Banff 2011 Video Interviews: Tom Perlmutter, NFB Chairperson; Tony Lacavera, Chairman Globalive/WIND Mobile; Michael Hennessy, SVP TELUS; Mike Farah, President of Production, Funny or Die; Ariel Garten, CEO InteraXon; Harmony Wagner, Creative Producer BunnyBop; Heather Allin, President of ACTRA Toronto, Siobhan McCarthy, Actress & clown

Monday, 20 June, 2011

The following are links to my video interviews conducted at Banff World Media Festival 2011 (more to come):

* Tom Perlmutter – NFB Chairperson & Government Film Commissioner;

* Tony Lacavera, Chairman & CEO, Globalive (WIND Mobile);

* Michael Hennessy, Senior VP, Regulatory and Government Affairs, TELUS;

* Mike Farah, President of Production, Funny or Die;

* Ariel Garten, CEO InteraXon;

* Harmony Wagner, Creative Producer, Periscope Pictures (preschool series BunnyBop)

* Heather Allin, President of ACTRA Toronto.

* Siobhan McCarthy, Actress & clown, blyssful productions.


Tony Lacavera, Chairman & CEO, Globalive (WIND Mobile) interview @ Banff World Media Festival 2011

Saturday, 18 June, 2011

Anthony Lacavera, Chairman & CEO, Globalive (WIND Mobile)

Since 2009, I had the pleasure to interview Tony Lacavera, Chairman & CEO, Globalive/WIND Mobile for a few times (see here and here). So it was my pleasure to chat with Tony again @Banff World Media Festival 2011.

Here are a few highlights of my video interview with Tony, By the way, also check out my video interview with Michael Hennessy, TELUS Senior VP, Regulatory and Government Affairs.

* 0:00 I asked Tony for his take on the Banff session where he had a few “debates” with Michael Hennessy, Senior VP, Regulatory and Government Affairs, TELUS.

* 0:36 I asked Tony about the recent Federal Court of Appeal panel decision in favour of WIND Mobile. (see my tweets here with link to National Post article and here)

* 1:50 Have the other guys started the appeal process and asked the Supreme Court of Canada to review the case?

* 2:35 Did Tony bring up the topic of the court rulings with Chairman of the CRTC?

* 2:46 Is WIND feeling the pressure now that Moblicity is in Calgary?

* 3:18 What about the dead coverage zones in the C-Train tunnels near downtown Calgary? (Tony also talked about the coverage inside Toronto TTC.)

* 4:54 The revamping of the WIND customer service touchpoints.
***

For all other Banff 2011 related interviews, please see here.


Tony Lacavera, Chairman & CEO, Globalive (WIND Mobile) interview @ Banff World Media Festival 2011

Wednesday, 15 June, 2011

Anthony Lacavera, Chairman & CEO, Globalive (WIND Mobile)

Since 2009, I had the pleasure to chat with Tony Lacavera, Chairman & CEO, Globalive/WIND Mobile for a few times (see here and here). So it is my pleasure to chat with Tony again @Banff World Media Festival 2011.

It will take me some time to write the article plus process & upload the video after Banff. Stay tune.

***

Jun 18 update: Done! Check out my article and video interview with Tony.


Worth Reading: WIND Mobile/Globalive is Canadian, Facebook facial recognition, Canucks fans, Calgary postal strike, FT app

Wednesday, 8 June, 2011

* Financial Post, “Globalive declared a ‘Canadian owned and controlled company’

* CTV News, “Court victory clears way for Globalive

* CNN, “Facebook lets users opt out of facial recognition” (Note: This is ass-backward, kinda like the “negative option billing” thing cable companies tried on us until we complained loud enough and they stopped.)

* Bloomberg, “Facebook Under EU Privacy Probe Over Facial-Recognition Prompt for Photos

* TorStar, “Drubbing brought Canucks fans closer, but the real healing begins tonight

* Calgary Herald, “Calgary postal service disrupted as workers walk off job for 24 hours – Job action expected to last 24 hours

* Macrumors, “Financial Times Won’t Give Apple A Cut, Drops iOS for Web App


WIND and Rogers on 700 MHz Spectrum Auction

Wednesday, 27 April, 2011

From WIND’s Tony, “The 700 MHZ Spectrum Auction: What it means for you

The upcoming 700 MHZ auction will continue to shape the future of wireless competition in Canada. Every stakeholder wants to influence how the auction will be held and on Monday, all parties were invited to file submissions with Industry Canada outlining how they felt the spectrum should be divided.

