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Thread: What is Freedom/Wind to do?

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    What is Freedom/Wind to do?

    So I've been giving some thought to Freedom's situation.

    They have a limited network, limited LTE, limited phones, and a customer base that is starting to desert them. I've been on Wind for quite a while with I35 plans, and I've become critical and am looking at moving. Their LTE promotions haven't caught on, they are starting to lose client base, and they can't move their ARPU up. What to do?

    So I thought I'd start this thread and see what the brilliant minds on Howard Forums could come up with.

    Here is my thought:

    Freedom needs to close all their stores, minimize marketing, and compete on cost, just as Public Mobile can do. The reality is that Freedom has purchased bandwidth at good pricing, but their products are only worthwhile in limited markets to limited segments of the market (given coverage).

    ARPU is a measure for the big boys, but Freedom's real measure of success will be increasing users - period. This is particularly true while they build out their network. They paid less for bandwith than other and they can bring pricing down and need to.

    I think they need to compete with Public Mobile on price, in areas such as Toronto. Their 3G service should drop to $25 for 2Gb and work up from there to gain attention. Their LTE service should be 35-38 a month.

    I think Freedom's time is short-lived if they don't aggressively move on price.

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    Their biggest turnoff in my mind was getting ahead of the pricing curve. They are priced higher than the low end flanker brands like Public Mobile and Zoomer. As much as they don't like sub $30 ARPU, the sad reality is the product is worth that much. If it became apparent back last year as they threatened to unleash LTE that they would just put all their legacy customers on that network without having to change plans as kind of a let's meet in the middle compromise, I might still be a customer of theirs. They want people to shell out $800 for a band 66 phone and on top of that switch out to a pricier plan, the cost of staying was simply way too high.

    Alex has a bigger office and bigger pay cheque than me, so he can pull up his big boy pants and figure out how to lure previously faithful customers back.

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    I agree with most of your comments and particularly liked your last comment - I covet Alex's pay cheque (and to a lesser extent his office), so I think I'll apply.

    I honestly don't think Alex is going to survive another 6 months if he doesn't react drastically in the next 60 days - we'll see.

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    The network is the only way to lure ex-clients back
    Until the day they get true national coverage they will not matter (the Anywhere plans were a start, but why pay Wind $55 per month)

    Every other regional carrier, SaskTel, MTS, TBay, ICE, Videotron etc seem to have no issues with roaming
    Public $120 Province Wide + 12GB - $6 Autopay - $6 Loyalty - $39 Refer = $23 per Month
    Chatr $40 North America Wide + 6GB + 30 Mins Roaming

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    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...ticle34110019/


    "Why Shaw's Freedom Mobile looks like yet another blunder"

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    Quote Originally Posted by will888 View Post
    Their biggest turnoff in my mind was getting ahead of the pricing curve. They are priced higher than the low end flanker brands like Public Mobile and Zoomer. As much as they don't like sub $30 ARPU, the sad reality is the product is worth that much. If it became apparent back last year as they threatened to unleash LTE that they would just put all their legacy customers on that network without having to change plans as kind of a let's meet in the middle compromise, I might still be a customer of theirs. They want people to shell out $800 for a band 66 phone and on top of that switch out to a pricier plan, the cost of staying was simply way too high.

    Alex has a bigger office and bigger pay cheque than me, so he can pull up his big boy pants and figure out how to lure previously faithful customers back.
    I'll agree with you on the Band 66 phone thing, but they just could've made the whole thing work on Band 4. That doesn't require rocket science. That is a ridiculous marketing strategy. My phone can get LTE, VoLTE and VoWiFi, but yet stuck at HSPA+. I'm not complaining, but if Freedom wants me to flip over to LTE, they'd better be prepared to do some tough barganing. Either that or for legacy customers allow LTE on Band 4. It's going to take at least maybe 2-4 years for Freedom to get all legacy customers off 3G as it is.

    Wonder what the ratio of LTE:3G customers there are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwandar View Post
    So I've been giving some thought to Freedom's situation.

