Vidéotron hints at national wireless rollout, launches Wireless For Less portal

Daniel Bader

June 18, 2014 5:21 pm

Vidéotron lobbed a bomb at the incumbent wireless carriers today, launching a new portal called Wireless For Less and hinting at a possible expansion of its wireless network to provinces like Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, in which it owns premium 700Mhz spectrum.

Newly-minted Quebecor CEO, Pierre Dion, took the stage at the final keynote of the Canadian Telecom Summit to reinforce many of the points made yesterday by Wind Mobile chairman, Tony Lacavera: mobile data in Canada is too expensive, and our productivity suffers as a result.

Dion shocked the audience by announcing his company is “contemplating the possibility of consolidation with one or two of the undercapitalized new wireless entrants,” hinting at an acquisition or merger of Wind or Mobilicity. “If completed, this would allow us to almost triple our customer base,” he said. “Under the right conditions we are ready, willing and able
to become Canada’s fourth wireless competitor,” and denounced the current state of mobile in Canada.

“We are uniquely positioned to provide highly-attractive wireless plans to Canadians looking for top-quality service at very competitive prices,” citing investment of $1.6 billion in towers and spectrum, which includes the $233 million spent on 700Mhz blocks earlier this year.

“Vidéotron’s plan is based upon achieving meaningful market penetration through offering Canadians outside Quebec the country’s
best low-cost subscriber plans. The major investments we have made and intend to make in spectrum, expanded network and consolidation with willing partners, would enable us to deliver genuinely competitive, low cost, high quality wireless services to consumers.”
Screenshot 2014-06-18 16.47.34

Dion said that most incumbents justify their higher prices by placing them against those from AT&T and Verizon, but that is not a fair comparison: North Americans typically pay 50% more for the same data pool as those in Europe.

He also decried the cost of domestic roaming, which the government is set to regulate later this year. Being able to connect, affordably, to a competitor’s tower, is one way that will allow new entrants to offer national without having to build out thousands of cell sites. Dion pointed out that tower sharing is also prohibitively expensive for new entrants, as incumbents are not forced to offer access leased or rented towers.

Dion said his company’s move to become a fourth national carrier hinges on the government’s next steps towards regulating domestic roaming, but it’s clear the potential to begin offering substantially discounted service — and potentially LTE services, to boot — is quite real.

Image Credit: Le Devoir

  • Nexzen

    Let the games begin.

    • Plazmic Flame

      But first… who is that in the reflection, in the article image ?!?!

  • Kenny S. Zhang

    i hope they make it!

  • trickster_qc

    plans for the iphone are uber expensive everywhere. I think the iphone situation should be left out of the equation.

    Videotron’s other plans aren’t bad at all and they have great customer service. i’m not sure how good is their wireless network but from people I know who’ve been using it, it seems just fine.

    I think Videotron + Wind + Mobiliticy is a good idea. At least it will have more chances of shaking the market a little bit. Since Fido isn’t around there anymore to do it.

    • trickster_qc

      you’re not wrong about the iphone. but since monthly plans are pretty much the same everywhere, we can take it off as a common denominator :)

    • J-Ro

      We have that here now. It is outlined in every new term before signed. I think its even in bold letters.

    • Jean B.

      I agree with you on this.

    • John

      And that would be great for everyone but Apple. Once it is clear how much the “free iphone” costs, many will buy cheaper phones. Apple does not do well in “unsubsidized”markes

    • cartfan88

      I couldn’t give two s—- about iphone buyers that are not willing to buy it outright from the Apple store then bring it to a carrier of their choice. Those who can only afford to “buy it” on a carrier financed plan deserve exactly what they get. And any other “got to have it now” flagship buyer for that matter.

    • Jean B.

      I would not be surprised due to the size of Apple that they are able to sell their phones wholesale at rates similar to retail. Thus, the phone company has no choice but to keep monthly high to recuperate costs of device. This is why smaller players can’t really play that much with iPhone monthly prices (read: no under-cutting).
      This is what I think is happening in this case.

  • Nexzen

    the iphone is a special case for any carrier, apple makes the rules and the costs and to recoup those costs requires high plans. If you want the iphone on a cheap plan, just buy it outright.

    • 5Gs

      I agree but that will going to change soon. Apple only made rule because they were the only smart phone out there. Now things have change.

  • Gerard Laframboise

    Apple are known to gouge carriers and those increased costs are passed to the customer.

    • gommer strike

      That’s fair, but how come if I were to buy an iPhone direct from the Apple store and hook up to any provider, suddenly they charge me more, *because* it’s an iPhone?

    • Tyler Roy Gamble

      They dont.. You can put an iphone or any phone that you own on any plan you want. You just get tricked into taking the $12 visual voicemail addon. I also work for rogers and its the same for any other carrier. You dont pay more for bringing in your own iphone.

    • J-Ro

      I work for Bell and its the same with us as well.

    • marorun1982

      I also confirm its the same with Telus but the visual voicemail is 5$ only lol.

    • J-Ro

      Just confirmed with iPhones and Blackberry’s it’s $5 on Bell too.

    • Andy Nguyễn

      Actually if they force you to do that, they are a douchebag dealer. I work at a Telus dealer and I would never do that. You just dealt with a rep trying to squeeze a little more commission out of a feature add on.

    • Gerard Laframboise

      Really can’t answer that one.

    • Steven Doyle

      I actually get a 10% discount on my monthly plan for bringing in my own device with Koodo and also with Telebec/NorthernTel. Maybe it’s different from province to province?

    • It’s Me

      So, when the other top end flagships have identical plan requirements for subsidy, it’s still Apple’s fault?

      Sound logic.

