Clearnet plan new mobile network launch

There is a new wireless player preparing to enter the digital, long-distance market and it is planning to do so in a big way.On March 3, Pickering, Ont.-based Clearnet signed an agreement in principal with Motorola Canada, a provider of wireless...

There is a new wireless player preparing to enter the digital, long-distance market and it is planning to do so in a big way.

On March 3, Pickering, Ont.-based Clearnet signed an agreement in principal with Motorola Canada, a provider of wireless software and equipment, and Nextel Communications, a specialized mobile radio (smr) network operator in the u.s.

Under the terms of the deal, which is still subject to government approval, Clearnet and Motorola will combine their existing Canadian 800-megahertz smr network business behind the Clearnet brand name.

And Clearnet will use Motorola’s Integrated Radio System technology to develop a new digital mobile network in major centres and traffic corridors across Canada.

Specialized radio networks offer mobile services similar to cellular radio-telephone services, but the two are incompatible as they make use of different frequencies.

The new digital network, to be based on Motorola’s integrated radio system technology, would enable users to operate one handset for a variety of wireless services, including cellular-like mobile telephone, regular dispatch, multi-site dispatch, enhanced dispatch, mobile data, paging and advanced messaging.

In the u.s., Nextel has linked up with long-distance giant mci and has already set up a digital network in Los Angeles.

The network is based on the Motorola technology and marketed under the Nextel brand name.

Down the road, Nextel plans to expand the service across the u.s.

Eventually, Clearnet and Nextel will be in a position to offer a seamless North American service.

Wade Oosterman, vice-president of Clearnet, says the new Clearnet network will be positioned against all existing wireless services in the market.

Oosterman says the company intends to build the Clearnet name into a household brand, adding, he sees strong growth potential in the business and consumer sectors.

Currently, Canadians have a choice between only two cellular long-distance providers, Rogers Cantel and Bell Mobility Cellular.

A privately owned Canadian company, Clearnet also owns and operates MOCO Canada, a mobile communications dealer with outlets in major cities across the country.

To date the company has handled most of its advertising needs in-house, but before launching the new service, ‘sometime in 1995,’ Oosterman says he will conduct an agency search and hire an ad agency.

Oosterman says he has yet to draw up a firm launch strategy, but explains that during the early rollout stages, Clearnet’s marketing efforts will probably involve targetted programs directed at its existing customer base.

During later stages, when the company turns its attention to signing on new subscribers, he expects to spend heavily in media such as TV and print.