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December 03, 2008

Globalive Mobile Aims to Yak with Mature Consumers

If you’re a woman of a certain age, Anthony Lacavera wants to talk to you.

The CEO of Globalive Communications Corp., which won spectrum in every province (except Quebec), in the recent federal government auction, says his new cellphone service will initially target women age 45-plus when it launches during the fourth quarter of 2009.

Speaking to the Dec. 1 gathering of Mobile Monday Toronto, Lacavera says this customer, who is the decision maker in her household and has an eye for value, will be sourced from Globalive’s Yak long-distance service subscribers. The company currently offers home phone, long distance and Internet services to one million Canadian households.

Lacavera expects to reach a target of 1.5-million mobile subscribers within the first three years by targeting existing Yak customers with value-priced, no-contract bundles ranging from about $20 to $40 a month. Globalive will compete with incumbent value brands such as Fido and Koodo which, Lacavera says, are being repositioned in anticipation of Globalive’s entry a year from now.

Lacavera says he would consider working with advertisers in order to offset the cost of services to subscribers, but he has yet to see a viable business model.

Besides mature women, Globalive will market to what Lacavera calls the “unconvinced”–older boomers who don’t own cellphones and aren’t on the radar of the incumbent mobile carriers. For younger consumers, Lacavera sees a “wireline replacement opportunity.”

Asked whether his new mobile service will operate under the Yak brand, Lacavera says he is willing but his marketing advisors are less than enthusiastic about the moniker.


It will be good to see another cell phone operator in Canada. Already we are seeing lower price plans put in place by the encumbants. I'm tired of being sold on a $30 month plan, only to find my bill comes in @ $85/month!

While it is obvious that the 45+ crowd is largely ignored by the major wireless carriers, it is odd that this is the stated target segment for globallive given their marketing activity thus far.

They launched wireless soapbox - http://www.wirelesssoapbox.com/ - a good effort to collect market and industry data in their pre-launch efforts, but they don't collect any information on the people posting on the site to help understand what are key drivers by segment. I assume they've identified their core target based on penetration levels, but jumping into the 'social media' space doesn't seem incredibly aligned to their target behaviour - particularity if you look at the forrester participation rates of this target in this type of activity - http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell/profile_tool.html

Although I applaud their efforts to start branding efforts on a grassroots level, I think they need to align their 1:1 marketing with their strategies.

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