Videotron Launching 3G+ Thursday

by Jordan Richardson on September 8, 2010

Videotron’s quest to launch its 3G+ network has been anything but straightforward. It was initially set for launch in May of 2010, but delays and problems forced the company to reschedule the launch for sometime in the summer. When that launch didn’t come to fruition, many analysts began wondering if it would ever happen.

Now, Quebecor Media and Videotron appear ready to go. A media advisory entitled “Quebecor Media and Videotron Invite You to the Dawn of a New Era” reveals that Pierre Karl Péladeau, President & CEO of Quebecor Media, and Robert Dépatie, President & CEO of Videotron, are launching Videotron’s 3G+ network on Thursday.

The September 9 launch will be held “simultaneously in Montréal, at Entrepôts Dominion, 3968 Saint-Ambroise St., and in Québec City, at the Québec City Convention Centre, 1000 René-Lévesque Blvd. E.”

The network is set to cover 90% of the population of the province of Quebec, says the Montreal Gazette.

The long-awaited arrival of 3G+ for Videotron is also expected to spark a bit of a pricing war between the company and the other carriers jockeying for position in the province. Most analysts seem to think that Quebecor is in good position to give Telus, Bell and Rogers something to think about in Quebec, as reports about the network’s “robustness” seem to be gaining ground.

Still, Videotron has a lot riding on the launch. With the aforementioned delays already presenting PR problems, any flaws in the network will be seized upon by the competition immediately. The network’s launch has to be perfect, which is why Quebecor and Videotron are making such an event out of it.

“We’re not expecting any problems,” said Marc Labelle, Videotron’s director of corporate communications. “We’re expecting the network to work from Day 1. We’re going to deliver the best network and the best services, and it’s going to get even better.”

This idea of the best network may come from the delays, as it’s thought that Quebecor and Videotron’s extensive testing of the network accounts for the setbacks. If the testing proves worthwhile, consumers and analysts will quickly forget all about the delays. But if there are flaws in the launch, questions about whether or not the wait was worth it will be hard to swallow for Videotron and Quebecor.

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