Bell to buy MTS for $3.9 billion (approved) - Page 3 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #31 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-05, 12:31 PM
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Does anyone know if this means that Bell might expand Fibe TV (anytime soon) into the older established neighborhoods where currently Fibe TV is not offered?
We were told that Fibe would be available 3 years ago. There are no signs of Fibe or any new Bell infrastructure to this day. In other news, Bell has recently announced that it is upgrading FTTN served areas in Toronto to FTTH. That doesn't mean Fibe won't be made available to underserved areas in Manitoba, it just means that Bell is being very selective, possibly politically motivated with it's upgrades.
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post #32 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-05, 12:58 PM
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stecle: I guarantee that this deal will stand
I wish the shareholders agreed with you; current price of $37.27 suggests there is lots of doubt.

Dave S.
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post #33 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-05, 07:19 PM
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All the major players know each other well. I guarantee you that there were conversations between the CRTC and BELL long before this was announced.
Perhaps this is why MTS sold Allstream. I doubt the CRTC would have let this go through if they hadn't.

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post #34 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-05, 09:22 PM
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I bet Bell was behind the new MTS ceo in the first place. Get him in to eliminate Allstream and then take over.

We all need to raise our voices about this merger!
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post #35 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-06, 12:56 AM
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Bell's CEO said on the conference call that he didn't think the deal would be approved if MTS hadn't sold Allstream since that is a major competitor to Bell in the business market.

@mismag there's no conspiracy here - Allstream had been sold by the previous MTS CEO, but that buyer was denied by the Feds on national security grounds. Allstream had been up for sale for years.
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post #36 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-06, 12:54 PM
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Preparing Reponse to BCE Purchase of MTS

Just wanted to share that I am trying to gather information with the thought towards submitting a formal response to the proposed BCE purchase of MTS. I have reached out to a couple people that aren't service provider companies that made formal submissions to the CRTC on the Talk Broadband hearings.

The BCE purchase is expected to have three separate reviews.

1. Does the sale change the competitive landscape in Manitoba?
2. Does the sale conform to the government direction on wireless spectrum allocation?
3. Will the company after the sale continue to follow CRTC regulations?

My current thinking is the first two are where there is an opportunity to oppose specific aspects of the sale as follows:

1. Manitoba currently has some of the lowest monthly cell phone rates in Canada. We would like to see this continue and feel the best avenue is for BCE to transfer 1/3 of the wireless customers to a new entrant (aka not Telus, Rogers or Bell) instead of the proposed transfer to Telus. Further, we are proposing that BCE either transfer ownership of the wireless spectrum previously set aside for new entrants with the previously mentioned wireless customers or to return that spectrum to Industry Canada (name to be confirmed) for a future reallocation.

2. The federal government felt it was prudent to set aside wireless spectrum for new entrants to the industry in an attempt to enhance the competitive landscape in the wireless industry and possibly establish a fourth national carrier. The proposed purchase of MTS by BCE would concentrate all wireless spectrum in Manitoba across the three incumbent nation carriers, Telus, Rogers and Bell. To allow this deal to proceed as proposed would create a significant barrier to a new wireless provider being able to offer services in Manitoba in both the short and long term. With this in mind we are requesting that the wireless spectrum set aside for new entrants be returned for a future reallocation, and that this would include both rounds of spectrum allocation including those which can now be transferred without restrictions.


I am posting this here as a means to start trying to gather feedback from others so a strong unified voice can make a presentation and cover the different points.

The reason I have focused in on that specific area is based on past CRTC and Industry Canada rulings it is one that is both meaningful to Manitoba residents and one where the concerns may be given serious consideration.

I know that the relatively limited broadband in rural areas is a big issue but until the Talk Broadband findings are issues by the CRTC there is currently limited areas to work with there as even providing broadband in those areas is heavily at the providers discretion.

I also know that the broadband data caps and the fees Bell charges for unlimited wired broadband are a concern. As it is not a competition issue and not specific to the wireless spectrum this would fall to the CRTC. As Bell is currently able to operate with these caps in Ontario it is unlikely the CRTC would issue a different ruling for the MTS deal.

I am very much open to other ideas, comments, research links, etc. I would also invite anyone interested in helping prepare these solutions to let me know. I also figured this would be the best venue to start this as lots of the active members from other "Communities" are here and it is a more appropriate forum than using one from the company.
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post #37 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-06, 01:15 PM
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First Allstream was dragging done MTS operations as a whole which is why it was sold. MTS purchased Allstream when it had some ambitions on becoming a national wireless player. When reality and the costs set in MTS walked away from moving onto the national stage and no longer really had a core purpose for owning Allstream.

In terms of the wireless side, based on the facts I would say Wind starting operations in Manitoba ever is an extremely long shot, to the point the BCE purchase being blocked by the government is a better possibility. My reasons is that on Dec 15, 2015 Wind sold their wireless spectrum rights in several smaller markets, including Manitoba. On Dec 16, 2015 the Shaw deal to purchase Wind was announced. The timing between those deals suggests there is a strong connection between them. The rights Wind sold in Manitoba actually went to MTS.