    • marorun1982

      Who said thats? I beleive you need to read before posting we are just explaining thats for the Iphone it is because of apple thats the monthly plan on subdised phone are so high because someone was saying Videotron charge a lots for iphones as well.. omg i hate when ppl just cry for nothing..

    • It’s Me

      Except the pricing is the same for all high end flagship phones so the iPhone was used as an example that would apply to all similar phones. Trying to then excuse the high rates for all of these on apple is just stupid.

      So, you’re whining and crying over my post for nothing.

  • digje

    The suggested plan on the website is $75 but the minimum is $70 (still $10 less than $80)

  • Monji

    Don’t worry guys LTE is coming soon to Videotron, good prices with all the flagship phones. The only carrier that has decent dataplans and pricing without negociating with retention

    • easy

      Good prices. Not compared to Wind.

    • Jean B.

      Maybe true, but Wind can’t sustain their low ARPU.

    • 5Gs

      They can if this merger happens

    • SkAshe

      Don’t forget that their HSPA+ is as fast as the LTE of TELUS.

    • gab_gagnon

      I experienced it today! I’m with Videotron and my Nexus 5 was loading pages waaay faster than the LTE iPhone 5 with Telus!

  • Eric Parisien

    Videotron should fix their current network before they “take over the world”. Their wireless network is short of terrible. My wife and kids are on Videotron with great plans (6 gigs, unlimited text and phone including long distance etc for something like $65.00 each) but they would trade in a second for less texts and calls and get a decent network. Walk into a all and they lose all connectivity, while on Rogers, I still have network. (Not that I a a fan of Rogers with their crazy prices but…) my family can’t wait for their contract to expire and move to another provider.

    • digje

      FYI where I live (urban quebec) I get more signal than my friends with Bell Telus Rogers in many places. And at places where Videotron is not available my phone switch to Rogers network (Videotron PRTNR) without any charges. So If Rogers works well but your kids have problems, phones that you have are crap or misconfigured and don’t go on Rogers network when necessary.

    • Eric Parisien

      Both their phones are S3 so not crap, ans we even had Videotron to configure them, the rep even said that the reception in our area was not that great but that it will improve within a couple of years. And I live in the Hull area right next to Ottawa.

    • Jean B.

      When the new spectrum they acquired earlier this year goes live, I am pretty sure your coverage problems will go away. The 700 Mhz is known for piercing deeper into buildings (i.e. Malls, etc). The nature of the AWS spectrum they currently use limits penetration.

    • It’s Me

      Can’t fix AWS. Unfortunately that was all that was available at the time.

    • gab_gagnon

      FYI, Videotron has an agreement with Rogers. When you lose signal, or when it becomes low, from the main network (Videotron’s) your cell connects to Rogers’. I always see VIDEOTRON PRTNR with my Nexus 5 in my basement (even with Rogers, I have 1 bar of signal).

    • Eric Parisien

      I do not dispute the agreement they have with Rogers, I am saying that it is not working with or without the agreement. I am not stopping anyone from going to Videotron, just go and try it and if it works for you than it is great, it is not working for us. Videotron is good for us for Cable, Internet, and regular phone, we do not like them for Cell.

  • beyond

    Videotron is a secret sub brand of Robellus?

    • digje

      They are a regional player like most non-Big3 competitors.

    • gab_gagnon

      Hell no! Videotron is part of Québecor, wich is the biggest media corp. in Québec. They are as evil as the Big3, except in telcos. Videotron have always been the joker in Québec in telcos.

    • Guest

      Videotron is a Quebec separatist company led by “former” (which is a lie, of course) President and CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau, one of the biggest jokers in Quebec. There is NO WAY Videotron will get 1 penny from me! Do not support a separatist company whose main agenda is to break-up this wonderful country!

    • digje

      Is it a real comment or a joke? Yes the majority voting stake is owned by a separatist. But the company itself is not separatist… in fact the board is more federalist than neutral. The Chairman is the ex prime minister Mulroney so the company is definitely not separatist.

      Politic and business is not the samething so stop using FUD without knowing how things work. Also if you live in Quebec and see the debt of the provincial government, remember it can’t afford to lose $2.75 billions (because Videotron is partially a state company).

      The main agenda of the company is to put pressure on Canada government and to be a national telecom company, not to create another country, stop being in 1995.

    • Steven Doyle

      Now you’re splitting hairs.

      The majority of shareholders are Quebec separatists, but not the company itself? SERIOUSLY? Do you really believe Canadians will make such a fine distinction as you have made? Now THAT’S a joke!

      Also, I am aware that Wind is not a “Canadian” company. But nor do they have a blatant agenda to split up Canada. In fact, as far as I know, Wind has never even so much as said one derogatory remark against Canada. So if you are seriously asking me to choose between Videotron or Wind, or asking me which of the two will help our Canadian economy more, then I choose Wind hands-down. Every time.

      And I’m certain I would not be the only one.

  • Rio

    Maybe I am seeing this wrong but the Vidéotron prices are WAY better than Bell/Rogers etc.

    $80/month for Unlimited Canada calling and texts + 6GB of data.

    Not a single other carriers can match this or anything close on a contract

    • Chris

      Good, but not good. Most people use data more than anything these days. I’m on a $39 wind plan with all that plus unlimited data (though slowed down after, I think, 10GB). Maybe if these companies do merge they’ll let these grandfathered plans stay.

    • Rio

      I think 6GB of data is more than enough for most people.

      Why I agree Wind’s unlimited model is great, I personally can’t handle the speeds a after tasting LTE :P

    • Jean B.

      Videotron had a promo for unlimited data at some point. It comes and goes as I understand.

    • Rio

      That is fair, but for people that want the best of the best phones that is MUCH better than paying $80 for 500MB of data.

