Quebecor Wireless Launch to Proceed; Telus and Bell Accused of Stall Tactics

Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau has been providing media interviews to further detail the company’s plans to expand wireless services outside of Quebec.

Speaking to the Financial Post, Péladeau says Quebecor has managed to take 22% of the wireless market in Quebec, in under two decades.

“There is now a mature market in Quebec, and if we want to grow, and we do, it will be outside of our historic market place,” said Péladeau.

The Quebecor CEO says the company is considering wireless services in Western Canada and Ontario through the form of a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), which essentially uses existing networks from incumbents and resells services. Recent regulatory mandates will force companies like Telus and Bell to rent its networks to regional players such as Quebecor.

Péladeau also noted he is not willing to wait around for the Rogers-Shaw deal to complete. If the merger is approved, many suspect Rogers would need to divest its wireless assets from the deal, specifically Shaw Mobile and Freedom Mobile. Quebecor said it would be interested in acquiring these companies, but also noted others would be wanting to do the same.

The leader of Quebecor also blasted Telus and Bell for stall tactics preventing wireless competition. Both companies have taken to Federal Court to oppose Quebecor’s purchase of 5G licenses for $830 million, with numerous located in southern and eastern Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

Péladeau said, “We’ve been seeing the incumbents using a delay strategy.” As for its wireless ambitions, he said, “we look forward to have access as soon as possible. We have everything to succeed,” citing its call centres, digital platforms and more.

He also commented on the Rogers family drama, which recently saw CEO Joe Natale booted.

“What’s taking place in Rogers is certainly sad,” said Péladeau. “Ted Rogers was one of the best, if not the most important Canadian entrepreneur. He did something great. He built a great company, a great name, a great brand. We just hope that, you know, things will settle and things will be (resolved) to the honor of the memory of Ted Rogers,” he added.

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