Are Videotron about to expand their services nationwide?

by Andrew Roach on January 17, 2014

After Wind Mobile pulled out of the spectrum auction on Tuesday, many people believe that the government’s aim to have a fourth national competitor were virtually dead and buried.

However, there is growing suspicion that Videotron could emerge as a surprise contender to fill their slot as the Quebec based networks weighs up its option over the next few weeks.

It’s thought that the network is perhaps one of just a handful of companies with the funds and resources capable of challenging the likes of Rogers, Bell and Telus.

So far, Videotron has only covered areas throughout Quebec but the firm is one of the largest and most popular mobile providers in the province with many of their services adapted for the French speaking residents in the area.

Much of the speculation surrounding Videotron’s expansion rests with how the company performs in the 700MHz spectrum auction which began on Tuesday.

It’s believed that Videotron’s parent company Quebecor has set aside a large amounts of funds dedicated to buying large amounts of spectrum meaning that they are well-placed to outbid much of the competition.

If the company can do this, then they could well be in a position to set low domestic rates for their giving them the opportunity to be a threat to the Big Three networks currently dominating the domestic industry.

It’s a model that has been deployed before with French based provider Free Mobile having enjoyed remarkable success across the world after deploying a similar model not too long ago.

Videotron’s expansion doesn’t just hinge on the spectrum auction but also with the fate of Mobilicty as they are thought to be one of several bidders in the assets auction for the struggling provider’s assets.

Quebecor are interested in the licenses that Mobilicity have outside of Quebec and have even signed an NDA to ensure that information about their bids remains confidential and away from rival bidders.

At the moment, executives at both Videotron and Quebecor have remained silent over the prospects of expanding into other provinces but they have stated that moving into new areas could be possible if it made financial sense.

With Videotron being a big fish in an increasingly small pond, a plan to expand nationwide could be a move that pays divided and remains one of the last hopes for a fourth national wireless provider in the Canadian telecom market.

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