December 14, 2009 / 3:47 PM / 8 years ago

Globalive's Wind in retail deal with Blockbuster

<p>Anthony Lacavera (R), Chairman of Globalive and WIND Mobile and Ken Campbell, CEO of WIND Mobile, speak at a news conference in Toronto, December 11, 2009.stepped-up competition in the sector. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>

TORONTO (Reuters) - Upstart cellular phone company Globalive Wireless said on Monday it will offer its Wind Mobile cellular phone service at a number of Blockbuster Video stores in Canada.

The announcement comes after the Canadian government overturned last week a regulatory ruling that had blocked Egyptian-backed Globalive from offering wireless service in the country because of concerns it did not meet Canadian ownership rules.

Wind said it planned to open 16 150-square-foot “stores within a store” to offer subscription, billing and other information. Thirteen of them will be in Toronto Blockbuster stores and three in Calgary.

Handsets to be offered by the company are expected to include Research In Motion’s BlackBerry, HTC and Samsung smartphones.

Globalive spent C$442 million ($415.9 million) to buy wireless spectrum in an auction held by the government last year to boost competition in a market that is dominated by three companies: Rogers Communications Inc, BCE Inc and Telus Corp.

The company’s Egyptian-based backer, Orascom Telecom, has provided Globalive with financing estimated at more than US$500 million.

In October, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the government’s regulatory arm, ruled Globalive was effectively controlled by Orascom and therefore ran afoul of foreign ownership rules. The Canadian government overturned that ruling last week.

(With files by John McCrank in Toronto and Susan Taylor in Ottawa)

($1=$1.06 Canadian)

Reporting by Scott Anderson; editing by Peter Galloway

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