Globalive, which has recently been ramping up to launch a national Canadian phone service under the WIND brand using spectrum won in last year's auction
, has been dealt a hell of a blow by the CRTC this week. The organization -- essentially the northern equivalent of the FCC -- has strict rules demanding that Canadian wireless networks be Canadian-owned, and an investigation of WIND's structure has apparently raised enough concern to cause it to call off the service's launch. Egypt's Orascom Telecom (which, strangely, also runs North Korea's Koryolink
) owns some 65.1 percent of the operation and apparently "holds the overwhelming majority of the outstanding debt" for which Globalive is responsible, so yeah, we can see how that might not qualify as "Canadian-owned." For its part, Globalive says that it's "extremely disappointed" in the decision and "will be evaluating [its] options on how to proceed," but in all likelihood, that's going to have to mean cashing out a good chunk of Orascom if it's serious about making this happen.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
- CRTC decision
- WIND response