    They have a limited network, limited LTE, limited phones, and a customer base that is starting to desert them. I've been on Wind for quite a while with I35 plans, and I've become critical and am looking at moving. Their LTE promotions haven't caught on, they are starting to lose client base, and they can't move their ARPU up. What to do?

    So I thought I'd start this thread and see what the brilliant minds on Howard Forums could come up with.

    Here is my thought:

    Freedom needs to close all their stores, minimize marketing, and compete on cost, just as Public Mobile can do. The reality is that Freedom has purchased bandwidth at good pricing, but their products are only worthwhile in limited markets to limited segments of the market (given coverage).

    ARPU is a measure for the big boys, but Freedom's real measure of success will be increasing users - period. This is particularly true while they build out their network. They paid less for bandwith than other and they can bring pricing down and need to.

    I think they need to compete with Public Mobile on price, in areas such as Toronto. Their 3G service should drop to $25 for 2Gb and work up from there to gain attention. Their LTE service should be 35-38 a month.

    I think Freedom's time is short-lived if they don't aggressively move on price.
    You could start by assessing the situation from the current ownerships standpoint. ORASCOM and Globalive paid less for spectrum, personally I think Shaw got ripped off buying Wind for as much as they did, especially after the previous ownership consortium paid next to nothing from Vimpelcom the previous year.

    shaw also has a demonstrated limited patience for business ventures to start paying off. So ARPU (which they're trying to increase) is a means to show their share holders that the investment is returning positive growth. Although their last financial report was very bad for this.

    Lastly people can stop pretending Wind is not a "big boy". Once you stop excusing their failed growth and realize they're a poor performer the mindset changes. Why are they continuously fumbling? How much longer before they can be a stable network? Closing their stores won't help either. They need more knowledgable and helpful staff to welcome new subscribers and aide current ones. It's a tough business, I think we've seen the writing on the wall for sometime, some choose to ignore it.

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    What a Rorshach of a thread title. Sure to bring out the usual suspects.

    I'll play.

    - promote within a culture of quality customer care
    - continue to compete on value, emphasize "never any overage"
    - continue to upgrade the network, implement and trumpet the cutting edge features

    What the career cavillers won't acknowledge is Freedom's path of continuous network improvement. It will stand comparison with the incumbents' (performance, VoLTE, VoWiFi). And with the major US carriers' buy-in to the AWS-3 spectrum (and Videotron's), there will be ample options in appealing, band-66 capable devices.

    Dropping prices and closing stores is hardly a viable strategy.

    Promoting the notion that subscribers should be looking elsewhere promotes the RBT agenda.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjw918 View Post
    What a Rorshach of a thread title. Sure to bring out the usual suspects.

    I'll play.

    - promote within a culture of quality customer care
    - continue to compete on value, emphasize "never any overage"
    - continue to upgrade the network, implement and trumpet the cutting edge features

    What the career cavillers won't acknowledge is Freedom's path of continuous network improvement. It will stand comparison with the incumbents' (performance, VoLTE, VoWiFi). And with the major US carriers' buy-in to the AWS-3 spectrum (and Videotron's), there will be ample options in appealing, band-66 capable devices.

    Dropping prices and closing stores is hardly a viable strategy.

    Promoting the notion that subscribers should be looking elsewhere promotes the RBT agenda.
    Wow, you must have gone to Montessori to use words like that...

    I agree, that Shaw has blundered a bit.

    1) before the purchase, Shaw had band 4 spectrum and should not have sold it to Rogers...

    2) this LTE only plan, is not a way to get people off Band 4 and onto Band 66 organically. Perhaps a minimum spend of $45 on a monthly plan to qualify for LTE?

    3) get the major highway routes covered! Dammitjanet! ( That would cull most of the 'coverage' complaints)

    The first is water under the bridge, my other two can be done quite soon .

    As far as LTE on band 66 only, without any more band 4 spectrum, I don't think they have the room to fit LTE in heavy use areas...

    I know that I purposely purchased band 4 LTE capable phones last time around and I am miffed that I'm outside in the cold WRT LTE.

    Plus I'm miffed that while I have a band 66 phone on the everywhere plan, I don't qualify for LTE.