In our case, we argued that all of the 700MHZ spectrum should be set aside for only new entrants to bid on (like last time). Why? Because the Big Three don’t need it, and we do, and they will do anything, and pay anything, to keep us from getting it. The Big Three are among the most spectrum-rich operators in the entire world and are already sitting on vast amounts of unused spectrum (we call it warehousing). The Big Three acquiring and sitting on all this spectrum doesn’t do you, the consumers, any good. In fact, it hurts because it is yet another way they seek to limit competition.

The spectrum they are sitting on, by the way, includes all of the spectrum they bought in the 2008 auction. Good thing there was spectrum set aside in that auction and good for the Government for resisting the Big Three’s arguments (they are making the same arguments this time around, of course).

We want to see this spectrum benefit consumers. Spectrum in the hands of new entrants like WIND Mobile will help take Canada (finally!) out of the dark ages of wireless. Competition is the #1 key to better wireless choice and value in Canada, but new entrants like us need spectrum. Oh, and we’ll use it!

Industry Canada is expected to set the auction rules later this year so we will keep you posted.”

According to G&M, Apr. 27, 2011 “Rogers to launch LTE wireless by end of year

“Rogers and other major phone companies are concerned the 700 MHz spectrum will be reserved for new entrants in the market as part of the federal government’s efforts to open the market to greater competition.

“It would be a shame if our nine million wireless customers were denied the benefit of this low-band spectrum,” Mr. Mohamed told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting. “Put simply, we need rules that apply equally to everyone.””

For the record.

G&M, Apr. 27, 2011 “Rogers to launch LTE wireless by end of year

Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI.B-T35.260.521.50%) will launch the next generation of wireless technology in four major Canadian cities by the end of the year, promising high-speed Internet access on mobile devices will be as fast as is currently available on home and office computers. Read the rest of this entry »


Ottawa’s Globalive (WIND Mobile) decision overturned by Federal Court

Friday, 4 February, 2011

Feb 15, 2011 Update: CBC News, “Globalive ruling to be appealed by Ottawa

Feb 17, 2011 Update: “Globalive appeals court ruling, seeks to extend stay

***

As a WINDmobile customer, I’m surprised & angered to see Ottawa’s Globalive decision overturned by federal court. From CBC (with video interview of WIND Mobile CEO Ken Campbell),

“On Friday, Federal Court Justice Roger Hughes found Ottawa’s move was based on “errors of law” and ruled it null and void. He also ordered a 45-day stay in the ruling, meaning the company has time to appeal and continue to operate in the interim.

“We are very disappointed with this decision,” Globalive chairman Anthony Lacavera said. “We are examining our options but this is not over yet. We don’t intend to back down.”

Since its launch a little more than a year ago, Wind has already accumulated 250,000 customers, he noted.

Industry Minister Tony Clement said the government is studying the ruling and examining its options. “Our [government] stands with consumers who want more competition,” he said in a tweet.

Later, Clement commented on the decision in an interview to air Saturday on CBC Radio’s The House.

“I’ll be studying the decision and reviewing our options, but … our government still believes very strongly that we should be on the side of consumers, and what consumers want is more choice,” Clement told host Kathleen Petty.”

Here is the court decision (in PDF and in text).

Also see reports by TorStar and Reuters.


Happy First Year WIND Mobile !!!

Thursday, 16 December, 2010

Can’t believe it is one year already, happy first year WIND Mobile !!! Here are some of my entries and video interviews related to WIND Mobile (older entries first),

WIND Mobile Calgary Launch (video interviews with CEO Ken Campbell, CCO Chris Robbins) [Dec 2009]

WIND Mobile Calgary service review & Interview with WIND CEO Ken Campbell [Mar 2010]

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

WIND Mobile exceeds 100,000 users [Aug 2010]

Egyptian Connection: Naguib Sawiris, Orascom, Globalive, WIND Mobile [Nov 2010]


Egyptian Connection: Naguib Sawiris, Orascom, Globalive, WIND Mobile

Wednesday, 3 November, 2010

A very insightful interview with Orascom‘s Naguib Sawiris. For the record.

To me, here is one of the most telling quote in the Naguib Sawiris interview, “Worse than that, two of them offered to buy me out at a very significant profit. But that means I’m a broker, not an industrialist. I’m not the kind of guy who goes for the money—it’s about success. And this, I would consider it a bribe: We give you some more money, but go home and don’t make our life difficult. It would also be an admission of failure, which is not in my character.

