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 done'."
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.
SOURCE: Fongo Inc.
For further information:
VP Marketing, Fongo Inc.