Wind Mobile is re-branding itself as Freedom Mobile as it moves forward with its new LTE network, which will be launching on Nov. 27 in Toronto and Vancouver – just in time for the holiday season and the Grey Cup.
The LTE network is being launched on a new AWS-3 spectrum band, and will expand to include the Greater Toronto Area and Great Vancouver by Spring 2017, before expanding to Ottawa, Calgary, and Edmonton over the summer. Remaining 3G coverage areas in southwestern Ontario, Hamilton-Niagara, Barrie, Kingston, and Peterborough will be the last to join in Fall 2017.
The Wind Mobile re-brand is a move to hold the rights to its own name. The Wind name, as explained by CEO Alek Krstajic at the Freedom Mobile unveiling in Toronto, was previously licensed, and it would become more expensive to pay for as the company continued to grow and succeed.
“There was some baggage associated with the Wind name, and over the last year we have shed that baggage. With a new network, we felt a re-branding would benefit us,” Krstajic said.
As the company continues to grow as the fourth leading wireless service provider in Canada, it is targeting Canadians who are frustrated with their current carriers in hopes that those customers would give them a try. “Its hard to say you don’t like Freedom,” said Krstajic.
The initial LTE Freedom Mobile plan is available starting today. It includes unlimited calling to Canada and the U.S., unlimited global messaging from within Freedom’s 3G and LTE areas, 3 GB of monthly data plus an extra 3 GB data bonus until January 2018, and is available for $45 a month.
The re-branding comes less than a year after Shaw Communications Inc. purchased Wind for $1.6 billion.
“In terms of Shaw, we have had the benefit of learning a great deal from them, because I think they do customer service at a world class level,” said Krstajic.
No customer action is required for existing Wind Mobile customers whose accounts and rate plans will be transitioned to Freedom Mobile, which features a new look, and a “friendly for-the-people” approach.
Additionally, this holiday season the company is launching two new mobile headsets compatible with its LTE network: the LG V20, which is in stores now, and the ZTE Grand X4, which will release in December.