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Anthony Lacavera

Telecom entrepreneur sees a big future in smartphones

Hold up a cellphone, and Anthony Lacavera (BASc 1997) doesn’t just see a convenient way to reach family and friends. He sees an entire pocket-sized computer that will be able to do anything today’s top-of-the-line desktops can do – and more.

And he’s not talking about the distant future. The 33-year-old chairman and CEO of Globalive Communications Corp., a Toronto-based telecommunications company he co-founded in 1998, expects us to be carrying such devices by the end of this decade. Or, we will be, if his company has anything to do with it.

Left your wallet at home? Pay by cellphone. Delivering a multimedia presentation at a client’s office? Store it on your phone. “Within a few years, there will be so many features and applications on your cellphone, it really will change your life,” he says.

At the moment, Globalive, which provides telecom services to both consumers and businesses, is a tiny player in a Canadian landscape dominated by Bell, Rogers and Telus. But it’s moving up quickly, with a recent showing on Profit magazine’s annual list of Canada’s 100 fastest-growing companies. Last year, Globalive was named one of Canada’s 50 best-managed companies, for the third consecutive year.

Lacavera’s strategy is to build Globalive into a major-league contender by offering better customer care and innovative phone, data and wireless services tailored to customers’ needs. One branch of the company provides telecom services specifically to hotels and hospitals.

Like most entrepreneurs, Lacavera – who studied computer engineering at U of T – lives and breathes his company. But it’s not all about the bottom line. He makes time to golf, ski, read – and fly. He’s still a student pilot, but gets airborne every week – sometimes even flying himself to business meetings. “I love the feeling of freedom,” he says.

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