Our first license and the hunt for an office

We're sharing pics from our office hunt and updates on what's coming next!

A license to BITS

This week the CRTC issued us our first telecommunications license! The notice arrived on April 1st, which means there was a good chance that the email notification was a lark, so we logged into the CRTC website and confirmed it. We’ve registered for several licenses, including Wireless Service Provider and Proposed Full MVNO, both important milestones on becoming a Full Mobile Virtual Network Operator.

The first license issued to us is called BITS - Basic International Telecommunications Services - which is needed to provide calling to the US. So, now we’ve got the go-ahead to connect our members to the rest of the world. Cart before the horse as far as licenses go, but hey- we’re one step closer!

Here it is on the CRTC website.

Finding a place to call home

When we closed our first financing round we also announced that we would be moving into a new office and establishing our Toronto HQ. So, we started the hunt for something affordable and awesome to call home, checking out all the usual suspects in the coworking space. Our plan has the size of our team growing every month or two so we thought a centrally located, flexible workspace would fit the bill.

These places all have their own spin on the formula and ranged from being packed to the brim with cool businesses all the way to still under construction. We looked in on Uber Eats setting up a new satellite office, explored a green rooftop patio with a vegetable garden (had to use our imagination for that one at this time of year), and marveled at all the brick and beam.

From there we took a look at some dedicated spaces, hoping to find something with personality, something that we could make our own. The last stop on our tour that day stopped us in our tracks - this was it, a blank slate with big windows and a great location. We could imagine rolling in there every day, surrounded by talented people, our innovation partners on a big screen video call.

How would it stack up to the flexibility of a coworking space? We compiled all the numbers, the escalating costs of additional coworking seats vs. the fixed cost of a single direct lease space. Sprinkled in the costs to customize a blank-slate office space, furnish it, fill it with coffee and juice and snacks. Calculated the costs to rent meeting rooms and board rooms at the coworking spots.

What about the intangibles, the other benefits of coworking? What would be the benefit of having other businesses all around us, sharing a lounge and a beer and ideas? These places have culture baked right in, just show up with a computer and get to work.

All of that would be great, but we know what needs to be done. We have a plan, partners, and lots of work to do. What we needed was a place to get stuff done, and even if it’s not coworking you’ve still go neighbors - there was a cool looking digital agency down the hall from that direct lease option.

It would be easy to say the decision was hard because that’s what you’re supposed to say when you're deciding on something big. In this case, it was easy! Once you know exactly where you’re going, what the end goal is, everything else just falls into place. Will the benefits of a coworking space help us get to our end goal? Nope. And all the fun stuff? Well, we know how to have fun all on our own. :)

Of course, the new office space is going to need some TLC - so we’ll roll up our sleeves and spend a few weekends getting it ready for up to ten people this summer.

Two thousand members!

Wow! It’s amazing to see how quickly Canadians are standing up to support tiny telecoms, and humbling to know how many of you support a small, independent company like us.

We’ve had some members reach out to ask for shareable content, specifically so they can raise awareness at their university or college. The best approach? Ask a university student to write it for us!

Hold up, I just found this new wireless provider that sells data by the GB AND works in the US for no extra 💸. It's all going to be through an app, no credit check, cancel anytime. So a ting can send blue messages and travel 👀 The only problem is that it doesn't launch until next year, so the team needs you to wait and support 🙏🏻 they need members to sign up while they fight it out with [the big guys].

I signed up so fast. If they can pull this off it’ll be a huge game changer 🤑🤑



[Note: The language was a bit too… strong… at one point, so it’s been edited.]


What’s next?

We’ve been talking to more potential innovation and technology partners, and some phone accessory manufacturers - we expect to make some more announcements in the coming weeks. Meetings are scheduled to bring together the great minds from our existing partners and lock down workflows, platforms and architecture decisions.

We are also excited to start posting our first job opportunities in regulatory, systems architecture, experience design, and e-commerce. Starting in May we will finally be able to direct incoming career and internship inquiries to real positions and start forming the team that will be as excited about building a dotmobile as we are.

Finally, we are designing better ways to display information about our upcoming Periwinkle release and allow our members to discuss and contribute towards dotmobile's development.