Globalive financier Naguib Sawiris: ‘We will make pain, and they will suffer’ (emphasis added)

Iain Marlow From Friday’s Globe and Mail Published Friday, Oct. 29, 2010 2:02PM EDT Last updated Monday, Nov. 01, 2010 8:11AM EDT

Naguib Sawiris is a good friend to have. In 2008, after a dinner meeting in Cairo, the Egyptian telecom titan decided to plunge roughly $700 million into Globalive, Anthony Lacavera’s challenger to the Big Three Canadian wireless players. Globalive finally launched its Wind Mobile service this past December, after two years of holdups and grovelling before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. So far, it has signed up 100,000 customers, and Sawiris is about to invest hundreds of millions of dollars more to keep it going. Why? For one thing, he likes Lacavera. But Sawiris is also determined to get some payback. Since taking over the telecom division of his father Onsi’s sprawling Orascom empire (which started out in construction and now includes hospitality and IT), Sawiris has signed up 120 million subscribers in Africa, South Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Korea. And to hear him tell it, not even the Supreme Leader himself caused as much hassle for Orascom Telecom as did the CRTC. As for Bell, Rogers and Telus, they might have messed with the wrong guy. Here’s what Sawiris has to say—with a few notes of our own.

How did you meet Tony Lacavera?

We go where people don’t dare to go. You have to ask yourself why there isn’t a Vodafone or a Telefónica or a Deutsche Telekom or an Orange in Canada. It’s the only country in the world that doesn’t have any foreign operators. But we don’t mind the bureaucracy or the risks involved, so that’s how we got to know each other. Tony was nice enough to come to Cairo and have this famous dinner in a Chinese restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel. Read the rest of this entry »


WIND Mobile v. Rogers Chatr

Friday, 1 October, 2010

Check out Globe and Mail’s article “Wind Mobile lodges complaint against Rogers over Chatr” and video interview about this story. Here is an excerpt from WIND Mobile Chairman Tony Lacavera’ blog entry “Healthy Competition in Canada” (emphasis added),

There is a policy issue related to Chatr’s claims about dropped calls that I’d like to address. In most countries around the world when a customer moves from one carrier’s network to another, there is a seamless transition for the caller. That means that when a customer moves from one carrier to another while conducting a call, the call continues and doesn’t drop. It’s called a seamless hand-off. In Canada however, the government does not obligate carriers to provide seamless handoff and our roaming partner has refused to give our customers the benefit of seamless handoff. The result is that when one of our customers moves from our Wind home zone to our roaming partner’s network, (we call it an “Away” zone) her call drops. When it decided to introduce competition into the telecom sector, the federal government thought about requiring incumbents to give new entrants seamless hand-off. The incumbents lobbied hard and successfully against this. As a result, our customers do have some dropped calls that they would not otherwise have. This is not because of any issues with the quality of our network but because the incumbents are taking advantage of a government policy which gives them a competitive advantage.


WIND Mobile exceeds 100,000 users

Thursday, 12 August, 2010

Anthony (Tony) Lacavera, Chairman of Globalive

WIND Mobile Chairman Tony Lacavera has confirmed that WIND now has more than 100,000 subscribers.

In early July I received confirmation that WIND Mobile had passed the 100,000 mark in terms of new subscribers. While we try and view all customers individually, we recognized that this was a major milestone for both WIND Mobile and for the Canadian wireless consumer.

Globe and Mail is reporting (emphasis added),

The [users] number, which the company reached in early July, came out as Wind’s Egyptian financial and operational backer, Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, reports its second quarter financial earnings. Orascom, previously, said it would include Wind’s subscriber numbers for investors.

Wind chairman Anthony Lacavera, who waged a high profile battle against the incumbent providers when he was denied the ability to launch by Canada’s telecom regulator for violating foreign ownership rules, said he is buoyed by the results and that they show the company is gaining momentum.

“We’re pummelling them,” said Mr. Lacavera in an interview. “We added subscribers in our coverage area at twice the speed of incumbents in the same time frame.”

WIND Mobile currently operates in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa and are licensed to operate in all provinces in Canada except Quebec.

Here is my July 2010 phone interview with Tony.


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

Friday, 9 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 2008 and Dec 2009. 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).

