Xplore Mobile, the recently unveiled wireless brand owned by New Brunswick-based rural internet service provider Xplornet, has begun reaching out to some Bell customers in Manitoba to prepare them for a transition to the fledgling network.
As per the terms of Montreal-based national carrier Bell’s acquisition of former Manitoba Crown carrier MTS, Bell agreed to divest approximately 24,700 subscribers to Xplornet and approximately 140,000 subscribers to Telus.
Bell was responsible for selecting which customers would transition to Xplore Mobile and Telus.
A Telus spokesperson told MobileSyrup in an email that the carrier transitioned Bell customers between May 2017 and Q1 2018.
A Bell spokesperson confirmed via email that Telus’s transition has been completed.
The same Bell spokesperson also confirmed that Bell and Virgin Mobile subscribers should expect a “welcome package from Xplore Mobile in the next few days outlining the steps to complete their account transfer.”
According to an Xplore Mobile representative who spoke with MobileSyrup over-the-phone, the carrier has officially begun mailing letters to Bell subscribers.
“You may have heard that Xplore Mobile is Manitoba’s newest mobile carrier, launching our wireless service for all Manitobans later this Fall,” reads an excerpt from the letter.
“It was announced as part of that arrangement, that certain customers would be transferred to Xplore Mobile.”
The letter goes on to explain that subscribers will be invited to visit an Xplore Mobile store in either Winnipeg or Brandon, Manitoba.
Though the carrier will transition subscriber SIM cards, subscribers will be able to keep their phone numbers.
However, subscribers will be required to choose a rate plan of “equal or better value.”
“Right now, the customers who are being transitioned will remain on the Bell MTS network,” said an Xplore Mobile spokesperson, in a phone call with MobileSyrup.
“Xplore Mobile will have its own network, but at launch, everywhere we don’t have signal, they will be on the Bell MTS network.”
“For customers that are being transitioned, we want to make sure that they don’t feel like they’re being treated unfairly,” said the representative.
Once they’ve received a letter — and once Xplore Mobile opens its retail locations — Bell subscribers will have until March 31st, 2019 to swap their SIM cards and activate a new plan.
It’s worth noting that a Virgin Mobile subscriber in Manitoba shared an October 11th, 2018 letter from their carrier with MobileSyrup informing the subscriber that their account had been chosen to transition to Xplore Mobile.
“To address recent changes in the Manitoba telecommunications marketplace, the federal Competition Bureau has provided for the transfer of a number of wireless accounts to Xplore Mobile, another mobile carrier in Manitoba.”
“No action is required from you at this time,” reads an excerpt from the Virgin Mobile letter.
“In the next few days, you’ll receive a welcome package outlining the steps necessary to complete your account transfer.”