      They do have cheaper plans starting at 45 for unlimited talking and 500MB of data for middle class phones

    • gab_gagnon

      75$ is the price but bundled with their 3 other services or with a student plan, it goes to 70$.

    • marorun1982

      I have same thing for buisness at 75$ at telus..

    • Mr. Biloz, Ph.D.

      Rogers did, with 70$ 6GB Canada wide… Quebec offer only.

    • blzd

      Anyone can force themselves to use less data, having more data just means you don’t have to worry about your limit and can browse and download freely wherever you are. People who’ve put up with small data limits don’t seem to understand this.

      Personally I rarely go over 1GB a month since I don’t tether and use WiFi everywhere, but having 5GB (“unlimited”, $25/month with voice and text) is very liberating and costs half as much as your 500MB plan anyways.

  • Conception

    I’m with Mobilicity. I’m doomed I know…but I was going to migrate to Wind when they folded. At least the prices are relatively similar for the service level I have been enjoying. But now, if Videotron comes in and buys BOTH AWS carriers then I’m forced to use Videotron or dump them and go to Robellus (not ever going to happen). I highly doubt Videotron will honor my Mobilicity unlimited everything plan so it looks like I’m going to be paying more regardless. Same with you Wind folks…I’m not exactly thrilled with this news personally.

  • Plazmic Flame

    Videotron + WIND would be absolutely killer…. in a perfect world.

    Videotron’s highest plan is $75/month right now (promotion) with 6GB of data… compared to the Big-3-Mafia and their $120-$140 plans…. Would be awesome if a merger happened and they could give WIND the LTE they so desperately need. Things would change very drastically.

  • Chris

    I have this weird daydream I keep getting-off on. These companies merge and offer amazing plans, and because customers are offered fair prices for once, almost everyone in Canada leaves Robellus and so they’re forced to slowly sell of their infrastructure to a company that’s not run by greed. I’m stupid.

    • ScooterinAB

      Right. Because any of that is going to happen. From what I see, Videotron isn’t much better that any of the Big 3. The only reason why they beat their pricing is because of their limited network. A Quebecor conquest of Wind would be interesting but far from the end of days for any of the Big 3. In reality, The market would sort itself out and Videotron would probably just end up charging the same amount as each of the Big 3 (the same scenario as if Wind actually managed to go national). Nothing is going to cause every Canadian to leave the Big 3, nor cause them to sell off their infrastructure in failure just because some new carrier entered the field.

    • It’s Me

      Maybe. But in the years it would take for the market to sort itself out, Videotron would be forced to offer cheaper plans. A cheaper national carrier would force the big 3 to adjust their prices, just as they did when they freaked out when the new carriers came. A reduction in price, for a period of years, might be difficult to simply reset back to the garbage we have now.

    • ScooterinAB

      Not necessarily. If you look at any market for more than a few seconds, you will learn quickly that there are things more important than price. The Big 3 have market dominance for a reason. The new entrants are failing for a reason. Videotron is where it is for a reason. A national Videotron will have an effect on the market, but it will not bring death to the entire industry, nor will every single carrier weep in its presence simply because their prices are a few dollars cheaper.

      A cheaper national carrier wouldn’t force cheaper national prices because there are other factors that you are ignoring, like coverage and cost of operation. Quebecor’s cost for nation expansion is going to be dramatically higher than any of the Big 3’s normal cost of operations. That alone limits their ability to compete meaningfully for the foreseeable future. Unless Quebecor has every ace up its sleeve, it’s going to take the company decades to be able to compete on a national level, in every metric, with any of the Big 3. Having coverage in every region is a start, but that is a long way from being able to compete with nationally. And while I secretly cheer for Quebecor as the only remaining telecom that would have any chance at going national and having a chance at pulling it off, I have yet to see whether it is anything more than a thought experiment.

    • It’s Me

      Obviously there are other factors but price is an important one.

      Remember when the new carriers were coming and the big 3 sh!t the bed? Prices dropped across the board. And that was with them knowing they were going to start small.

    • ScooterinAB

      Actually, Prices really didn’t drop across the board. We say some more heated competition for a little while, but there are a great number of other factors there as well (the East and West expansions of Telus and Bell, the adoption of smartphones, data as a real thing, reformations taking place within wireless, new technologies, the increasing adoption of multiple devices, and other major changes in the landscape that lined up with the new entrant Spectrum Auction).

      In reality, the new entrants had a minimal impact on the Big 3, save for maybe Videotron (Quebecor was already an existing telecom rival in Quebec), since many of the new entrants’ customers were and are those who had already been through each of the Big 3 and could not longer qualify for service. While some price savvy shoppers joined, the impact continues to be extremely minimal. So no, the Big 3 sh!t nothing, because the Big 3 really don’t care about the vast majority of the new entrants.

    • It’s Me

      We’ll disagree on that. Prices plummeted when the big 3 came in. You can stick your head in the sand and espouse some revisionist history, but the fact is plans dramatically improved. When the new entrants were clearly not the risk they thought they’d be, prices went back up and have been increasing as a result.

    • ScooterinAB

      Where as I call it Transformers Syndrome – There’s more too it than meets the eye. A lot happened in wireless around the same time the new entrants went into business. In fact, part of the changes in wireless were what allowed the new entrants to set up shop. Those changes more than account for the plan changes you refer to. This isn’t about revisionist history or about putting my head in the sand. This is about using the scientific method instead of conspiracy theories to understand that there is a lot more going on in wireless that most customers can hope to imagine and that we can’t simply go around pointing fingers every time we don’t like the Big 3 for something.

    • It’s Me

      Almost all of the “reasons” you have are as likely to have resulted in prices increases. The advent of modern, expensive smartphones meant more expensive subsidies. “Real” data meant greater load on their infrastructure and investment to keep up with the load. The expansion of Bell and Telus also meant greater investments in need of being recouped.