***

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

****

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]


iPhone 4 dilemma – iPhone 4 would have been great for WIND Mobile

Monday, 7 June, 2010

The iPhone 4 has just been announced (see coverage via engadget live blog) today and it looks stunning and packs some cool features. (I will write about WIND Mobile & iPhone 4 later in this post.) Love many of the cool features (e.g. the glass, steel bands as antennas, gyro), in particular, FaceTime (limited to Wi-Fi) and HD Video Recording & publishing. The dilemma to me is that both  FaceTime and HD Video, when they are used over the 3G network, will consume a ton of bandwidth. First, this can be really costly under fixed data plans. Apple has disabled the data hungry FaceTime over 3G and make it to work only Wi-Fi to Wi-Fi because I suspect heavy data usage can quickly degrade the carriers’ networks. Imagine a large number of users using their iPhones 4 to FaceTime at special events or tourists hot spots!

To me, it sucks that Apple has decided to make iPhone 4 NOT work for the AWS 1700 MHz frequency band, a band that is used by WIND Mobile in Canada (see tech spec). To me, iPhone 4 would have been great for WIND‘s “unlimited” data plan (if you exceed 5GB per month, they may reduce your speed if the network is congested) which I won’t have to worry about the data charges.

Check out this CBS News report,

****

P.S. Now, is there any good reason why FaceTime should only work between iPhone 4s? Why not iPhone 4s and any Macs (or PCs)?

****

June 8, 2010 Update: Jeff made a good case in “AT&T’s cynical act“,

“And now it’s AT&T that turns the clock back on. Tick. Just as mobile is about to explode with new devices and new uses for us all to be ubiquitously and constantly connected doing all kinds of new things and creating new value along the way, AT&T says it wants nothing to do with that explosion (because it would have to work harder and invest more to do better). So it makes a business strategy out of imprisoning Apple fanboys as long as it can and making them use its service less. Tock.

AT&T also tries to push us off its network both with its pricing and with the promise of wi-fi. Its press release even makes it sound like an AT&T service that we can use unlimited wi-fi in our home! Thank you, AT&T.

Let’s note that AT&T’s action in relation to the iPad is nothing short of bait-and-switch as it was sold as using the magic of unlimited data with plenty of data-rich applications and now the price of that gadget only soars if you actually use it as it was designed: to consume media constantly.

I would hope that Apple is chagrinned about the door to which it has delivered its customers. But Apple sniffed the shark when it picked AT&T, making Apple’s control more important than its customers’ service and value and its partner’s quality and ethic.

***

Jun 11, 2010 Update: Interesting article with some scientific info “Does the iPhone 4 Really Have a “Retina Display”?”


WIND Mobile in Vancouver

Thursday, 3 June, 2010

It is real cool to see WIND Mobile launching in Vancouver today! Congrats Tony and Ken!

Sure, are there problems with WIND (e.g. its coverage) based on my first hand experience with WIND in Calgary for the last few months. But with no contract to tide me down, I can switch anytime and WIND has to work hard (_harder_) to keep me as a customer.


WIND Mobile Calgary service review & Interview with WIND CEO Ken Campbell

Wednesday, 31 March, 2010

This is a review of my WIND Mobile experiences in Calgary since joining WIND 20 days ago on March 11th, 2010 plus a phone interview with WIND’s CEO Ken Campbell (see below) where Ken very candidly answered my questions.

Special thanks to Ken for talking to me after WIND launched in Ottawa last Friday.

***

The Switch

I was a Bell Mobility customer for over 10 years, but dropped calls/poor voice quality, non-responsive customer services, and expensive new plans (for the values) stopped me from signing another 3-year contract with Bell.

I also want to give WIND a try after having such a high hope for them when reporting of the news of the government overturning the CRTC decision (where I interviewed Tony) and the WIND launch in Calgary (where I interviewed Ken and Chris) in Dec 2009.

Join WIND (Calgary)

WIND Mobile Review Background

Keep this in mind when you read this review:

I do trust WIND is working hard to resolve the problems and issues. And as you will hear in my phone interview with Ken, WIND is now my only mobile service provider, so if WIND goes down, I go down with it. So I fully expect WIND to deliver on their promises (soon).

WIND Mobile Calgary experiences review

Here are my WIND experiences in chronological order.

1) Pre-Signup

– The WIND website (see this price/value comparison chart) and the few WIND customer service reps I talked to were helpful.