    I would think they would want everyone with a capable device off band 4 to make room for everyone else...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirtate View Post
    Plus I'm miffed that while I have a band 66 phone on the everywhere plan, I don't qualify for LTE.
    That may change. The LTE-specific plan was definitely a misstep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjw918 View Post
    What a Rorshach of a thread title. Sure to bring out the usual suspects.

    I'll play.

    - promote within a culture of quality customer care
    - continue to compete on value, emphasize "never any overage"
    - continue to upgrade the network, implement and trumpet the cutting edge features

    What the career cavillers won't acknowledge is Freedom's path of continuous network improvement. It will stand comparison with the incumbents' (performance, VoLTE, VoWiFi). And with the major US carriers' buy-in to the AWS-3 spectrum (and Videotron's), there will be ample options in appealing, band-66 capable devices.

    Dropping prices and closing stores is hardly a viable strategy.

    Promoting the notion that subscribers should be looking elsewhere promotes the RBT agenda.
    I think your culture point is well taken, but I have to say that when I investigated PM I discovered they seemed more like the old Wind, than Freedom does at this point, both culturally and from a value perspective.

    The closing of corporate stores is a cost saving measure - does anyone really need to go to a corporate store these days? I look my phones up online and order one, or I can self-serve a sim like PM does. Those stores and employees are a hefty and unnecessary cost if you are attempting to increase bottom line - because at this point you can't increase ARPU.

    I absolutely agree they need to upgrade the network - as another user pointed out they haven't even covered the highways (even the 401 between KW and Toronto isn't fully covered).

    Glad you're playing

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    Quote Originally Posted by phoneseeker101 View Post
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...ticle34110019/


    "Why Shaw's Freedom Mobile looks like yet another blunder"
    Can you post a summary of this article? The link doesn't work for those of us who are not globe and mail subscribers.

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    I was about to apologize if I seemed to disparage the OP. An invitation to constructive brain-storming is a contribution to the forum.

    I get a bit testy with repetitious negativity, especially when seemingly intended to divert subscribers. I don't mean to discourage free and forward-looking discussion. In fact I appreciated some of seekr's points ;p

    What I hope people can realize is the relative cornucopia of bargains lately target the challenge of WIND/Freedom, who despite the not-trivial gripes is having a disruptive effect on the status quo. If successful in their end these RBT deals will evaporate. We need Freedom.

    --
    Based on an analysis of information collected during this inquiry, the Competition Bureau (Bureau) concluded that as a result of coordinated behaviour among Bell, TELUS and Rogers, mobile wireless prices in Canada are higher in regions where Bell, TELUS and Rogers do not face competition from a strong regional competitor. Conversely, the Bureau concluded that where Bell, TELUS and Rogers face competition from a strong regional competitor, prices are substantially lower. The Bureau concluded that the lower prices are caused by the presence of a strong regional competitor who can disrupt the effects of coordination among Bell, TELUS and Rogers.
    - http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/e...eng/04200.html, Feb 15

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    Quote Originally Posted by will888 View Post
    Can you post a summary of this article? The link doesn't work for those of us who are not globe and mail subscribers.
    I scanned what was excerpted (in MobileSyrup?), mostly a rehash, they paid too much after selling earlier. Seemed below Rita Trichur's caliber of reporting, Globe Unlimited must need product.

    --
    saw it in iPhone in Canada

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjw918 View Post
    I was about to apologize if I seemed to disparage the OP. An invitation to constructive brain-storming is a contribution to the forum.
    Let me assure you that no apology was or is necessary. I completely understand where you are coming from.

    For many years I've recognized the valuable role Wind did and could play in keeping the market competitive. Nothing could be of more benefit than for Freedom to come out with stronger offerings that bring in new customers. That said, I don't know how that is going to happen.

    Conceptually the marriage with Shaw should allow them to bundle or even do a deal with Rogers (like the Bell/Telus deal). At the moment however, I believe they are hemorrhaging as their offerings are not competitive (although I take your point, maybe the recent offerings we've seen from competitors are temporary - I just don't happen to think so).

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