      So, you can bring up all of these but the facts are much simpler, with no need for extravagant stories, fanciful excuses or heads in the sand. New and unprecedented competition was set to be let loose upon them and they panicked and dropped rates. It’s as simple as that.

    • ScooterinAB

      Let me try this a different way. What’s more believable and more plausible? That 2 large media and telecommunication conglomerates and a former crown corporation were all independently incapable of deploying a national wireless network without assistance (also Shaw, another large media conglomerate, who thought about wireless but decided it was too expensive and too unprofitable), yet were driven to fear when some random guys showed up out of nowhere to do the same, or that a massive social and technological revolution took place a half decade ago that change the way we communicate and forced telecoms to reevaluate their services and redeploy their networks? There is a lot more going on here than surface level observations and angry theories because someone is mad about their cell phone bill.

    • It’s Me

      Of course there were multiple factors. I’ve been clear on that. But the fact is that they were heading into uncharted waters with 3-4 aggressive new competitors coming online at the same time. They had, as a cabal, never faced that situation before. They knew they were among the most hated companies in the country, knew they were overcharging and knew customers wanted out.

      And yes, that panicked them.

      We got to see them almost repeat it when Verizon was a possible threat. They went into panick mode, but this time they could attack directly, framing Verizon and an even bigger boogeyman than themselves, while that was impossible against the underdog new entrants.

      It was anything but business as usual in both cases. Only that the Verizon story didn’t progress far enough for them to sh!t the bed again on prices.

    • ScooterinAB

      But I see no evidence that the sudden presence of some new businesses that wouldn’t be able to compete anyways actually caused any of the Big 3 to panic and change anything. Rather, I see evidence that networks where overhauled around that time, that smartphones took off and usage started to change, and that changes in how we communicate took place. I see absolutely no evidence to support what you are saying.

      And I see no evidence of a panic with Verizon either; only broken laws and regulations that would have unfairly handed a foreign power everything for a song. If Verizon wanted to enter Canada, they could do so. Verizon doesn’t need government handouts meant for new companies in order to set up shop here. That is what that entire campaign was all about. But too many people immediate pilled their own garbage and problems onto it, turning it into something it wasn’t.

      I have to look at the facts and the evidence, and all I’m seeing is opinion and made up stories. The whole Verizon thing was so blown out of proportion that by the time the public even heard about it, no one knew what was actually going on. It was so clouded with made up commentary and devoid of facts that people were getting the completely wrong idea about what it was. Same thing with the new entrants. This isn’t about keeping competition down or fear-based reactions, because none of those things actually happened.

    • It’s Me

      Speaking of made up stories, what laws were broken that you speak of?

    • ScooterinAB

      Specifically, I’m referring to non-functioning laws, not necessarily violated laws. I’m calling out all of Industry Canada’s regulations and handling of wireless of late. I’m talking about the trend of making up and changing rules on the fly and applying inconsistent rulings everywhere. There are laws about foreign ownership and investment that simultaneously are and are not being enforced. That being said, that Wind has been given so much grief over foreign ownership, yet IC would have handed Verizon the entire Canadian market both highlights the degree of non-functioning laws as well as legal and regulatory violations.

      Does that clear it up.

    • Who Needs Facts

      Exactly. The same pie will be cut in four rather than three. Why people think that a company will not try to sell its product at the exact highest price it can is beyond me.

      A company exists for one reason – to maximize shareholder value. If 90% of the market will pay $100 for 6GB, that is exactly what a compnay will sell it for. If the customer will pay $110, they will sell it for $110.

      Anything less than maximizing profits results and Mr. CEO is looking for a new job as investors turn to other companies.

    • ScooterinAB

      Finally, someone who understands how this is going to work. I would only add though, that the pie would be split 4 ways instead of 3 only if Videotron can compete on the same level as the Big 3. A simple acquisition of “one or two of the undercapitalized new wireless entrants” (I love that line) would make national coverage, but not “national” coverage. If Videotron can provide comparable coverage, services, devices, and network, I would then and only then consider it a full national competitor. Until then, it would just be another sub-brand. Same for same, you know?

    • Who Needs Facts

      Every successful company is ran by greed. People invest in greed, not charity. If you think Videotron are a bunch of do-gooders you need to give your head a shake.

    • Chris

      You automatically assume naivety, and apparently that I haven’t been with Wind and their more acceptable prices. There are different levels of greed, and profit without greed does not mean charity.

    • Who Needs Facts

      When you are giving something away for more than it costs you to produce, it is charity. And in the case of businesses, the financiers get tired of it very quickly and take their money elsewhere.

      Videotron appears to be set to take them over. You can bank on the charity that Wind has been offering to disappear very quickly. It does not make sense to run a business at a loss.

  • Tom

    I agree mobile data is too expensive, but I don’t think our productivity suffers for it. AT&T and Verizon customers who sign contracts pay through the nose and their productivity is fine…

  • ScooterinAB

    “…contemplating the possibility of consolidation with one or two of the undercapitalized new wireless entrants…”

    Apparently, subtly is a dying art.

  • Anon-e-mouse

    Quebecor should think of adding Allstream to their portfolio while they’re at it so they can offer nationwide internet, iptv, and voip phone service……but I think I’m delusional.

  • Jayson Deare

    Unfortunately I can’t support Videotron a company I have had nothing but terrible experiences with. I also refuse to give a dime to their owner Pierre Karl Peladeau who has joined the PQ in order to separate Quebec from Canada no way, no how until he sells his majority stake in the company I am not interested and Ottawa shouldn’t be either

    • wildspin

      come on dude … not another “fair for canada” gibberish. lol. if a “canadian” company does no good to its fellow countrymen, i would not hesitate handing my money to a French, Egyptian or Chinese company.

