Tony Lacavera, Globalive & WIND Mobile Chairman, post Banff World TV Festival interview, July 2010

Tony Lacavera (WIND Mobile) & Konrad von Finckenstein (CRTC)

It was my pleasure finally to meet Tony Lacavera, chairman of Globalive & WIND Mobile, in person at the CRTC Breakfast at 2010 Banff World TV Festival after interviewing Tony over the phone in Sept 08 and Dec 09. I wanted to video interview Tony after the breakfast but he had a plane to catch so Tony promised to let me have another phone interview with him.

This article contains some of the questions and my research for my July 2010 phone interview with Tony (mp3) or (streaming audio here).

- I asked Tony about his experience of meeting the CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein in person and if they resolved any disagreement.

- Tony talked about how he reached out to find international financial backings and ultimately finding Egyptian financial backings from Orascom to launch WIND Mobile. How Tony met Orascom‘s Business Development Officer Michael O’Connor (a Canadian from Peterborough, Ontario) and then meet Orascom‘s executive chairman Naguib Sawiris. (More in this undated Financial Post story, “Globalive consortium ‘did it all in six days’)

- How is WIND Mobile preparing for Sept 1st, 2011 when analog TV broadcast goes digital and those old analog TV frequency spectrum becomes available ? Any plans to bid for some new frequencies? (note: WIND currently doesn’t have coverage in Quebec.) Is WIND ready for new competitions from winners of the upcoming auction?

- Is WIND Mobile worried about Rogers’ soon to be launched new wireless brand Chatr? Will WIND match offering and prices from Chatr? It is worth noting that Tony gave a very different response than Mobilicity.

- On Twitter, it seems like @WIND_Cares is not as helpful nor as responsive as @Telussupport or @RogersHelps. Does WIND plan to improve on its Twitter’s responsiveness?

When I asked Tony about Twitter, I have the following case in mind: A Fido user complained about Fido repeatedly (two examples here and here) and got a significant escalation: “escalating this to Office of the President” from @RogersHelps, here, and here. And finally ended with user’s satisfaction here (almost) and here (for real on 3:40pm, 7th July, 2010).

So I think WIND can do a much better job here.

- Good to see WIND Mobile is keeping its promise and keeping an open blog taking users’ comments and feedback. Does WIND find it difficult to get useful insight from the comments and feedback which sometimes has lots of “noise”? I asked Tony to give some specific ideas or suggestions from users that WIND has implemented, unfortunately Tony wasn’t able to give me any examples.

- Tony mentioned that both him and Ken Campbell, WIND Mobile CEO are available to Canadians when the other wireless providers aren’t.

- Tony was really proud that Better Business Bureau gives WIND Mobile a B+ rating recently while other wireless providers were given “F”s.

note: Upon further investigation, I don’t know if BBB gives out rating to the wireless company as a whole or to a particular store? For example, Rogers is getting an “A+” in this Halifax location and Bell Mobility is getting a “D” in this Mississauga location. It seems to me, in this case, a company-level rating is more useful than a store-level rating.

- WIND Mobile had lots of network problems a few weeks ago in my area (Calgary SW) and it seems to have improved in the last few weeks. While Tony was unable/unwilling to tell me how many network towers are in Calgary, he told me the total number of towers have doubled since launch.

- Is WIND Mobile able to get network or tower sharing access with incumbents? In an April 2010 speech, Tony mentioned that WIND had sent over 100 sharing requests to the incumbents and had no success. Unfortunately, this is still true! The incumbents are doing their best to NOT help WIND. :)

- The top WIND Mobile data user has been reportedly used 118 GB in one month. I suggested that using the rate of 5 cents per MB charged by the incumbents, 3 GB max data for the best $100/moth plan, the additional charges for the additional 115GB will be $5,888!!! Tony talked about the existing well publicized fair usage data policy with no cap, which I think is very fair.

- Tony also talked about how WIND see Public Mobile and Mobilicity as pure play wireless company. And since there aren’t much details on Shaw’s wireless plan, Tony didn’t have much to say yet.

- Finally, I asked Tony will WIND consider selling out to the big three in a few years down the road. And what kind of new promotions are coming up in coming months.

If you haven’t already, please have a listen to my July 2010 phone interview (mp3) or (streaming audio here).

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In the following 2010 Banff World TV Festival video, Tony introduces CRTC Chairman Konrad Finckenstein, and Chairman Konrad talks about Tony.

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Some other interesting speech or talk by Tony.

Video of Tony on BNN talking about WIND Mobile unlimited data plans and Rogers’ Chatr. [HT MobileSyrup]

WIND CEO Anthony Lacavera Keynote: CTS 2010

Tony Lacavera at the Empire Club Speech [HT MobileSyrup.com]

Globalive, DAVE & Public Mobile debate at 2009 CTS [by MobileSyrup] [note: weak audio & video, but good content]

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