"Champagne Tastes: Beer Budgets" is an examination of the next stage of the evolution of wireless competition.
What happens after the license auction later this month?
How much will the new entrants have to spend?
There have been estimates before from a low of $650M to a high of $1.5B. That intrigued us.
Of course asking how much new entrants might spend is like saying how high is 'high' ... you can spend and spend and spend. But if that is not your aim, at least initially, how much would it take to reach, say, the 60% of Canadians that live and work in the largest 15 communities?
After all, the other government innovation, mandated roaming, will look after the interests of those new entrant customers who need service outside those core communities ...
Our answer? Much less then we supposed.
We also contend that we will see more than one, and even more than two new service providers. And, furthermore, the new wireless economics that we document may even make it possible for incumbent carriers (read "Telus") to put into effect the long rumoured plan to move to GSM.
All in all, exciting times.