      Patriosm is simply a guise the big 3 use to deceive Canadian consumers. Now let’s talk about business! ;-)

    • Jesus McDongswoggle

      If he hates the rest of Canada, why is the company thinking of expanding into it?

    • John

      He does not hate the rest of Canada. Separatists do not hate Canada.

    • digje

      Also even if the majority stakes owner is separatist, the chairman of Quebecor (who own Videotron) is an ex Prime Minister of Canada… so Fact: Business and Politic aren’t the samething.

    • Steven Doyle

      Fact: Every dollar you spend with Videotron goes into the pockets of Pierre Karl Peladeau and his Quebec separatists puppets at Videotron.

    • gab_gagnon

      This isn’t a fact. This is an opinion and a crappy one. Yes, every dollars spent with Videotron goes into PKP’s pocket, he’s the biggest shareholder. But no, nothing that goes to Videotron goes to the PQ. First, the chairman is Brian Mulroney. Do you think he’d approve a money transfer to the PQ? Second, this is a company that exists to make money. Not to achieve a political goal. Third, Québec’s law prohibits any kind of political donation by a company. Fourth, donations are limited to 100$ (I think) so even if you have a huge amount of money, you can’t throw it to a party.

    • Steven Doyle

      I wasn’t referring to the PQ. I never once mentioned the PQ in my comment. I was referring to the people who continue to work for PKP at Videotron. And if you believe he has no ties or influence with Videotron anymore, then I have some swamp land to sell you in Florida.

    • Steven Doyle

      If he is the largest shareholder as you mentioned, what do you think he does with his money? You can’t honestly believe he does not support Quebec separation. And now you want me to give him my money to help further his cause? Do you honestly believe that other Canadians will support this man? I think you are the one with the crappy opinion. A crappy opinion about Canadians.

    • Steven Doyle

      Why does he own Sun Media? PKP is probably trying to grab as much money as he can from Canadians while laughing at us. He used Videotron to buy the 700Mhz frequency with plans to expand in Canada, then pumps his fist in the air and proudly states “My support of the Parti Quebecois is a support of my deepest held and most personal values and that is to make Quebec a COUNTRY!” The arrogance of PKP and his puppets at Videotron with their not-so-secret agenda knows no bounds. If you can’t speak French to the man, speak a language he will understand… boycott Videotron.

  • SkAshe

    The 75$ plan offer more than what the competition offers tho. And they frequently have a promo 6gb plan for $60.

  • It’s Me

    But what do you get for that $70? The big 3 charge more and you get way less.

  • wildspin

    Daniel, when you sit down with the honchos from the big 3 next time, give them a collective middle finger on behalf of all Canadian consumers.

    • It’s Me

      And a kick in the nuts, if you don’t mind.

  • gab_gagnon

    Videotron offers 6Gb of data for 70$, you can’t find anything like that on any carrier!

  • Rimtu Kahn

    Hey Rogers Wireless hope you die soon along with Fido and Chatr. Bell mobility can follow you too. Telus is at least friendly to their customers…. Plus they are nicer to all kinds of animals :)

  • Afcan Stellar

    I am a wind customer for a long time now. And believe that it would be a winning move, for Quebecor and Videotron to partner or merge with Wind Mobile. We have two under dogs, who the Canadian population is waiting for them to save. From the monster bills of the Bi3.

  • Ron

    Sign me up, I’ve had it with the incredibly in your face gouging the big three do just because they can.

  • neodoru

    Hold on a second, for $74 you get 6GB of data… do you get anywhere close to this on robellus? Nope, on robbers you’d have to pay 125 for 6GB. :)

    • neodoru

      Noticed later that everyone and their grandmothers have said the same thing :).

  • The Phone Master

    When can I sign up! I’ll be the first to jump ship!

  • The Phone Master

    For some reason I can see Shaw or Videotron come out for a bidding war once Wind builds out its network and says.. we’re broke! hmmm.. enter videotron. and maybe they will keep their 6GB plans nationally?

  • marorun1982

    Apple force the hand of the carrier for iphones..

    I know because we tryed to put the iphone 5C as a smartphone lite with lower minimal plan at Telus and we where told by Apple to not do it.

    So sadly its Apple thats want this price point..

  • Steven Doyle

    Videotron is a Quebec separatist company led by “former” (which is a lie, of course) President and CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau, one of the biggest jokers in Quebec. There is NO WAY Videotron will get 1 penny from me! Do not support a separatist company whose main agenda is to break-up this wonderful country!!

    • digje

      Wow, still someone living in the past. Anyway, if you are in 2014 you would know that the majority of the board of Quebecor and Videotron is federalist and the chairman is an ex Prime Minister of Canada. The only thing a business do is working to make more money, not doing politics (except if it’s for making more money)

      That’s the reason PKP is a deputy now, it’s the exact opposite of your thinking…. it’s because Videotron is a federalist company… anyway any telecom company in Canada is federalist, it’s how the system is made.

      Next time try to be logical and not emotional because it makes you look like you’re not understanding how the country you live in works.

  • 5Gs

    Wowza! Isn’t that what we were talking about yesterday. Game changer. I bet Tony knew about this deal happening hence he confidently said WIND is here to stay.

    Now i know under what circumstances they already announced Canada Wide Roaming.

    Woohoo!

