Mobile's New Players
Montreal-based vidéotron, which acquired spectrum for Quebec and eastern Ontario in last year’s auction, has already launched a mobile phone offering, bundling it neatly in the various packages it offers to clients.
To do so, it is currently a corporate client of Rogers, with a mobile virtual network operation. However, it is currently working towards putting together its own network. Whether it will offer more than one brand has not yet been announced.
The new network will extend across Quebec and into eastern Ontario including the Ottawa area. The company expects to spend about $400 million dollars on top of the $554 million it paid to acquire wireless spectrum, and expects to create 1,000 new jobs over the next two years.
“Videotron will make an unprecedented offer in 2010,” says Marc Labelle, Videotron’s general manager corporate communications. (To date, Videotron has not named a specific mobile president or mobile senior executive.)
Videotron’s complete 3G ultra high speed packet access network is expected to take four years to complete.
Videotron has chosen Nokia Siemens Networks as its supplier for the next five years. NSN will provide ‘Generation 3.75’ base stations that are smaller and easier to install than conventional facilities, and allow remote management to add or move bandwidth without sending personnel to the site.
“Our network will be designed using the latest technology and it will be readily upgradeable, meaning a fast transition to 4G,” Robert Dépatie, president and CEO of Vidéotron, announced recently.
In the meantime, its mobile phone offering is available in boutiques within some Club Vidéotron stores and in mall kiosks. As of March 31, 2009, Videotron had already activated 68,015 wireless phones.
Montreal agency Sid Lee is handling its advertising with media bought in-house.