As Canada’s wireless communications sector consolidates, Globalive Capital Chairman Anthony Lacavera said the country needs an independent carrier amid a fresh push to acquire unused wireless spectrum in Manitoba. 

Globalive announced its plan to re-enter the wireless market Monday through an offer to purchase spectrum licenses from Manitoba-based Xplore Mobile, which ceased operations in August 2022. 

“Every [other] G-20 country’s got an independent wireless company,” Lacavera said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg on Monday. 

“Independent means a wireless carrier that is not owned by a cable or phone company because as soon as the cable or phone company has a wireless company, they have conflicts. They want to maintain their legacy cable and their legacy wireline telephone business and so they never compete aggressively in wireless.” 

Globalive said in a news release Monday that the sale of the spectrum licenses will bring wireless prices down for Manitobans, similar to when the company operated Wind Mobile in Canada. Terms of Globalive’s bid for Xplore were not disclosed. 

Wind Mobile was previously sold to Shaw Communications Inc. for $1.6 billion and later rebranded as Freedom Mobile in November 2016. 

“We ended up in a position we were forced to sell so we didn't finish the work we started and that was to build a national independent wireless company, which is what this country needs,” Lacavera said. 

Lacavera said Wind had an impact on Canada’s wireless industry, as “prices were down 20 per cent wherever Wind Mobile was operating in Ontario, B.C. and Alberta.”

Given the current landscape in Canada’s wireless sector, Lacavera said he sees the potential for disruption. 

“So the opportunity with all this consolidation happening in Canada, the time couldn't be better for us to re-enter,” he said. “We never wanted to exit. I was forced to sell my Canadian operations and I'm excited to get back into Canada. We brought prices down before we’ll bring prices down again.”