  • kkritsilas

    A couple of points of clarification:
    -Buying an iPhone 5S outright is in the same approximate price range as buying an S5. Debate can be made about which is a better phone, and the reasons for it, but suffice it to say, both phones are pretty good, and both are priced fairly closely.
    -If Videotron and WInd were to merge, and the monthly “regular” plan (i.e. what most people would buy, leaving out promos and loyalty deals, etc.) were to come in at $50-55 for unlimited Canada wide calling and texting, basic voicemail, and 4 GB of data, the Big 3 would have a real problem. This would shake the Big 3 up like nothing has in a long time.
    The combined company would have around 1.5M subscribers to start, but with a plan like the one above, I can see them going to over 2M by the end of the first year after the merger. And, I do believe that they can do that type of plan and stay profitable.
    Kostas

    • ScooterinAB

      But that $50-55 plan would be unsustainable and is does not appear to be in line with what Videotron is offering (more with what Wind is offering). The reality here is that a Videotron buyout would be Quebecor buying up Wind’s assets, not Videotron joining Wind. You have you change your view and perspective on the matter. Rock bottom, fire-sale pricing is unsustainable in this market, and Quebecor knows that which is why they even have a chance at succeeding. The only reason why their pricing beats any of the BIg 3’s is because it only offers local service. If the company goes national, that price gap will shrink significantly and is more likely to match the Big 3’s pricing that Wind’s.

    • kkritsilas

      I honestly believe that a $50-55 plan is sustainable. WInd is at break even right now with a $39 plan that is unlimited (data rate goes down after 10GB) everything. This is with the current outrageous roaming fees they are paying to Rogers, and the 750K subscriber base (actually inching towards 900K). Add on $11-16 per user, and limit data to 4GB, and it should be at the point where it is not only viable, it will be profitable. I don’t think that with the overall increased cash flow initially, and later on with the customers coming to them, that this is in the least unsustainable. The Big 3 are fat. bloated, inefficient operations, and there is no reason they are charging what they are right now. If Videotron, with its current 750K customers can have promo pricing plans at $60 Unlimited voice +6GB data (and I know that they are not losing money at that price point) I don’t see a $50-55 plan at unlimited +4GB (even 3GB would be acceptable) as being unsustainable/unprofitable. Look at what the Big 3 are doing now: LTE has come along, and the price on a per MB or GB of data has gone down by a factor of 10 (vs. HSDPA). Yet the plans used to be limited minutes plus 6GB of data for $80. The newly introduced plans are unlimited voice, and 500MB of data. The Big 3 are not doing this to make themselves sustainable, they are doing it because they are trying to fatten up their ARPU, which is already at close to $60. Yet Wind can break even at half of that. Why is that? A 500MB data plan is unusable for anybody using a smartphone. However, there is no issue charging $10/GB as soon as you go over that. Instead of plan prices declining as data transmission rates got cheaper and cheaper, they have increased the data cost of plans. This is not for sustainability reasons, this is pure greed.

    • ScooterinAB

      But these ultra-cheap 6GB data plans that everyone keeps talking about were unsustainable. That is why every carrier got rid of them. That is why Rogers is forcing customers off of them and why Bell and Telus have and are (albeit much more quietly) doing the same. Data is expensive. Data is the backbone of your network. Data is the one single thing that customers are using. Why on earth is any carrier going to give it away?

      I actually doubt that Wind is breaking even right now. From everything I have read, seen, and witnessed, Wind is bleeding money and is pulling about every get-rich-quick scheme it can in order to shore up the company. The company is desperate and 5 minutes on the inside will tell you that. It’s not the usual high-pressure sales environment where staff are always driven to make the next sale bigger and better. Wind tastes like fear because they company has no future and knows it. Make no mistakes. Quebecor is a bloated, powerful, inefficient company just as much as any of the Big 3. They aren’t stupid enough to go down the same path as Wind and give everything away for free.

      This is the business world. This is about making a sustainable, and yes profitable, business, but it is far from pure greed. If this was about pure greed, every company would be charging three times what they are and giving you nothing.

    • kkritsilas

      The 6GB data plans were not unsustainable. No carrier would have put out a plan that loses money. They made money on those plans, they just figured that they can now ratchet up the data prices because everybody has a smartphone. That isn’t called unsustainable, that is called all out greed.
      The Big 3 want people off of them because they want to pump up ARPU. If the existing customers stay on them, the ARPU doesn’t go up.
      Data transmission costs are going down. Even though nobody from the carriers will admit it, that is why LTE came into existence: to further lower data costs, in most areas, LTE is only marginally better than the higher end forms of HSPA (like DC-HSPA), yet the carriers continue to roll out LTE. Ever wonder why? Ever wonder why there is a bug push to go to VoLTE? It isn’t because the carriers are so concerned abou their customers, that is for sure. It is because LTE is 10X cheaper to carry data on (outside of deployment costs like new network equipment). LTE was designed to be that way from the ground up. It was the first on the list of features to be designed for.
      WInd’s problem is not ARPU, or plan prices. IT is the hesitation of their bankers to loan out money when they don’t know what is going on with Vimpelcom, along with the gov’t reaction to it when this is eventually resolved. Vimpelcom, for its part, didn’t want to invest in 700MHz spectrum until such time as they have determined what the gov’t wants. Same reason that Vimpelcom didn’t put up the money for Wind to buy Mobilicity. If you sense fear, you must be the only one, because Wind continues to pick up customers from the BIg 3, as shown in last quarter’s subscriber numbers. And if the gov’t does make a fair decision regarding roaming rates in Canada, it will pick up far more. Both Videotron’s and Wind’s CEOs have stated flat out that data is too expensive in Canada. Care to argue with them? Note they said too expensive for consumers, not that it costs a lot to transmit data.
      The Big 3 are pure greed. They are about pumping up the price of their stock. This was proven a few years back when the local ISPs were being charged as much as $10/GB when they used the Telco’s lines to offer Intenet broadband, and the actual in house cost was about $.02. Don’t tell me this isn’t pure greed, if they weren’t greedy, they would be competing with each other, not colluding.
      Kostas

    • ScooterinAB

      I honestly and wholly mean no personal offense by what I am about to say, but it is obvious that you don’t understand how the business world works. Businesses misstep all the time and do things they regret. Do you remember those unlimited data plans that wireless carriers used to offer? Or how wireline internet providers used to offer unlimited usage but don’t anymore? Yeah. Unsustainable. Someone made a decision, not understanding that this would be a big deal 5-10 years later, and companies had to back pedal. This is exactly what Roger is doing right now with their UNSUSTAINABLE 6GB DATA PLAN THAT IS FAR TOO CHEAP TO BE ON THE MARKET, WHICH IS WHY THEY ARE PULLING IT. Mistakes happen in business all the time. There are entire books and courses on the topic. There are entire decades that are referred to (the Stock Market crash and the Dot Com Era).

