Wind Canada veers to Freedom Mobile

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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The cable operator that now owns Wind Mobile in Canada has changed the mobile company's name as it launches LTE services

Canada’s Wind Mobile has rebranded itself as Freedom Mobile as the company launched its first LTE services in Toronto and Vancouver.

Wind has been owned by Alberta-based cable operator Shaw Communications since 2015, but was founded as a Canadian associate of Egypt’s Orascom, later acquired by VimpelCom.

“Thanks to our customers, the real founders of our company, we are now able to begin activation of our new LTE network, and are very proud to do so under our new name, which reflects what we stand for: Freedom to connect and communicate, freedom from excessive and unfair prices,” said Alek Krstajic, CEO of the mobile operator.

“As Wind Mobile, we built a strong foundation of more than a million customers. And as Freedom Mobile, we are reaffirming our commitment to them and to the core principles of our business – value, transparency and fairness.”

It launched its LTE service in the 700MHz band with a monthly rate of C$45 (US $33) a month, with unlimited calling in the US and Canada plus 3GB of data.

The company said that the new LTE network launches on 27 November in Toronto and Vancouver. Coverage will be expanded to the wider Toronto and Vancouver areas by early 2017. LTE roaming to the US and Canada will also be added early next year. Existing 3G coverage areas will have 4G added through 2017.

Wind was originally a brand exclusively owned by Orascom, in Canada, Greece and Italy. The Greek operation survives, but no longer owned by VimpelCom, which bought Orascom in 2010. VimpelCom has merged its Wind Italy business with CK Hutchison’s Three Italy, but no branding has been announced.