March 4, 2004

Microcell-Allstream launch new wireless service..Ho, hum

It was interesting to see the lack of media coverage garnered by the launch yesterday of a new wireless Internet service by Allstream and Microcell.

(That would explain the flurry of e-mails and telephone calls I received from their PR folks) Maybe it is  the fact the "launch" is happening in only one place - Richmond, B.C.

You have to think that hype doesn't do the job anymore.

It's great that the service is live but no one is going to get overly excited until they see what kind of inroads it will make with consumers and small business owners.

One of the biggest challenges facing the new venture is that most people are pretty satisfied with their existing high-speed service.

Then, you have Canada's high level of high-speed penetration, and it doesn't look like the new venture has much room to play.

The key could be the new venture's willingness to use price as a marketing weapon given that Telus, Rogers, Bell and Shaw have been unwilling to lower prices - aside from introductory discounts for new customers.

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