Bell has received final approval by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the Competition Bureau, meaning that the Bell-MTS deal is now done. Bell says it will launch Bell MTS on March 17.
This also means that Telus will get close to one quarter of MTS’s postpaid wireless customers and 13 retail locations for about $300 million. The deal will close in early April, but customers will be actively migrated over several months “in a customer-friendly manner,” Telus said.
“Bell MTS will deliver the best broadband networks and unprecedented service innovation to Manitobans, growing competition, choice and value in communications throughout the province. In addition to our capital investments to roll out our Fibe and mobile LTE services in Manitoba, Bell MTS is also announcing today that we will maintain current MTS wireless price plans for at least 12 months after the closing of the acquisition,” said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada.
As previously announced, Bell MTS will invest $1 billion over the next five years to improve broadband networks and services in Manitoba, including the introduction of Gigabit Fibe Internet, offering access speeds up to 20 times faster than those currently available.
Bell and MTS have also agreed to transfer Xplornet Communications Inc. a total of 40 MHz of 700 MHz, AWS-1, and 2500 MHz wireless spectrum currently owned by MTS; 24,700 wireless customers once Xplornet launches its mobile wireless service; and five retail outlets in Winnipeg and one in Brandon.
As a result of the acquisition, Bell adds about 710,000 wireless, internet, and IPTV customers in Manitoba, representing a 5% increase in the carrier’s total broadband service subscribers. Also, Bell becomes the number one wireless carrier in Manitoba with more than 470,000 total “pro forma” subscribers. The carrier will operate 69 retail locations to offer wireless and wireline services in the province. Bell says MTS products will be available for the first time in Bell, The Source , Tbooth wireless, and WirelessWave locations.