Canada's mobile market might be only a fraction of the size of its southern neighbor's, but that's still millions and millions of potential customers. Shaw Communications, a major Canadian phone and Internet provider based in Calgary, is making a move to grab a portion of it. Yesterday Shaw announced its intention to buy Wind Mobile, the country's fourth-largest mobile carrier. Shaw will buy the company from its parent Mid-Bowline Group for 1.6 billion Canadian dollars (about 1.15 billion USD).
Wind has only been operating for almost exactly six years, and in an impressively short time has amassed just under a million subscribers in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. According to CBC, Shaw wants the company to diversify its technology assets, putting it in a better position to face similarly diverse competitors like Rogers. Assuming all parties can get past Canada's various regulatory hurdles, the acquisition should be complete in late 2016.
Like smaller carriers such as Cricket and US Cellular in the United States, Wind Mobile aims for entry-level customers, so its technology lags somewhat behind the larger networks. A Shaw representative says the new owners intend to upgrade Wind's 3G network to LTE across its entire operating range by the end of 2017. Wind Mobile's CEO, Alex Krstajic, is slated to retain his position along with the executive team.