Continuing their expansion in Canada, Québecor and its subsidiary Vidéotron have just invested nearly $10 million to acquire new 5G wireless spectrum licenses, in Manitoba in the 600 MHz band and in Québec in the 3,500 MHz band.
This is “again demonstrating their determination to deliver on their promise to build out a reliable wireless network for the benefit of Canadian consumers,” the companies said in a press release.
The acquisition was completed following the auction of the residual spectrum licenses, which concluded yesterday, with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada announcing the provisionally successful bidders. Vidéotron is thus increasing its wireless service capacity and paving the way to an expansion of its wireless infrastructure outside Québec. In 2021, the company acquired, at a cost of $830 million, 294 blocks of spectrum in the 3500 MHz band in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and Québec.
“We have a clear objective: to bring healthy competition to the Canadian wireless market by breaking the oligopoly,” said Pierre Karl Péladeau, president and chief executive officer of Québecor. “Buying additional spectrum to follow up on the potential acquisition of Freedom Mobile is a key element of our business plan for extending our robust, powerful wireless network outside Québec and offering Canadian consumers better services at better prices, as we have been doing in Québec for more than 15 years.”
According to Vidéotron, as a result of its competitive pricing, Québec was the first region of the country to see lower wireless prices. Vidéotron reduced the cost of mobile plans in Québec to 35-40 per cent less than elsewhere in Canada. Québecor now wants to replicate this success in other provinces by becoming the fourth major wireless service provider.