Company Pledges to Leverage WIND Mobile's Assets to Provide a Truly Innovative
Wireless Option to Canadians
WATERLOO, ON, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Fongo Inc., Canada's fastest growing
mobile telecommunications company, today announced it is making a bid to
acquire WIND Mobile, the Toronto-based wireless carrier.
Launched in late 2009 with backing from Egyptian-based Orascom Telecom, WIND
Mobile was the first of several new wireless entrants to attempt to jockey for
position in Canada's wireless industry. Orascom is now controlled by
Dutch-based VimpelCom, who signalled its interest in selling WIND Mobile
earlier this year. In October, the Financial Times reported that in addition
to selling-off non-core assets in Canada, VimpelCom is also looking to dispose
of its non-core assets in Sub-Saharan Africa, Laos, and Cambodia.
"WIND Mobile has done a fantastic job of signing up some of the most forward
thinking mobile consumers in the country and has taught Canadians that there
can be alternatives to traditional wireless service," said Jody Schnarr, CEO
of Fongo Inc. "By combining WIND's wireless assets with Fongo's proven ability
to deliver innovative mobile solutions, Canadians will have true choice and a
service that is radically different from anything else out there."
Since February 2012, over 250,000 Canadians have signed up for Fongo's free
mobile phone service. Fongo provides a free phone number, unlimited free
messaging, and unlimited free calling across Canada through a mobile app that
can be downloaded onto any iPhone, iPod touch, or Android phone, regardless of
carrier. Many WIND Mobile customers are already using Fongo paired with WIND
Mobile data to maximize their savings.
"Fongo has accomplished what everyone told us was impossible—we figured out
how to make mobile calling not only free, but profitable," said Dave Bullock,
president of Fongo. "We re-imagined how a mobile calling service should work,
and the result is saving each of our customers hundreds of dollars a year off
their mobile bill."
Currently, WIND Mobile's network coverage is limited mainly to Ontario, with
pockets of coverage in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. As part of the
proposed acquisition, Fongo plans to immediately extend the WIND Mobile
service offering across the country to mirror Fongo's coast-to-coast free
calling network. Current WIND Mobile customers would be transitioned to Fongo
over the course of 12 months.
Fongo plans to retain the majority of WIND Mobile's employees, but has pledged
to re-think many aspects of the business. "The modern consumer wants to
purchase online, receive streamlined service, and pay only for services they
use," added Bullock. "The concept of paying $8 a month for voicemail, or being
forced to buy airtime minutes when you really only want a data plan—these
are outdated ideas that simply exist because 'that's the way it's always been
Backed by venture capital investment and funding from the Government of
Canada, Fongo has pledged to match its unique free calling service with
equally innovative and disruptive offerings for wireless data. Fongo's offer
submitted to WIND Mobile proposes a $1 purchase price and a 49% equity
ownership stake in Fongo.
"This story should not end with WIND Mobile being absorbed by one of the
incumbent telecommunications companies in Canada," added Bullock. "And it
certainly shouldn't end with WIND Mobile being sold to yet another foreign
owned telecom conglomerate. Canadians deserve a Canadian owned carrier that
provides a true alternative solution."
Fongo is disrupting the mobile communications world with one simple concept:
Free. Customers save hundreds of dollars per year with free calling, free
messaging, a free phone number and free premium services delivered via a rich
content mobile media platform. For more information visit www.fongo.com.
Media Contact Jacqui Murphy VP Marketing, Fongo Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: Fongo Inc.
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