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New cell on block

Alek Krstajic, CEO of newly minted Public Mobile, has made what’sbelieved to be the first cell­phone conversation in Canada using anorphaned swath of wireless spec­trum known as “G-block.”

Alek Krstajic, CEO of newly minted Public Mobile, has made what’s believed to be the first cell­phone conversation in Canada using an orphaned swath of wireless spec­trum known as “G-block.”

Standing in a downtown coffee shop Thursday, he announced plans to launch a low-cost wireless service this year in southern Ontario, including Toronto, and Quebec, that will offer unlimited talk and text plans for $40 a month.

Krstajic is targeting the roughly 40 per cent of Canadians who don’t currently own cellphones.

Dvai Ghose, an analyst at Genuity Capital Markets, said the current lack of wireless equipment made to run on G-block spectrum means Public Mobile is unlikely to enjoy much pricing power with vendors. As well, he noted that Public Mobile is attempting to build a business on a frequency band that virtually every other wireless carrier has elected to ignore.

Spectrum

• Public Mobile paid a paltry $52 million for its wireless spectrum licences. That’s about one-fifth of what others paid in the same markets.

 
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