Canada’s wireless upstarts are set to take as much as one-third of new subscribers signing up for cellphone plans in the current fiscal quarter, according to recent figures and analyst calculations.The fourth-quarter surge for companies such as Wind Mobile and Mobilicity follows a splurge in advertising and marketing during the holiday gift-buying season. The success also comes despite well-funded efforts by giants Rogers Communications and BCE Inc. to steal new carriers’ momentum with discount brands of their own.
On Friday, Mobilicity said it had already gained 50,000 wireless subscribers in the quarter. And in an interview with The Globe and Mail on Wednesday, Wind Mobile chairman Anthony Lacavera said he would be “well north of 200,000” subscribers by the end of the year. Dvai Ghose, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity who crunched the numbers, estimates that by the end of the current quarter Wind will have grown by 75,000 subscribers, Mobilicity by 70,000, startup Vidéotron Ltée by 35,000.