      Now, you are absolutely correct in saying that data transmission costs are decreasing. However, Data use is increasing and deployment is ramping up, further driving up the costs of operation. There is another wireless metric called Cost of Acquisition, which is the costs associated with gaining any given customer. There’s a few percent of Canadians that do not have cell service, and the vast majority of geographic Canada that is unserviced. The COA on those remaining customers, who are the target of these recent and upcoming Spectrum Auctions, are through the roof, as are the costs of servicing more of geographic Canada. So yes, data transmission costs are down, but overall costs are as high as they’ve ever been.

      Now that you know about COA, you should now know that Wind’s problem is in fact APRU and COA. Wind cannot afford to enter any new markets because their APRU is too low, thus meaning that they do not have the revenue to spare, and because the COA is too high to enter and establish a retail and service presence in those new markets. LTE isn’t stopping Wind from expanding. LTE isn’t some magic solution. Money is. Adn at the end of the day, that same money could prevent Quebecor from making Videotron a true nation competitor if they try and run a charity.

      And it saddens me that you continue to close you mind with regards to Wind. If you actually look at reports and subscribers numbers, every carrier is growing, with the Big 3 growing more significantly that Wind. Wind is gaining a few new customers here and there, but they continue to primarily be the provider of choice for those who can no longer get service with the Big 3, not some revolutionary movement against those providers who are actually giving Canadians service. The market share numbers have not changed (except for Telus edging out Bell and Wind gaining all of Mobilicity’s customers), so the growth you are seeing is stale growth.

      See the world for what it really is, not surface level observations and angry rants.

    • kkritsilas

      Sorry if you see anger in anything I have written before, but none was intended.

      All the stuff about business is to an extent, true. However, if all of what you have written were 100% true, let me ask the following: Why do all of the plans from the Big 3 change at the same time? Am I to believe that all of a sudden, Bell, Telus, and Rogers discovered that their plans were unsustainable at exactly the same time? Why was I offered (note the term offered, as in Rogers called me) a unlimited Canada wide calling plan with 2GB of data in January, and the same plan is now $80 with 500MB of data? By your logic, my $60 plan is now unsustainable. If this is the case, what has changed between January 6 and today to make that plan unsustainable? Please note that the same plan was available to others, not just me. I don’t believe that their costs have increased so much in 6 months to justify those plan price increases, or to make my unlimited Canada wide calling/2GB data plan unsustainable. I do believe that they are all trying to increase ARPU, as fast as possible, and that equates to greed. So does their unwillingness to compete for customers.
      One of the biggest mis-steps that the Big 3 make is trying to hoodwink the public into thinking that their plans are competitive, and that they are actively competing with each other. The other thing they do is launch mis-information campaigns, as they did when Verizon was thinking of coming to Canada, as well as coming onto board like this trying to confuse people/discredit people who really do have a very good idea of what the cell phone business is about. You come across as a shill for the Big 3.

      I may not have a degree in business economics, but I do have 12 years of experience in building base stations (at Nortel’s Calgary manufacturing facility). I know exactly what the design intents for all of the technologies involved in the cell phone industry, and have a good idea of the economics involved at the baseline level (i.e. taking out factors like marketing, bloated executive salaries, accounting games, etc.).

      Think of this in the following terms: Rogers (all of the carriers are similar) has about 9 million customers. Their ARPU sits at around $59-60/month. That is $531-540M per month. If by moving the plans to $80/month, the ARPU were to increase to $70-73/month, their monthly revenue becomes $630-657M, on plan prices alone, not taking into account the increase data overage prices (due to the 500MB data now included in plans instead of anything that is remotely usable). That is an easy $99-150M plus per month, $1.08-1.8 Billion/year, in increased revenue yearly. Great if you can get it. None of this has to do with COA or anything else you would like to try to misdirect with, as these are existing customers.

      If the carriers are making such massive investments to improve coverage, answer this: I live in near the eastern edge of Calgary. Rogers LTE service in my area come on about 2 months ago. Not an area in the middle of nowhere, not an area where Rogers didn’t have existing towers. This is after repeated statements by Rogers as to how they were increasing investment in Alberta two years go, a year ago, and six months ago.

      As for all of these massive major costs to transmit data and maintain networks, that is a red herring, and essentially, a blatant lie. It costs as little as $2000/month to maintain a cell site after it has been deployed. This isn’t speculation, it is from the carrier representatives I spoke to while I was at Nortel ( I had responsibility within the Nortel facility for field performance (Nortel speak for fixing issues in the field) for both Telus and Bell). I had interactions with the real field guys at those carriers, who were very aware of the actual costs of the cellular towers and basestations, as well as the costs associated with those towers/basestations going down. I don’t care what they PR guys at the Big 3 say, or how “massive” their maintenance costs they would have you believe. The basestation equipment is engineered from day 1 of the design process to be reliable and to NOT break down. These are not Mattel toys made in China; this is telecom equipment that MUST work. Base station reliability is going up, not down. and is also helped by LTE deployment with reduction in maintenance costs.

