This past week was a busy one for telecom news in Canada. Government bodies announced high-speed internet projects, companies completed planned network expansions, and the Rogers-Shaw merger dominated headlines.
As a recap, here’s almost everything that happened in Canada’s telecom sector this week.
Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri is confident the company’s deal with Shaw will close. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Staffieri spoke on selling Freedom Mobile to Québecor’s Vidéotron. “Québecor will have a better cost structure than they would have had on their own.”
Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne laid out conditions that Québecor would need to implement for Champagne to accept Vidéotron’s acquisition of Freedom Mobile. The first is that Vidéotron must hold the acquired wireless licenses for 10 years. The second condition states wireless bills must drop by 20 percent, keeping in line with wireless prices seen in Quebec. In a press release, Québecor’s CEO said the company “intends to accept the conditions.”
In more merger news, the second round of meditative talks between Rogers, Shaw, and the Competition Bureau has failed. The Bureau filed to block the merger between the two companies, stating it would reduce competition. The Bureau also hasn’t reacted favourably to Rogers’ move to sell Freedom Mobile to Québecor. While Rogers says this will address concerns, the Competition Bureau has not gotten on board. The parties will now head to a hearing next month.
SaskTel has expanded its 5G network to several rural communities in Saskatchewan, including Crooked River, Quill Lake, and Cut Knife. Residents and businesses in the area will be able to access speeds up to 1.2Gbps.
Telus has completed PureFibre work in Leduc, Alberta, under a $45 million project. Connecting 13,000 homes and 2,000 businesses, residents will have access to faster upload and download speeds and various other features.
Bell has launched a new program focusing on funding projects that utilize its 5G and fibre networks to deliver new technological solutions. Named Bell Ventures, companies that receive investments under the program can access Bell’s “technological expertise” and use its network for cases.
Rogers has added speed caps to its 5G+ plans. Introduced earlier this year, the plans utilize the 3500 MHz spectrum. While similar plans were presented by Telus and Bell as well, Rogers is the last of the Big Three to add speed caps of 250Mbps or 1Gbps.
Telus and its international faction have acquired U.S. mobile app company WillowTree. The $1.2 billion (USD) deal will see the company absorbing WillowTree’s offices in 13 countries worldwide.
The Governments of Canada and Ontario have invested $56 million in high-speed internet projects for eastern Ontario. Bell and Cogeco have been tasked with projects that will benefit 16,000 homes once completed. The investment is part of a July 2021 partnership between the two governments.
Koodo has launched ‘Pick Your Perk’ plans, allowing customers to select one free add-on to their plans. There are five options for customers to choose from, including options to roll over data or unlimited international SMS.