Posted by: | 19th Jan, 2011

Mobilicity – Challenging Canadian Telecommunications Giants

I was riding the bus home a few weeks ago when I noticed the ubiquitous bright pink Mobilicity signs – on the bus, at the shopping plaza near my house – everywhere. How did this relatively new brand (established in 2008) expand so quickly in the past few years? They have launched over 100 locations in Vancouver alone! They saw an opportunity – an unexplored target market and a mobile penetration rate of only 66% (Canada has only 66 mobile subscribers for every 100, compared to 87 in the US), and took advantage of it while setting their brand apart from the three Telecommunications giants in Canada. So foreboding is its emergence to the competition that Rogers struck out by introducing their own budget-friendly brand, Chatr. Mobilicity has since filed a lawsuit against Rogers for introducing Chatr with the purpose of driving discount phone brands out of business.

Mobilicity is taking advantage of opportunities at a rapid pace – positioning themselves as a market for the young and hip, for newcomers to Canada, and to those looking for affordable, no-frills plans. It has kept itself competitive with special plans for newcomers to communicate with their families back home, buying reliable network coverage, signing major distribution deals with HMV and 7-Eleven, involving coveted cell phone models, and keeping its operations lean with outsourcing.

However, as a junior player, it faces intense competition from the 3

Rogers Ad directly attacks Mobility

incumbents and barriers to attracting new customers from their current providers. Although its targets a slightly different market, it must be cautious of the incumbent’s bigger networks, distributors, resources, and counter-strategies (i.e Rogers’ Chatr, Telus’ Koodo). It also faces competition from other recently-emerged discount brands such as Wind Mobile and Public Mobile. Will Mobilicity become a sustainable player in the telecommunications market?

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