the next 60 days. It is also planning to “continue down the 401” to cities such as London, Chatham and Windsor.

There was no mention of Victoria, British Columbia, which had been rumoured to launch earlier this year.

Lacavera also commented on the upcoming 700MHz auction, calling it “more critical” than the 2008 AWS auction that allowed it launch in Canada and the “critical next step for our business.”

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WIND Mobile launches 21.1 Mbps E366 WINDspeed Mobile Internet Stick

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Aug 252011

Huawei E366WIND Mobile today launched its latest data stick, the Huawei E366. It supports HSPA+ connectivity and offers download speeds of up to 21.1Mbps where WIND Mobile offers HSPA (and 14.4Mbps in all other areas).

WIND Mobile is offering the E366 data stick for CA$99 with no contract.

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A look back on the past week

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Aug 212011

What a week to go away on vacation. I had barely sunk my toes in warm sand that Google announced it would buy Motorola. And the shakeups did not stop there. Only days later, HP dropped a surprise of its own, essentially giving up on webOS some 16 months after buying Palm. Just in case you were on holidays last week like I was, here is a short recap of some of the top stories:

Google acquires Motorola for US$12.5 billion
The Motorola acquisition will allow Google to “supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing.” Motorola Mobility will remain an Android licensee and will be run as a separate business. With the acquisition, expected to close in late 2011 or early 2012, Google gains over 15,000 patents (issued and pending) that it can use in its lawsuits with Apple and Oracle (among others).

WIND Mobile goes live in Kitchener-Waterloo and announces HSPA+ plans
As expected, WIND Mobile launched in Kitchener-Waterloo, its sixth latest WIND Zone. It also announced plans to expand this WIND Zone to Cambridge and Guelph in the coming weeks. It also announced that it was beginning to roll out network upgrades to support HSPA+ (up to 21.1Mbps).

HP halts webOS device development

HP announced announced that it was getting out of the webOS hardware business, a move that affects its TouchPad and webOS smartphones. According to HP, “The devices have not met internal milestones and financial targets. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.” Instead, it will “explore the options for webOS in today’s marketplace.” I have a feeling that we won’t be hearing much more about webOS.

HP will also refocus itself on “cloud, solutions and software with an emphasis on enterprise, commercial and government markets.” This could lead to the spin-off of its Personal Systems Group (PSG) business.

Fido launches Sony Ericsson Xperia pro

Fido became the first carrier this week to launch the Sony Ericsson Xperia pro. Powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and Google Android 2.3, it comes with GSM/HSPA connectivity, a 3.7-inch display, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, 512MB RAM, support for microSD cards up to 32GB, an 8MP camera, and an HDMI port. It measures 120 by 57 by 13.5 millimeters and weighs 142 grams.

Fido is offering the Sony Ericsson Xperia pro for CA$50 with a three-year contract or CA$350 without a contract.

If my Internet connection stops giving me trouble, I’ll add a few more stories later today.

WIND Mobile now has 317,000 subscribers

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Aug 112011

Orascom Telecom yesterday announced its financial results for the first half of 2011. The company, which provides financial backing for WIND Mobile, now has over 105 million subscribers WIND Mobile contributed some 317,000 of those.

Second quarter indicators show continued strong customer acceptance across different market segments, increasing WIND Mobile’s active subscriber base by 17% in Q2 2011 and reinforcing its solid share of net adds. This happened in a climate of increased competition and seasonal mild growth rates in the first half of the year.

1H2011 WIND Mobile subscriber numbers

Despite strong competition, WIND Mobile’s ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) also increased to CA$27.80.

The report also indicated that WIND Mobile now has over 500 points of distribution, including some 150 WIND Mobile branded locations.

WIND Mobile today announced that it will launch in Kitchener-Waterloo on August 16th.

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WIND Mobile launching in Kitchener-Waterloo on August 16th

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Aug 112011

WIND MobileWIND Mobile yesterday announced the date on which it will launch in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. The carrier will officially flip the switch on its sixth WIND Zone on Tuesday August 16th.

It’s going to be a great day for wireless and a great day for the community. Our first 50 customers will have the chance to buy a contract-free BlackBerry Curve 3G for only $6, and a free month of service to go along with it.

The festivities will kick off at 9am at Kitchener’s Fairview Park Mall at WIND Mobile’s latest store.

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VimpelCom reaffirms support for WIND Mobile

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Jul 252011

WIND MobileWhen Amsterdam-based VimpelCom merged last year with Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, many wondered what would happen to WIND Mobile and the backing it had received from Orascom. WIND Mobile welcomed the news but must also have hoped that it was not among the “non core” assets that Vimpelcom intended to divest itself of.

Ossama Bessada, VimpelCom’s head of the Europe and North America business unit, now appears to have put those fears to rest. “We’re not going to pull the plug, for sure,” he said, adding that “Canada fits nicely within VimpelCom’s balanced portfolio of wireless assets.” Bessada had more good news for WIND Mobile. He expects that VimpelCom will provide WIND Mobile with financial assistance in Canada’s next wireless auction (possibly in late 2012) as well as future expansion and consolidation.

Bessada also had good news for consumers, indicating that he believes there is room for Canadian prices to drop further.

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WIND Mobile Kitchener-Waterloo launch set for August

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Jul 142011

WIND MobileWIND Mobile Chairman and CEO Tony Lacavera today narrowed down the launch window for the carrier’s upcoming Kitchener-Waterloo launch. A tweet today confirmed that it will take place in August:

WIND is launching in KW next month and has announced a $10,000 community grant. Give us your nominations.

As part of the launch, WIND Mobile will donate CA$10,000 to a project nominated and selected by the KW community.

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