      I have already addressed the cost reductions for data transmission due to LTE. You also stated that people are consuming more data. They are, but far less than the 10X data transmission cost reduction due to LTE efficiencies. I was using about 700MB/month in 2008 when I got my first iPhone. I am certainly using more (around 1GB/month now), but nowhere near the 7GB/month that would see data transmission costs stay the same, and I don’t think most people are either. Overall, when the real numbers are in, and the entire network goes to LTE, the carriers will be seing 3X-5X reduction in their data transmission costs, yet they are still increasing plan prices.

      I love how you addressed my point about the independent ISPs getting gouged by the wireline providers for years. Easy to see who pays your salary.

      Kostas

    • ScooterinAB

      Please keep the personal attacks to zero. Yes. I work in wireless, but that does not invalidate my ability to have an independent thoughts or opinions. It doesn’t matter who pays my bills, because I’ve seen this industry through every company’s eyes. There is only so far these conspiracy theories and claims of smoke screens and collusion go before you realize that none of that is actually true. This is how the industry works. Like it or not. You can continue making surface level observations, or you can acknowledged that there are things that you (and I, and everyone else here) do not know about business practices, technology, and operations that go far beyond dollar signs.

      Yes. Every carrier changes their prices. But so does every gas station and everyone selling houses, and every car dealership, and every other place where you can buy products or services, and I don’t see any burning torches or pitch forks there, nor conspiracy theories of collusions, anti-competition, or any of this other crap that people on this site like to make up.

      I could go through, point by point, line by line, item by item, and disprove everything you have said. But I won’t. For starters, this is not the appropriate space to be writing a 100+ page research article disproving all of the nonsense and lies that people are making up about wireless and explaining how businesses actually operate (whether it is right or wrong that they do so). It’s just not going to happen. But secondly, and most importantly, nothing I say matters to you. Your mind is closed. You have made up your mind that every carrier is some boogey man that is out to get you, and simply refuse to understand that there are realities to how businesses operate. You refuse to actually acknowledge any facts or discussion on the topic because some guy told you that it costs $2000 per month to maintain a cellsite. You refuse to understand that there are other operating and maintenance costs on top of that.

      I come here to learn about wireless, read device reviews, and get my news like everyone else. I have a job because I need to pay my bills like anyone else. But I will not waste my time here dragging on prolonged arguments with internet trolls who won’t even try to to see things from another perspective. So go on hating the Big 3 for operating successful businesses. Go on thinking that that Verizon, one of the most expensive carriers in the US, is going to come here and solve all of your problems with it’s fairy dust and wishing powers. Go on making simple observations based on no facts at all, because at the end of the day, I’m still going to looking deeper and making real decisions based in reality, not anger.

  • Mike Murphy

    “National” as long as you consider Canada Quebec or west of Quebec. Why didnt Nova Scotia didn’t fight harder to stay out of this shitty country

  • Andrew Goldenberg

    Yeah low cost my a*s. More like Videotron aims to price fix with the big boys.

  • Ariel Moreno

    I knew it!!! welcome Videotron and WIND/Mobilicity merging.

  • Who Needs Facts

    Lacavera calls it “partnering”..I think Dion has “takeover” in mind.

    I would like to see Videotron put Mobilcity out of its misery, and anthing that will get the whiner Tony out of the news is a good thing as well.

    Videotron, a Canadian company, will invest in Canada – the way a 4th wireless company should.

    They may need to watch their home turf a bit though….the roaming and tower arrangements they will enjoy with the new regulations will also apply to the incumbents (Telus especially) moving into Quebec.

    In the end though, I don’t think the consumer will see much change on pricing. Anytime I see a company saying customers are paying too much, I smell a rat.

  • Steven Doyle

    The arrogance of PKP and his puppets at Videotron with their not-so-secret agenda to split up this country knows no bounds…

    He used Videotron to buy the 700Mhz frequency with plans to expand in Canada, then pumps his fist in the air and proudly states “My support of the Parti Quebecois is a support of my deepest held and most personal values and that is to make Quebec a COUNTRY!”. If you can’t speak French to the man, speak a language he will understand… boycott Videotron.

  • Luc Biron

    People Fail to understands, how great it is for ALL canadian, except Québec.

    But first let speak of what videotron in a Compapny for that most you dosen’t know much.
    Videotron is the First TV service compangie in Québec, there are close to what roger is in Ontario, in better in all the accept.

    It also renomed for is Internet Service, Clean Facturation and excellent customer service. Bell was dessimate in Québec a few years ago because Videotron did introduce the phone service. Bell, service, price did have to do a majors clean up because of them.

    Also, you all know that they also use the was technology then moblicity and WindMobile.
    They use the Roaming of Roger.

    Videotron network is the worse of the province on the cell, but by far way better than Moblicity or Wind. It do have a coverage in most of the province and sometime will give service were event Roger can give some in Quebec. The speed while inferior to Bell but is more than good to what I have seen. They have more than half the subscriber of WindMobile and they only have one province.

    Now, price speaking, Because of all the service they offert in bundle. The price of every of they service is lower in Québec that it is in the rest of Canada. TV,Phone, Internet illimited download is less 100$per month in Québec with bell and vidéotron.

    All the plan in cell phone are cheaper in Québec that they are in ontario and that only because of Vidéotron.
    Exemple: Right now 85$ you get in Ontario: 2 go data, canada wide call, text, voice mail etc.
    In QUébec : For the same price you get 6go .

    That will be a blood bath people.

  • Ryan Harrison

    I’m excited for it. Even if there prices aren’t the cheapest right now if they start competing with the big 3 nationally prices are bound to drop from some of the carriers to try and keep/ attract new customers. With 4 wireless carriers it won’t be nearly as easy for the big phone companies to collude when pricing phone plans.