The other side of the wireless issue that should be a concern is the BCE deal would result in all spectrum in Manitoba being concentrated in only Bell, Telus and Rogers. There would be no spectrum available for a fourth wireless provider whether it is Wind or someone else going forward. The reason for this is that MTS was allowed to acquire the new entrant spectrum as it was not a large national provider. The first of the two spectrum auction blocks can currently be transferred without restrictions. This deal could have a long term negative impact on wireless completion in Manitoba.

On the Fiber side, MTS has run FTTH for more than five years in new construction but not turned a lot of it on. Their current pricing and service models mean there is limited competitive reason for MTS to turn on this fiber as the relatively new copper can provider the same service level short of the $140/month 100 Mbps fiber internet service. The cost of that service alone significantly limits consumer interest .

It will definitely be interesting going forward.
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post #38 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-06, 06:36 PM
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I kind of wonder what the chances of this getting approved are. To be honest I like MTS being the company it is today. They are agile and very easy to do business with especially since they got great social media teams, probably one of the best in Canada. I am kind of hoping that the merger won't go through as I see it reducing competition. Just my thoughts.

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post #39 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-06, 08:12 PM
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If I had MTS & MTD Fibe TV the thing that would worry me is what changes would be made to Fibe TV?

Would prices change?
What channels might be dropped or added from/to the line up?

I'm not sure what channels MTS Fibe TV carries compared to Bell Fibe TV line, but assuming this gets approved, it'll be at least 1-2 years before we see any changes?

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post #40 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-07, 12:40 AM
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I currently live in the Narol Postal District (R1C) of the RM of St Clements. Our home currently is serviced by Shaw Cable (ex-Greater Winnipeg Cablevision area) and MTS's classic copper network. I'm wondering if there will be any investment to upgrade our area to be at a minimum classified as part of the enhanced copper network.
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post #41 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-07, 06:08 PM
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My guess is that it may depend on how old the copper plant is and its condition in your area.

MTS back in the 80's replaced a lot of the 30-40 year old telephone cable in Winnipeg due to its poor condition. The plant you have may be newer (no paper insulation or lead splices) and expected to last longer. It may not be replaced until its either so bad they have no spare pairs or its reached the end of its financial write-off and they can start taking deductions again by putting in new cable.
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post #42 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-07, 07:14 PM
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I doubt if Bell even knows what it will do yet. If Ontario is any indication, it will likely have nothing to do with the condition of the existing services. They will upgrades areas that yield the most profit and the best political advantage. Areas with FTTN could get upgraded to FTTH while others that have unreliable DSL and POTS could get nothing.
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post #43 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-09, 12:13 PM
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In terms of the BCE purchase of MTS being denied on competition grounds, outside of the issues on the wireless side there would be no change in the amount of completion. The wireless side is more complex though.

In terms of the type and selection of channels offered under BCE, if anything it would improve under BCE. As one of the three main channel operators in Canada BCE is subject to carriage regulations that do not apply to MTS. Also with single channel Pick and Pay being a mandatory regulation around the time the BCE deal is expected to close it would be a non-issue. Outside of the 4K channels which MTS does not currently carry and FXX, MTS offers every channel I can think of which is authorized for distribution in Canada, at least on the English language side.

In terms of a fiber build out under BCE, I would expect wave 1 would be turning on the existing FTTH which is already installed but not currently used. After that the rollouts will probably start in the neighbourhoods with the highest publically reported family incomes and move down the list until either the capital expenditure runs out or the ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) is not seeing increases compared to the existing VDSL services.

In terms of cslusarc and his "classic" network, would it be correct to say you can get broadband (high speed) Internet from MTS but not tv? All current TV eligible addresses are services by VDSL2 or fiber except in select rural communities.
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post #44 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-09, 02:59 PM
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BCE intends to invest $1 billion in the five years after the transaction closes to:
•Make Gigabit Fibe Internet, offering average access speeds up to 20 times faster than what MTS customers receive today, available within 12 months after the transaction closes,
•Expand the mobile LTE network and make improvements to mobile data speeds that will double our customer's average download speeds, and
•Provide access to Fibe TV, North America's most innovative TV platform.
I thought I would put Bell's press release into context.

MTS' 2015 annual report shows capital expenditures were just over $1 billion in the last 5 years, so Bell's level of spending in MTS would remain about the same as the past.

Bell's first step in making Gigabit Fibe Internet available would be to enable gigabit speeds on the existing FTTH connections that MTS installed over the last 5 years ($125 million for 120,000 homes in about 20 Manitoba communities.) See thread It's hard to say if Bell plans to rewire Winnipeg for FTTH.

Both MTS and Bell have stopped doing new FTTN installations since the cost is just as high as FTTH. Bell are tweaking their FTTN networks in Ontario to support 4HD TV streams and seem to be more flexible in allowing pair bonding for higher internet speeds (e.g. 50 Mbps.)

It's unlikely that they would install new nodes to service the few "dead spots" in Winnipeg. They may be able use pair bonding to increase the reach of an existing node.

cslusarc, I doubt BELL/MTS would install FTTN in your area since it is semi-rural and distance from the node would be a problem.

Last edited by Dr.Dave; 2016-05-09 at 03:14 PM.
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post #45 of 138 (permalink) Old 2016-05-09, 03:08 PM
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MTS annual general meeting and Q1 quarterly report will be on Wednesday May 11th online so I'm sure this sale will be mentioned more then.

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Currently with MTS(All services TV,Internet, Home phone and Cell phone)
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