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Videotron Plans to Bring Canadians “New High Quality, Low-Cost Wireless”

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Quebecor, the parent company of Videotron, has announced its vision to change the Canadian wireless landscape. CEO Pierre Dion today outlined the company’s goals speaking at the 2014 Canadian Telecom Summit.

Dion says the company wants to bring a new low-cost wireless service to Canada, similar to the data and roaming plans available in Europe and Australia.

“Our vision is to provide Canadians with a new high quality, low-cost wireless choice and real wireless competition,” said Mr. Dion. “We aim to deliver real low-cost wireless plans for consumers, real wireless competition, and a real new offering in the Canadian marketplace. Under the right conditions, we are ready, willing and able to become Canada’s “fourth wireless competitor.”

The plan for Videotron is to offer those outside Quebec “the country’s best low-cost subscriber plans.” Videotron was able to win 7 licenses in the federal government’s recent 700MHz spectrum auction, giving it the potential to launch in Alberta, BC, Ontario.

Quebecor is pushing hard for fair roaming rates to be charged by the ‘Big 3’ and says it needs a level playing field to compete:

“With a fair, competitive and level playing field on roaming, the stage will be set for a new era of consumer choice in Canada. It will benefit consumers, small businesses, and the economy at large,” added Mr. Dion. “It will be the dawn of a new sustainable and viable low-cost wireless service.”

To further its goal of spreading the word, the company has created a new website called AffordableWireless.ca, which spreads its low-cost wireless message with the tagline “Reducing wireless costs is everyone’s call” to lobby the government.

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Below are tweets comparing how Videotron’s plans in Ontario compares to Rogers, Telus and Bell:

Looks like Quebecor is ready to take Videotron national—but they won’t do it unless they get fair roaming rates from the Big 3. Last month former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was named the Chairman and CEO of Quebecor, most likely to leverage his connections in Ottawa.

Would you switch over to Videotron if they become Canada’s viable ‘fourth’ wireless carrier? This is great news for everyone if it can come to fruition.

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  • Chrome262

    I don’t know if I would switch, I would have to see their coverage and actual speeds, first. But regardless the more competition the better.

  • Al

    It will be a struggle. Or it could just be some sort of PR stunt (although not sure why)… “Look at us. We are good. We can save you.”… knowing the chances of getting fair rates from the big 3 are highly unlikely and they actually won’t go through with it.

  • Fireeast

    I feel their only chance is to buy up Wind and Mobiliticy, my problem is will they honour Winds prices and for how long. Personally Videotron price are still better then the big three and i would go just out of spite.

  • kkritsilas

    As I have stated before, the end game is that Videotron and WInd merge, or Videotron buys out Wind, and possibly Mobilicity as well. The fit is perfect, all of these carriers use AWS spectrum, Videotron has nothing outside of Quebec, Wind has nothing inside Quebec. Merging the twoi networks would be trivial, mostly head office and software changes. Financially makes sense, too. Videotron gets a network that already runs on its own spectrum, so existing customers can go outside of Quebec and still be on a Videotron network, Existing WInd customers can use the Videotron network in Quebec.Videotron customers would get the US roaming package as well. And the joint company, at somewhere above 1.5M customers would generate some serious cash flow, far higher than Wind or Videotron do individually, now. The merged company can even keep both of its identifies, WInd outside of Quebec, Videotron inside Quebec. Scooping up Mobilicity will only make that combination stronger.

    With the increased cash flow, I would think that rolling out more towers would become a lot easier. This may not be the consideration that it was if the CRTC mandates some reasonable roaming rates on the Big 3, but still may be worthwhile.

    Kostas

  • Adam

    Videotron does have spectrum outside Quebec; they bought 700MHz spectrum in BC, Albetra, and Ontario (plus Quebec). They don’t have any towers, though.

  • Euffie

    oh, this is better than “saving time” haha

  • Hmm, you may be onto something 😉

  • yamadori

    Hopefully it actually happens and doesn’t change from the “big three” to the “big four.”

  • kkritsilas

    I was referring more to physical presence than spectrum. Videotron has a small slice of AWS spectrum in GTA as well, for that matter. Another question is what Shaw will do with all of the AWS spectrum it has in Western Canada. it should be obvious that they will not be deploying cell services.

    Kostas

  • Crosseyedmofo

    as a federalist quebecer it broke my heart to drop my cable with them, guys… videotron has the most insanely amazing customer service youve no idea

    if they acquire wind and mobilcity, it will benefit all of us

  • Fireeast

    Very true, but with the purchase of wind they could roll out lte with no infrastructure upgrades I believe.

  • Cyrus Wu

    I would switch to Vidéotron, if they officially covered Ottawa instead of partial coverage.

  • erth

    ah, yes…

  • Guest

    But there is a conflict of interest… why would the big 3 give them good roaming rate, so all their existing customers flock over to Videotron?

    Sounds good, but will it happen? not too likely..

  • xxxJDxxx

    They probably wont. My guess is they are depending on the government stepping in with some sort of anti-competitive legislation forcing them to provide better rates.

  • fjdsksalfh fjdslsk

    There is basically a monopoly in Ontario. There are 6 providers with decent coverage across Ontario. Bell (Virgin), Rogers (Fido), Telus (Koodo). Bell, Rogers and Telus offer the exact same shareable plans and the exact same voice and data lite plans. Their promotional/talk and text are slightly different. Bell and Telus even share the same network. Except for some minor content differences (mobile TV and other add-ons) they are basically all the same. Virgin, Fido and Koodo offer the 90% the exact same plans as each other but with slightly different phone subsidies and add-ons. Those three are basically the same. Of course, Virgin, Fido and Koodo are owned by the Big Three. There is essentially one wireless provider in all of Ontario.

    Please Videotron, save us from this madness!

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