Competition in the Canadian cellphone space is on shaky ground when Wind Mobile faces an uncertain future. If The Globe and Mail's sources are accurate, however, Wind may get a lifeline from an unexpected source: Verizon. The US carrier has reportedly held "exploratory" talks for a possible takeover of Wind that would help the Canadian firm bid in the upcoming 700MHz auction, improving its chances against local giants Bell, Rogers and Telus. Mobilicity is also a potential acquisition target following Telus' failed buyout, according to the tipsters. None of the involved parties are commenting at this stage, although Verizon couldn't just walk into the Canadian market. The provider would have to deal with foreign ownership rules as well as the investment limits of its Vodafone partnership -- and neither obstacle is likely to disappear overnight.
Update: The answer is "maybe:" Verizon CFO Fran Shammo has confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that his company is exploring an entry into Canada, but won't say if that involves Wind or another existing carrier.
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.