Deadline to put in a bid for small wireless carrier Mobilicity extended a week

TORONTO, Cananda – The sale of Mobilicity has hit a delay after potential bidders for the financially struggling wireless carrier asked for an extension.

The deadline to put in a bid for Mobilicity was Monday, but that has now been postponed until Dec. 16 by court-appointed monitor Ernst & Young.

“Following the bid deadline, the monitor and Mobilicity will review all of the bids in accordance with the sales process,” Mobilicity said in a statement on Monday.

“The sales process is ongoing and stakeholders should not expect any announcements on Dec. 16 or immediately thereafter. Any transaction result from the sales process will be subject to court approval.”

Ernst & Young said it extended the deadline after “considering requests for an extension from qualified bidders.”

The startup carrier has been operating under creditor protection since September. Mobilicity launched in 2010 and provides cellphone service in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver to about 190,000 customers.

So far, Wind Mobile CEO Anthony Lacavera is the only potential bidder who has gone public. Lacavera couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Lacavera has said Wind Mobile needs more spectrum — radio waves needed to operate wireless communications networks —to offer faster, next-generation services to compete with the country’s three largest carriers, Rogers (TSX:RCI.B), Bell (TSX:BCE) and Telus (TSX:T).

The federal government has blocked Telus twice from buying Mobilicity, which has spectrum that was specifically set aside for startup companies in a federal auction in 2008. But Telus was recently permitted by Ottawa to buy startup Public Mobile because its spectrum is considered less valuable and didn’t have any sale restrictions.