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  #1  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 6:58 PM
CoryB CoryB is offline
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Bell Purchase of MTS

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.
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  #2  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 7:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryB View Post
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.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 7:39 PM
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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.
MTS has been private for almost 2 decades.
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  #4  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 7:43 PM
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MTS has been private for almost 2 decades.
The same thing happens whenever Air Canada comes up in the news. It amazes me how decades after they went private, so many people still think that AC and MTS are crowns.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 7:45 PM
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The same thing happens whenever Air Canada comes up in the news. It amazes me how decades after they went private, so many people still think that AC and MTS are crowns.
Yeah, I'm not sure how that slips by people.
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  #6  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 7:46 PM
Festivus Festivus is offline
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Saskatchewan stands alone.

MTS was the only reason Manitoba has good rates (well...good for Canada), just like Sasktel is the only reason Saskatchewan has good rates/coverage).

I hope the CRTC would deny this deal for anti-competitive reasons...but we all know the CRTC is stacked with Bell/Rogers/Telus execs.

Go here to complain to the competition bureau: http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/e...%C3%89T-83KK9Y

And go here to complain to the CRTC to try and stop the sale: https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/rapi...lt-Defaut.aspx
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  #7  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 7:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Festivus View Post
Saskatchewan stands alone.

MTS was the only reason Manitoba has good rates
That's already been disproven on this website, actually.
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  #8  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 8:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jmt18325 View Post
That's already been disproven on this website, actually.
I didn't claim MTS was a crown, I know it was sold off years ago. But it was an independent competitor that will no longer be independent, and thus will not be able to force Bell's prices down (or Rogers, etc). Why else do you think Bell and Rogers and Telus charge less in SK/MB? It's because they have competitors that want customers and price accordingly.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 8:17 PM
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It's been determined that Telus likely drove down prices in Manitoba with their cheap Talk Winnipeg deals, not MTS. $30/month unlimited talk and text, which people are still riding to this day. MTS added the 4th competitor in this province, which of course helped as you've mentioned. As Telus would be lowering prices to compete with MTS and the others.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 8:19 PM
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I havent done my own research but an online article (I believe it was the Freep) compared MTS to Bell prices and they were virtually the same.

MTS also wars quite often with SHAW for home services where it is SHAW that is the aggressor. Other cell companies too because they want to claw market share away from MTS by under cutting MTS.

MTS' mandate is to make money. They havent been keeping rates low just to be nice to customers.

Internally, the belief is early 2017.
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  #11  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 8:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Festivus View Post
I didn't claim MTS was a crown, I know it was sold off years ago.
When this deal was announced (yesterday) I'm pretty sure that Greg Selinger was still the premier.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 8:21 PM
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I havent done my own research but an online article (I believe it was the Freep) compared MTS to Bell prices and they were virtually the same.
Sure, but the price of Bell service in Ontario is anything but.
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  #13  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 8:24 PM
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There is lots of churn in Manitoba. Its a big problem. Unless everyone winks at each other and raises their rates to match, the fact we are cheap will work in our favour.

Whenever I tell anyone where I work, I am provided a laundry list of complaints and most of them are simply about how they want more stuff for less money and how smart the company would be if they would just give them the best service for little to no money.
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  #14  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 8:31 PM
OTA in Winnipeg OTA in Winnipeg is offline
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Originally Posted by Festivus View Post
Saskatchewan stands alone.

MTS was the only reason Manitoba has good rates (well...good for Canada), just like Sasktel is the only reason Saskatchewan has good rates/coverage).

I hope the CRTC would deny this deal for anti-competitive reasons...but we all know the CRTC is stacked with Bell/Rogers/Telus execs.

