The beginning of this month saw Bell announce plans to acquire Manitoba’s MTS in a $3.9 billion deal. Part of the terms included a promise to invest $1 billion over five years to expand wireless and broadband coverage.
Today, both companies issued a joint statement to announce plans to cover Highway 75 with LTE wireless, the province’s main transportation route linking Winnipeg to the U.S. border.
Wade Oosterman, Group President of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada, said in a statement emailed to iPhone in Canada, “Bell MTS will hit the ground running in Manitoba with major new investments in broadband communications, including the completion of full wireless coverage along this critical transportation route.”
The following three stretches of Highway 75 suffer from limited wireless coverage: between Ste. Agathe and Morris, between Morris and Highway 14, and between Highway 201 and Emerson. Bell MTS, as both companies are now known, plan to change this with added LTE and HSPA+ wireless coverage.
Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba, said in a statement “Investment in world-class communications services is critical to Manitoba’s ability to compete and prosper in the national and global economies and we applaud today’s commitment to improved communications services.”
The Bell MTS deal has yet to be approved by the Competition Bureau, which is currently seeking input from Canadians on the merger.
Rogers recently raised wireless prices in Manitoba by $5 per month on select Share Everything plans, a move many suspect will be followed by Bell and TELUS, as the loss of MTS as a fourth player appears to have already put pressure on prices.