– I signed up with WIND knowing fully their current limited coverage (Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, and Ottawa was added last week). But I also know and believe WIND is working hard to add additional cities before end of 2010 (cities like Vancouver).

Overall comment & rating: The WIND reps were pleasant to talk to. Nice to see WIND’s openness in accepting customers’ ideas/comments and keep an active blog dialogue. So, overall, I say I received good services from WIND.

2) Signup Day

– The Blockbuster store kiosk was quite professional looking and it blended in well with the rest of the Blockbuster location.

– Would be nice if the salesperson had a bit more in-depth knowledge of the basic features of the phones (in my case, the Samsung Gravity 2).

– After I signed up, unfortunately, this WIND location, didn’t have the proper and up-to-date software to transfer phone numbers from my old cell phone to my new phone. The 15+ minutes wait didn’t do any good as the rep didn’t have the computer privilege to install the new software update.

– I asked WIND to port my existing phone number over. And that gave me my first taste of inconsistent information and services. You see, I was told previously on the phone by a WIND agent that porting of existing phone number will take less than 4 hours. At the store, I was told the porting process might take 24 to 48 hours even I bought my old phone bill so they could have the exact information need to do a smooth phone number porting.

– By the way, this may be a bit of a speculation but if Blockbuster was to go bankrupt as some in the business community were talking about, I don’t know how will WIND adjust and how quickly.

Overall comment & rating: I had expected more from WIND and was a bit disappointed.

3) Ongoing experiences

WIND was launched in Calgary over 3 months ago in mid-Dec 2009, so I thought all of the basic and key problems/issues should/would have been solved already. Unfortunately, there remain to be some key problems.

3a) Static/Noise

There were random static/noise during phone calls since day one. Looking at the bright side, the frequency of the static/noise seems to be dropping in the last few days, so I hope all the static will soon be gone completely. Good voice quality is so basic that it is disappointing to experience static/noise.

3b) Dropped Calls

Some local and long distance calls were dropped in the middle of a conversation. And these dropped calls have been very annoying and even more unacceptable than the static/noise.

3c) Unable to make calls

In two separate cases, once when driving and once when not moving, in both cases I were well-within the Calgary WIND covered area (i.e. not at the edge of the network), I was unable to make calls. In the case while I was driving, I kept redialling for 5 times within 3 minutes but got no connection even the screen said “WIND Home”.

3d) “Limited Service”

Well, it wasn’t nice when one night I saw my phone display turn from “WIND Home” to “Limited Service” out of the blue. Sure, it went back to “WIND Home” 5-10 minutes later, but that was a bad experience at 8:30pm.

Limited Service (WIND Calgary)

3e) The unlimited calling

To end on something positive, it was nice to have unlimited anytime minutes and also unlimited Canada-wide calling with no long-distance charge for the $45 plan that I have.

Overall comment & rating: I’ve downwardly adjusted my expectations of WIND’s service quality. Yes, I am disappointed of the problems I’ve faced so far but I am willing to give WIND a little bit of time to work out its problems and improve.

Here is a telling question I can ask myself:

Would I rather have WIND resolved all its technical issues before launching in Calgary? My answer will be, “Absolutely NOT!” You see, I would rather endure some short term service problems that will/should improve in time, instead of being locked-up in another 3-year contract with any of the existing service providers.

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Phone Interview with WIND’s CEO Ken Campbell

After WIND launched in Ottawa last Friday, Ken was very helpful and gave me a chance to interview him to talk about some of the serious problems I have experienced with WIND. I want to thank Ken again for his time and his candid answers.

Here is my phone interview (mp3) with Ken (or you can stream the interview here) where I asked Ken about many of the problems I experienced in Calgary and also about WIND’s expansion plans, etc.

***

Concluding thoughts

On the day I signed up with WIND, I honestly felt and wanted to post the line,

Free at last! Free at last! I am free from Bell at last!

Sure, I wish WIND was perfect and I didn’t have any voice problems. But in the long run, I am very happy that I did not sign another contract and locked myself into another 3-year jail sentence with anyone.

Since WIND doesn’t use contract and penalties to lockup customers, it has to earn my business every month. And WIND has to show its customers that it is working hard to improve the services. Unless WIND improves its call qualities and its services quickly, it may not be able to keep its existing customers and recruit more customers.

If you are a WIND customer in Calgary or thinking of joining WIND in Calgary, please leave a comment to share your thoughts.


