March 28, 2013 5:24 pm

iPhone now compatible with Wind, Mobilicity networks

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TORONTO – iPhone users looking to switch to an independent wireless service provider may be in for some good news.

Rumors starting swirling Tuesday after U.S. wireless provider T-Mobile, the fourth-largest of the American phone companies, announced that they would start offering the iPhone on April 12. T-Mobile launched a broadband service on Wednesday, allowing it to offer high-speed data service to iPhone.

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But recent entrants to the Canadian wireless market, including Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Quebec-based Vidéotron, operate on the same frequencies as T-Mobile – sparking rumors that the Apple-made smartphone could be making its way to these providers.

According to tech expert and analyst Iain Grant, new entrants missed out on a large customer base who wanted to use the iPhone, despite having big name Android products that have filled the gaps.

“I think having the iPhone on Mobilicity, Wind, Videotron, would be a significant move,” said Grant. “I plan to move to Videotron as soon as the new device is available.”

Neither Wind Mobile, nor Mobilicity have officially confirmed whether the iPhone will be added to their product lineup – however, Wind Mobile did address compatibility with the device on its Facebook page.

“Hi everyone, the reports are true – the iPhone is becoming compatible with WIND Mobile’s network! Stay tuned,” read the company’s Facebook page on Tuesday.

The Facebook post garnered over 250 shares and over 800 likes, signaling customer excitement.

Global News contacted Wind Mobile and Mobilicity for comment but received no response.

Both Wind Mobile and Mobilicity have faced challenges in winning over subscribers since the pair launched services in cities across the country a few years ago.

Both have racked up hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, while their subscriber counts have disappointed initially high estimates held by each.

Wind Mobile was put up for sale by its Dutch owner VimpelCom Ltd. last week.

Waterloo, Ont. company Fongo placed a bid of $1 on the company Wednesday – which was met by sarcasm from Wind’s chief regulatory officer Simon Lockie who wrote on Twitter, “I hereby publicly offer to buy Fongo for $1 and half my sandwich.”

It’s thought that Anthony Lacavera, Wind’s founder and CEO will partner with Egyptian telecom magnate Naguib Sawiris to buy out the carrier from its current owners.

Meanwhile, Mobilicity remains in a legal battle with Catalyst Capital Group Inc., who is trying to cancel $75-million in financing the carrier needs in order to keep operating.

© Shaw Media, 2013

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