Go here to complain to the competition bureau: http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/e...%C3%89T-83KK9Y

And go here to complain to the CRTC to try and stop the sale: https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/rapi...lt-Defaut.aspx
Given that the mandate of the federal government was to have at least 4 players in each market, why would they ever approve of such a pairing? This will certainly change:
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  #15  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 8:43 PM
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^ Those non-SK/MB numbers are obscene
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  #16  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 8:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jmt18325 View Post
MTS has been private for almost 2 decades.
I'm well aware that MTS is privately owned. I said selling off a Manitoba business. That does not refer to a crown corporation. My point is that MTS was a Manitoba-based business and no matter how you slice it, selling a business that is based in Manitoba could have detrimental effects over the long term being owned by an Eastern Canadian Corp. They don't owe anything to the people of Manitoba.
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  #17  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 8:51 PM
CoryB CoryB is offline
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Originally Posted by Festivus View Post
But it was an independent competitor that will no longer be independent, and thus will not be able to force Bell's prices down (or Rogers, etc). Why else do you think Bell and Rogers and Telus charge less in SK/MB? It's because they have competitors that want customers and price accordingly.
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Originally Posted by Festivus View Post
MTS was the only reason Manitoba has good rates (well...good for Canada), just like Sasktel is the only reason Saskatchewan has good rates/coverage).
Incorrect. In both MB and SK Telus has extremely limited coverage. It used to be in Manitoba that they had no coverage past the Perimeter. In order to offset their limited coverage Telus low balled the prices forcing Rogers and MTS to match.

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Originally Posted by Festivus View Post
I hope the CRTC would deny this deal for anti-competitive reasons...but we all know the CRTC is stacked with Bell/Rogers/Telus execs.
Incorrect again. The CRTC is not reviewing the deal for competitive reasons, that would be Industry Canada through the group formerly known as the Competition Bureau. It is one of the three regulator reviews the BCE purchase of MTS is subject to approval from. The other two are Industry Canada regarding the allocation of wireless spectrum and the CRTC which will review the detail to make sure it complies with things like the Wireless Code of Conduct, access to communication for people with disabilities, and the new "skinny cable". If you want to complain you need to send your concerns to the correct group.

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Originally Posted by jmt18325 View Post
Sure, but the price of Bell service in Ontario is anything but. (the same as MTS)
Correct, for wired Internet MTS currently offers fiber customers 100 down, 15 up service for $140/month. In Ontario Bell is offering fiber customers 150 down, 50 up for $100/month. Both prices taken from respective web sites earlier today.
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Old Posted May 3, 2016, 8:59 PM
CoryB CoryB is offline
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Originally Posted by OTA in Winnipeg View Post
Given that the mandate of the federal government was to have at least 4 players in each market, why would they ever approve of such a pairing?
What needs to happen is a presentation needs to be prepared and presented to Industry Canada x 2, once on the competition side and once on the wireless spectrum allocation side. Both are concerns. The Bell deal will limit possible entry of a fourth carrier into the Manitoba market as all the spectrum will be controlled by Bell, Telus and Rogers. This means that if a fourth carrier does start to gain traction on a national level it will be near impossible for them to enter the Manitoba market.

A strong remedy to this issue would be for Bell to transfer all spectrum for new entrants and 1/3 of the existing MTS wireless customers to Wind Mobile, a Shaw company, instead of Telus. This would maintain the presence of a fourth wireless carrier in Manitoba and be an effective way of addressing concerned at both Industry Canada reviews.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 8:59 PM
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Telus has great coverage in Sask. In fact they use SaskTel's towers. Bell does too. I think Rogers just switched over as well.
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  #20  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 9:17 PM
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^ Manitoba was a weird gap in Telus' national coverage. 5 years ago if you had a Telus smartphone you pretty much had to be within sight of Winnipeg to get reception. It was literally just the green blob around Winnipeg.



They've really stepped it up though... Telus' 4G coverage is still far weaker than Rogers/MTS, but the most populated parts of Manitoba are now covered. It's certainly going to be a viable option for people living in Winnipeg who don't spend tons of time out in rural Manitoba. (Much of cottage country is covered)
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