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Unprecedented CRTC decision will impact entry of wireless competition for Canadians. according Globalive Holdings

Globalive Holdings presentstheir new wireless offering and overall wireless competition in Canada will be delayed as a result of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision to conduct a lengthy public hearing process on Globalive’s ownership structure. The CRTC review follows Industry Canada’s earlier process and decision to grant Globalive Wireless an operating license in March 2009.

"Canadians have waited too long for more wireless choice," said Anthony Lacavera, Chairman, Globalive Holdings. "While we respect the CRTC’s right to conduct this review, we are concerned that a lengthy public hearing process will delay Canadians’ overdue access to a new competitive offering."

Following Globalive’s successful bid in the 2008 Advance Wireless Spectrum (AWS) Auction, Industry Canada reviewed the ownership documentation of all auction winners and on March 13, 2009 confirmed that Globalive Wireless complied with all applicable Canadian laws including those requiring Canadian control of telecommunications carriers.

"Industry Canada has already made a clear decision that we have effectively met all ownership and structural requirements. That decision allowed us to move forward with significant investment in Canadian technology; creating jobs and building a network," said Lacavera. "We hope the CRTC will recognize the delays to new Canadian jobs and much-anticipated new wireless offerings, and expedite the review process."

"While our progress to bringing competition to Canada will be impacted by today’s decision, we remain committed to our goals," said Ken Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, Globalive Wireless. "We continue to invest in building a strong team and network capable of delivering exceptional value to consumers."

The AWS auction was initiated to address the lack of wireless competition in Canada. As a result of lagging competition, Canada ranks last in wireless penetration amongst 22 developed countries. Canada’s penetration rate sits at 65 per cent, well below the United States at 90 per cent and many European and Asian countries at well over 100 per cent. The lack of competition has also resulted in Canadians paying double what Americans pay per minute and using half as many minutes per month (Merrill Lynch).

 [July 22, 2009]


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