The Bundle Battle

by Jordan Richardson on May 3, 2010

As competition stacks up in Canada, it looks like telecommunications bundles are going to be the order of the day. Almost all of the major providers are offering some sort of bundle service that boxes up internet, wireless, home phone, and television service under one pricing roof.

Rogers Communication Inc. offers bundles that provides a discount of 15% for customers who go with cable, internet and home phone service. Bell Canada’s bundle shaves $5 off for each additional service added.

The bundle game bears witness to the fact that telecommunications companies are growing and offering several new services. Once upon a time, a company like Shaw Communications Inc. would only be in the television business. Today, Shaw is gearing towards releasing its own wireless service.

“This concept is very new,” said Brahm Eiley, president of Convergence Consulting Group. “There is this battle about to begin for the entire household.”

When the cable companies burst into the home phone market a few years ago, these sorts of bundles became quite common. Fast-forward to today and all of the major providers in Canada offer some form of what’s being called the “four-play.” Bell, Telus and Rogers all offer bundles of wireless, home phone, internet, and television.

Both Vidéotron and Shaw are getting set to launch wireless services this summer, so that will increase the bundle possibilities for customers across the country.

These bundles could, in theory at least, help break apart the iron grip currently enjoyed by Rogers, Telus and Bell. With two larger players involved in significant bundle discounting, customers will have more options for serious savings and may drift to newer pastures. These bundles also give Vidéotron and Shaw a leg up over some of the new wireless providers, like WIND Mobile and Mobilicity, because it gives the companies a broader service menu.

There’s reason to believe that this could be a substantial godsend for Vidéotron and Shaw. In 2005, the two companies introduced home phone services alongside their existing internet and television services. The result was that about 25% of residential phone markets in their territories made the switch. Adding wireless to the mix should drive the figure higher.

If the mêlée over bundles is going to be as momentous as many market analysts are saying it will be, we could finally see that shift in telecommunications control in Canada.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS >, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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