Google launches Nexus One in Canada

Tuesday, 16 March, 2010

CBC is reporting, “Google launches Nexus One in Canada“. Good news for WIND Mobile customers.

By the way, I will write more about my WIND Mobile experiences when I can find some time. I’ve become a WIND customer since last week. I am so glad that I didn’t stay on with Bell Mobility and signed that 3-year contract.

If you are going to get a Nexus One in Canada, please leave a comment and share your experiences.

Ref: Google’s blog entry about shipping Nexus One to Canada.


WIND Mobile cares about their services vs. Bell Mobility cares about my money

Tuesday, 26 January, 2010

Wonderful to see WIND Mobile really care about customers AND will DO SOMETHING about the problems reported by customers.

In great contrast, the problems I reported to Bell Mobility over and over (e.g. dropped calls) have routinely been ignored. And worst, 9 out of 10 times, they don’t even care enough to call to followup on a problem report.

I am ready and eager to dump Bell Mobility. With WIND Mobile, I know at least if I have problems, they will try to fix it. Whereas with Bell, they won’t give a “beep” about my problems and dropped calls.


One month of WIND Mobile: how is your experience?

Wednesday, 13 January, 2010

Here is an excerpt from Kate O’Brien at Mobile Syrup “One month of WIND Mobile: how is your experience?” (emphasis added),

Today marks the 1-month (4-weeks) of having WIND Mobile active in the Canadian market. The new entrant had a number of challenges starting up and with all their enthusiasm bolted into the hearts of Canadians. When we sat down with Chairman Tony Lacavera last week he stated they have signed up over 5,000 subscribers… so by now they are probably over the 12,000 – 15,000 mark.

One of the best traits that new entrant Wind is doing well is standing by their tag line of “The Power of Conversation”.

[…] For those Wind customers who have signed up, how are you liking the everything and what is your experience like?

See my previous video interviews with WIND Mobile CEO Ken Campbell and CCO Chris Robbins at the Calgary launch on Dec 18th, 2009. Borrowing a page from Kate’s post, please share your WIND Mobile experience?

Note: I trust people are honest and only leave comments if you are a WIND customer. If you are a Bell, Telus, or Rogers employee trying to badmouth WIND, I remind what it does to your karma and the reason why your customer services are considered poor by Canadians.


WIND Mobile & Nexus One

Wednesday, 6 January, 2010

WIND Mobile’s Chris Robins has confirmed,

  1. “Yep, [Nexus One] works on AWS”, and
  2. WIND is “chatting with them”, and
  3. very importantly (to me), WIND recognizes “Wow! Lots of interest in the Nexus”

WIND Mobile Calgary Launch (interviews with CEO Ken Campbell, CCO Chris Robbins)

Friday, 18 December, 2009

I am very excited that WIND Mobile has finally launched its services and opened its first store in Calgary today. I’ve conducted video interviews of WIND Mobile Chief Executive Officer Ken Campbell and Chief Customer Officer Chris Robbins which you will hear them talk about,

– WIND’s launch experiences (with Industry Canada and CRTC)

– Details of 5GB limitation of WIND data plan and on the reduction of speed (after that 5GB). – Essentially if the network is not busy, you will still get full speed even if your usage exceeds 5GB.

– When can customers get iPhones and the pricing plans? – Chris talks about WIND operates the newest GSM – AWS (some info at FCC page). Hopefully in 2010 when T-Mobile in US launches their AWS iPhone, WIND will get some of those iPhones. Targeting “2nd half of 2010” but it is up to Apple (and the volume demand for AWS iPhone).

– When will WIND go to Edmonton, Vancouver, and other cities? – Edmonton & Ottawa (Jan 2010), Vancouver (early 2010), expand services in Calgary

– You will hear Ken’s response to Globe and Mail’s report “Globalive lobbyists stay silent on winning tactics“, where Ken stated “all activities have been filed“. (update: Globe and Mail has apologized and retracted the story.) See Ken’s full answer in the video interview.

– WIND’s online blog and community plan and strategy

Here is my interview with video interview with WIND Mobile CEO Ken Campbell (Time code added in the YouTube video info area so you can jump to particular segment.)

Here is my video interview with WIND Chief Customer Officer Chris Robbins (Time code added in the YouTube video info area so you can jump to particular segment.)

Here are some photos and I will try to add more to this post later if I can find some nice ones.

I included the last photo of the WIND coffee cup holder and press pass. I love attention to details. It is precisely this kind of attention to details that sometimes is a sign of good customer service and customer care. Time will tell. We will see.

