Company Plans Network Launch of Affordable Wireless Services in Ontario, Quebec in Q3 of 2009
BMV Holdings announced today it has appointed veteran telecom executive and former Bell Mobility President Alek Krstajic as Chief Executive Officer to lead its introduction of wireless services in Ontario and Quebec in 2009.
BMV plans to build a wireless network in both provinces that will provide unlimited talk and text offerings at an industry-leading price point using flat-rate plans. Providing consumer-friendly service and a predictable monthly bill, BMV will make wireless services affordable to the large underserved population of Canada. "I came to BMV because we have a tremendous and exciting opportunity to create a unique product and brand in the Canadian wireless market," says Krstajic. "I've agreed to take the role of CEO because the investors in BMV understand the wireless sector and together we can create a wireless solution that will target an untapped, value-conscious, no-frills market."
Krstajic spent more than nine years at Rogers Cable, holding a variety of positions, including General Manager of Rogers@Home and Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing. He joined Bell Canada as Chief Marketing Officer in 2003 and was named President of Bell Mobility in 2005. At Bell Mobility, Krstajic was responsible for engaging a market leadership turnaround of the wireless company. He followed that with an entrepreneurial undertaking, creating Bell Vanguard Inc., which he developed until December 31, 2006. Vanguard was responsible for creating a low-cost operating model or BCE Inc. and exploring international opportunities in wireless and VoIP.
BMV was created in July following its purchase in Industry Canada's wireless spectrum auction of PCS G Band covering almost 19-million Canadians in the Windsor to Quebec City corridor across Ontario and Quebec. The G Band spectrum is an extension of the existing PCS spectrum in the 1.9 GHz range and shares the same characteristics as that currently used by wireless carriers across North America. At a price of only $52 million, the PCS G Band spectrum will enable BMV to deliver a cost-efficient consumer wireless offering to underserved Canadians. BMV anticipates launching services in Ontario and Quebec in the third quarter of 2009.
Investors in the company include Columbia Capital and M/C Venture Partners, premier venture capital franchises in wireless, broadband, and media; Charles River Ventures, which invests in businesses in the communications, technology, and software and services sectors; Rho Ventures, a company that invests in leading-edge developments; and Ignition Partners, which invests in high-growth businesses in communications, Internet, software and services. BMV's Canadian partners include Rho Canada, a venture capital firm based in Montreal that is dedicated to backing early-stage technology companies in Canada, and Toronto-based Kensington Capital Partners, which is Canada's leading independent private equity fund of funds manager. "Alek's experience, entrepreneurialism, and insight into the wireless market in Canada make him the ideal CEO," says Harry Hopper, a Managing Partner at Columbia Capital. Brian Clark, a General Partner at M/C Venture Partners adds, "Alek's knowledge of the Canadian wireless sector and deep understanding of the incumbent competitors makes him a perfect fit for the role of CEO as we launch this company and establish it as a viable alternative for customers."
BMV is in talks with multiple vendors to provide the equipment and support services necessary to deploy an efficient and cost-effective wireless service. Qualcomm Inc., the industry-leading chipset maker for handheld phones, has incorporated support for the PCS G Band spectrum in its standard chipsets for leading U.S. carriers. This technology can be readily applied to handsets in the Canadian market. "Qualcomm's comprehensive product portfolio includes innovative products that support nearly every frequency band in the world allocated for cellular data services," said Steve Brown, Senior Director of Product Management for Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. "G Band spectrum represents exciting new opportunities for consumer wireless services. Qualcomm is happy to support BMV's efforts to help commercialize devices operating in these frequencies."
Additionally, Nortel Networks Inc., a leader in developing equipment and infrastructure for wireless networks, says a sustainable, cost-effective network can be deployed to support G Band spectrum.
"Nortel supports an industry-leading wireless solution for the PCS G Band Spectrum for delivering advanced voice, data and multimedia services, and this competitive solution will help any new wireless entrant such as BMV establish a viable, reliable and profitable business," said Richard Lowe, President of Nortel's Carrier Networks division.
About Public Mobile:
Formed in 2008, Public Mobile is a new wireless entrant that received its license to provide talk and text services to 19 million Canadians across Ontario and Quebec. Public Mobile expects to launch service in the first half of 2010.