Originally Posted by CoryB
Figured we should start a thread to contain the discussion of the Bell (BCE) purchase of MTS.
The top concern from consumers is what this will mean for wireless. Currently the popular MTS Flat Rate wireless data plan is $86.50 a month (before discounts) while the comparable Bell wireless plan is $165 a month, a 52% increase. While that MTS plan might be a little higher as it includes unlimited voice and national calling it was selected to best match the Bell plan.
Bell is also planning a $1 billion investment in infrastructure upgrades over five years once the deal closes. This is announced as bringing fiber to the home (ftth) and LTE-Advanced. No specific details of the rollout where announced though. As these upgrades are designed to drive more revenue they will likely focus on pockets with higher average annual incomes first and move to lower income levels over time.
The purchase also includes a transfer of one-third of the MTS wireless customers to Telus. No details on how customers will be selected for this part of the deal has been announced.
Part of the deal proposes to make Winnipeg the western headquarters for Bell MTS West. It is not known what impact this will have on office space. Separate from the existing MTS offices in downtown Winnipeg there is generally a lot of office space available for lease. It is thought that any increases in staff levels would not warrant the construction of a new office. If anything the new company might add additional leased space in an existing or already proposed building near the existing MTS campus.
The final part worth mentioning is the sale is agreed to by both Bell and MTS however it is subject to three separate approvals: the Competition Bureau (part of Industry Canada), a separate review by Industry Canada regarding wireless spectrum ownership, and the CRTC as telecommunication services are a regulated industry in Canada and fall under them.
The deal is expected to close is six to nine months, pending approval from the three regulator reviews.
It sure didn't take the PCs long to get their mandate of selling off Manitoba business, now did it? I would imagine that Hydro is next.
This is brutal for Manitobans. Expect that your services will stay the same or even go down and your plans will go up. MTS provided some of the most reasonable rates in the country. With Bell taking over, it will give Shaw and other providers the ability to hike up rates. I am not in support of this whatsoever. At least with MTS, you have a guarantee that there is continued employment and positions available for Manitobans.
Nor do I buy this whole "western headquarters" business. Bell has a total of 4,200 employees in Western Canada of their 55,000+ strong workforce. I would bet a paycheque that somehow, the deal to bring in the western headquarters will fall through. If it happens, great. I would never deny more jobs for Manitobans, but I am not holding my breath.