The following are links to my video interviews conducted at Banff World Media Festival 2011 (more to come):
* Harmony Wagner, Creative Producer, Periscope Pictures (preschool series BunnyBop)
The following are links to my video interviews conducted at Banff World Media Festival 2011 (more to come):
* Harmony Wagner, Creative Producer, Periscope Pictures (preschool series BunnyBop)
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.
* 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?
* 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.
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.
* 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.)
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 »
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.”
* WIND Mobile exceeds 100,000 users [Aug 2010]
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.“
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 »
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.
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.
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”?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
– 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.