No one escapes the Canadian inquisition! CRTC turns attention to Public Mobile’s ownership

22 Dec 2009

After having its decision to disallow the launch of Globalive Wireless (Wind Mobile) overturned by the government, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecoms Commission (CRTC) is carrying out a similar ownership review of another start-up cellular operator, Public Mobile, The Canadian Press reports. The regulator said that the Toronto-based firm ‘appears to comply’ with the foreign ownership clauses of the Telecom Act, but added that ‘control in fact’ involves equity from a number of foreign investors, and it will carry out a review to see if Public’s complex ownership structure qualifies as Canadian-controlled. The commission added that the issues involving the new regional entrant are similar to new national carrier Globalive, but whilst it was mindful of the fact that Ottawa overruled its rejection of Globalive’s ownership, it did not consider the ‘Wind’ case a precedent since the Industry Minister stated that the decision was specific to the facts of that single case only.

Public Mobile owns ‘G Band’ PCS spectrum, an extension of the 1900MHz band, covering southern Ontario and Quebec, and plans to launch services in early 2010. It is backed by Canadian pension fund OMERS, which has committed USD50 million to the project, and US funds Columbia Capital and M/C Venture Partners.

Canada, Public Mobile