First WIND Mobile customer at Calgary Launch

First WIND Mobile customer at Calgary Launch

WIND Mobile CEO Ken Campbell at Calgary Launch

WIND Mobile CEO Ken Campbell at Calgary Launch

WIND Mobile CCO Chris Robbins at Calgary Launch

WIND Mobile CCO Chris Robbins at Calgary Launch

Potential WIND Mobile customers at Calgary Launch

Potential WIND Mobile customers at Calgary Launch (papa and baby boy were lining up outside this morning)

WIND Mobile (Calgary Launch)

WIND Mobile @ Calgary Launch


WIND Mobile launch review & details (More details on Plans, Handsets, Prices. – Simple Plans: Chat $15, Always Talk $35, Always Shout $45/mo)

Wednesday, 16 December, 2009

Apr 5, 2010 Update: I’ve now joined WIND since March 2010. Here is my WIND Mobile Calgary service review & Interview with WIND CEO Ken Campbell.

Dec 18, 2009 Update: WIND Mobile Calgary Launch (interviews with CEO Ken Campbell, CCO Chris Robbins)

*******

Last update Dec 17, 1:15am MST:WIND stirs up competition” from FP, “New cellphone carrier Wind Mobile to sell handsets at cost” from Vancouver Sun.

8:00pm: The pricing plans announced today filled some info not disclosed in my phone interview with Globalive/WIND Mobile Chairman Tony Lacavera phone interview this past Sunday.

2:02pm MST: Insightful article by Torstar’s Olive, “Incumbents blow hot air over Wind“. [HT Michael Geist]

A nice price plan comparison in two scenarios by Globe and Mail.

WIND Mobile/Bell/Rogers/Telus Price plan comparison on BlackBerry Bold 9700 - pix 1

WIND Mobile/Bell/Rogers/Telus Price plan comparison on BlackBerry Bold 9700 - pix 2

11:28am MST: The WIND Mobile Shop is up and running now! Going to check out the plans and look at the “fine print” now.

Note: As I am getting close to the end of my 3-year contract with Bell Mobility, I am going to seriously review the different plans and options. It will also be fun to see how Bell/Telus/Rogers reacts to the WIND pricing plans. I bet we will see the reaction from the big 3 very soon or their Christmas sales are going to be down the toilet!

11:16 MST: News about the WIND Mobile launch and pricing plans from CBC, Toronto Star, Bloomberg.

The WIND Mobile Shop is back up and running! Going to check out the plan details and the “fine print” now. :)

The voice and add on plans are competitive especially on the lowest price plans.

Voice: The most impact may be at the lowest price point. As I am near the end of my own 3-year contract with Bell, I will be getting a much better deal with the “Always Talk” plan. And if nothing else, the old providers will have to rethink their contract term that locks customers in.

Add on: The $10/month for Social BlackBerry is designed as an “impulse buy”. Many teens will easily say, “Why not?”

Data Plan for computer: $55/month. After exceeding 5GB/month, “may slow your speed”. How slow is unclear and can be better defined.

10:28 MST: Thanks Aileen for posting the Plans, Handsets, and Prices! This is what I call listening to your customers! Here are the Price details. I talk a bit about them next. By the way, here is a list of their features,

What we do have:

  • Nation-wide coverage with a domestic roaming partner
  • Unlimited calling (incoming and outgoing) in the GTA and Calgary to start, followed by Edmonton, Vancouver and Ottawa in early 2010
  • Unlimited WIND to WIND calling across Canada included on all plans
  • Unlimited province-wide calling on the $35 plan
  • Unlimited Canada-wide calling on the $45 plan
  • Call control included on all plans (missed call alerts, caller ID, call forward, call waiting)”

Note: Making mistakes is human (or Canadian Telecom). It is how one response to it that tells the difference between Bell/Telus/Rogers and WIND Mobile (keep listening to customers. If you do the right thing, you will do well).

9:56 MST: OK, The WIND Mobile pricing page is experiencing “technical difficulty” (read: crashing) so users can’t check the pricing details and fine print (kinda important) yet. But it is still nice to see WIND live! Congrats!

(Note to WIND: The technical challenge of handling a mad rush to access a website is nothing new. Imagine the 2010 Olympics website “surprised” by overwhelming interest! I expected much better WIND planning on this. The technical team’s performance is a bit disappointing.)

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