Freedom Mobile is the fastest-growing carrier in the country.
A new study by comparison platform HelloSafe found Freedom Mobile, formerly called Wind Mobile, held nearly six percent of carrier market share in 2020, an increase from the 3.2 percent recorded in 2015. The study shows Freedom Mobile was only one of two carriers examined to increase this figure.
While the Big Three continued to dominate in Canada, their market share decreased from 90.4 percent in 2015 to 87.8 percent in 2020. Rogers decreased its market share by 0.5 percent, Bell by 0.3 percent, and Telus by 1.8 percent, respectively.
The number of cellphone subscribers in Canada grew by 3.6 million between 2015 and 2020. Rogers gained 1.1 million subscribers in the last five years, and Freedom Mobile followed closely behind with more than 982,000.
As the study notes, the Big Three continued to dominate the market, but smaller players, specifically Vidéotron, SaskTel and Freedom Mobile, made steady ground.
The collective market share of these “smaller” players reached 12.2 percent in 2020, an increase from the 9.6 percent recorded in 2015.
But not all small players are alike.
Freedom Mobile’s subscribers grew by nearly 105 percent between 2015 and 2020. Vidéotron also saw similar success, with its subscriber base (and market share) growing by almost 93 percent in the same period. But SaskTel, the dominant provider in Saskatchewan, decreased its subscriber base by 618,000 in that period.
Freedom Mobile’s future
“Freedom Mobile is now a strong 4th player in the Canadian phone service market,” the study states.
But the success of this “fourth player” could change down the road — Vidéotron’s parent company Québecor is currently acquiring Freedom Mobile.
Rogers is selling the asset, owned by Shaw, to create a strong fourth carrier and appease competition concerns surrounding its takeover of Shaw. Pending regulatory approval, the sale is yet to be approved as critics question how the acquisition would lower cellphone bills.
Wind’s former founder, Anthony Lacavera, also appealed to regulatory bodies to reject the deal. His investment firm, Globalive Capital, offered $900 million more than Québecor to acquire Freedom Mobile.
Rogers’ takeover of Shaw is also in trouble after the Commissioner of Competition blocked the merger in May, stating it would lead Canadians to pay more for wireless services. Rogers, Shaw, and the commissioner will take part in a confidential mediation process on July 4th and 5th.