With the new entrants making more than there share of headlines over the past few months, this trend will certainly continue to heat up over the next several months as each will implement their business plan for a successful wireless launch.
In closing the 2009 Canadian Wireless Summit, DAVE Wireless, Globalive and Public Mobile each had the opportunity to communicate their upcoming brand message and direction. Then with guns blazing the conversation turned heated into a discussion about the current wireless players (Rogers, Bell and Telus) and how Canadians need more choice.
It is well know that Public Mobile will be going after the “value conscious segment” with a flat rate $40 talk and text plans. Recently Globalive decided to launch 2 wireless brands, a high end and a low end brand stating “there is no one size fits all” plan. Dave Wireless will offer no-contract service and unlimited voice and text messaging; free voice mail and long distance within Canada plus has stated in the past they will offer BlackBerry and Android devices.
Globe and Mail reporter Simon Avery led the conversation between President of DAVE Wireless, Dave Dobbin; CEO, Globalive Communications Tony Lacavera and President & CEO, Public Mobile Alek Krstajic. He started off with the question to Lacavera “Is your biggest competitors beside you or are they the incumbents? Where is this fight going to be played?”. Lacavera responded with “All 3 of us are sitting on stage her with zero market share today, so by definition I don’t believe we can be competing with each other, not in the short to immediate timeframe”.
Dave Dobbin of Dave Wireless piped up and stated in regards to the competition question: “If you look at the Canadian market place, the penetration levels, the services being offered, customers status quo, I think there is room in the marketplace to survive, if not thrive… there is a lot of opportunity.”
Krstajic stated “The reality is, here is what you guys will do, if you go up at the upper end of the market to what I call over-served, you will have a situation where you will cause pricing to be more competitive, they will become more competitive, they will drop their prices to compete with you. Their customer satisfaction will improve. Bell will realize what a travesty it was to send all of their call centers off shore and start to bring it back, so I can call 411 and actually speak to somebody who understands where Scarborough is so I don’t have to spell Scarborough… you will improve them, there is no question about it… but you know Fido went bankrupt, Clearnet would’ve gone bankrupt hadn’t Darren Entwistle stepped in at the last minute and bought them. This has been tried before. If you look and smell like an incumbent you cause them to become more competitive and they make it really tough, they’ll put their foot on your throat”.
“It’s going to be hard” says Dobbin, “when you look at the incumbents, I mean the folks running Bell, TELUS and Rogers are really really smart people. They will figure out ways to compete with us, so we need to be aggressive, we need to be smart”.
Check out these videos of part of the panel discussions: