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  Topic Review (Newest First)
2017-11-07 02:59 PM
Dr.Dave Bell MTS moving forward in Manitoba
  • Bell MTS continues to roll out new broadband fibre and wireless service in Manitoba as part of Bell's 5-year, $1-billion capital investment plan for the province.
  • Bell Fibe Internet, offering download speeds up to 940 Mbps, is now available in parts of Beausejour, Blumenort, Brandon, Carberry, Dauphin, Dugald, Gimli, Killarney, La Salle, Lorette, Minnedosa, Mitchell, Morden, Neepawa, Niverville, Oakbank, Oakbluff, Selkirk, Steinbach, Stonewall, The Pas, Thompson, and Winkler, in addition to Fibe service already available in some Winnipeg locations.
  • Approximately 85% of the Bell MTS wireless network has been upgraded to LTE-A capability, including in Winnipeg, Brandon, Portage La Prairie, Selkirk, Steinbach, Gimli, Morden, Winkler, Churchill, Thompson, Flin Flon, Falcon Lake, East St. Paul, and Grand Beach. Next week, Bell will also complete continuous wireless coverage along the critical Highway 75 corridor linking Winnipeg to the US border at Emerson.
  • Bell will become the only carrier to offer cellular service for Apple Watch Series 3 in Manitoba beginning in early December.
  • This month, Bell MTS will introduce Fibe TV service in selected areas of the province, including exclusive television innovations like Restart, which lets you watch a show already in progress, or up to 30 hours after it started, from the beginning.
Source: BCE reports third quarter 2017 results
2017-06-13 10:22 PM
Dr.Dave I just visited the Telus link I posted earlier and there is much more information available now, including one question I always had.
How were people selected to move to TELUS?
The majority of selected customers are wireless only, but to ensure a balanced marketplace, there are also some customers with additional services.
I also visited the Rogers site and it auto-detected my region, giving me this message:
Recent telecom changes in Manitoba do not impact our customers. Our Manitoban customers will to continue to enjoy the same reliable, high-quality service they have come to expect from our world-class network.
They obviously sorted out the Rogers/MTS network sharing agreement.
2017-04-24 10:59 AM
Dr.Dave I visited the Telus web site last week for other reasons and got the following geo-targeted page for MB in preparation for some MTS wireless customers being transferred to Telus.

TELUS welcomes MTS customers to the family.
As an MTS customer, will I have to change my plan? How would this impact my services?
We know this is a big change for MTS customers. We want to make the transition to TELUS as easy and seamless as possible, without disrupting your existing products or services. You’ll pay the same price for a plan that is the same or better than your current MTS plan. Plus, you can keep your same phone number.
Selected MTS customers will be notified by mail that they are moving to TELUS, and will be provided with detailed information to complete the move. Until the transition, your service and rate plan will remain the same with Bell MTS.

This isn't mentioned in the FAQ, but Bell & Telus share cell towers, so coverage will be the same or better for both MTS and Telus customers.

I already noticed the improvement on the weekend when I was talking to someone who has a Telus cell phone. The voice quality has always been overly compressed, but yesterday they must have been on an MTS tower because the quality was almost indistinguishable from land-line quality.
2017-03-18 12:11 PM
Therefore $20.3977 + 0.3311 x $58.21 = $40.00
That should be $20.3977 + 0.3311 x $59.21 = $40.00.

I can't explain why the MTS share price traded above $40. If you didn't already surrender your shares, you would get the cash and BCE stock in the proportion you listed. BCE closed at $58.30, so $20.3977 + 0.3311 x $58.30= $39.70. The price of the BCE stock you get will continue to fluctuate, like any other stock.

I don't understand why the MTS stock traded above $39.70 unless Bell is buying up any remaining stock at a small premium to save the administrative cost of issuing the cheques and small odd-lot share allocations.

MTS shares will be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) effective on March 20, 2017, so they won't be traded after that date.
2017-03-18 11:00 AM
dschell_2000 Dr. Dave seems to have a good understanding of how the market price of MTS shares are affected by this deal. I don't.
MBT closed yesterday at $40.37.
The announcement says: $20.3977 in cash and 0.3311 of a BCE share. BCE closed at $58.30 but the announcement says they will use the 20 day volume weighted price as of Apr 29, 2016, which was $58.21.
Therefore $20.3977 + 0.3311 x $58.21 = $40.00

So where did the market price of $40.37 come from?

Dave S.
2017-03-17 11:00 AM
Dr.Dave Excerpts from Press Release:
BCE completes acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services: Bell MTS launches in Manitoba today, activates province-wide investment and innovation plan

Bell today announced the launch of Bell MTS following the completion of its acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS). Uniting the local and national strengths of MTS and Bell Canada, the new Bell MTS will bring unprecedented investment and innovation in broadband communications to Manitoba, including the rollout of next-generation Fibe services and Canada's fastest-ranked wireless network.

Bell MTS will roll out a 5-year, $1 billion broadband network expansion plan for Manitoba's cities, traffic corridors, rural locations and remote communities. Winnipeg will also serve as Bell's headquarters in Western Canada.

Bell MTS will be led by Dan McKeen, Vice Chair, Bell MTS & Western Canada, who will also continue to serve in a national role as Senior VP, Small Business.

A Bell executive experienced in operational integration and the efficient delivery of broadband services to urban, rural and remote communities alike, Mr. McKeen was most recently Bell's Vice Chair, Bell Aliant. He was appointed in 2014 to lead the successful integration of Bell Aliant, the #1 communications services provider in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, into Bell's national operations.

"I'm excited to announce that we've successfully delivered our first Bell MTS infrastructure project today: New 4G LTE wireless service for the town of Churchill," said Mr. McKeen...will soon be connected with new broadband fibre connections. It's a great example of the Bell MTS plan to efficiently deliver the outstanding TV, Internet, mobile and business services to Manitobans."

Bell MTS will introduce the superior Fibe TV experience, the fastest Internet with Gigabit Fibe, the fastest-ranked 4G LTE wireless available, Bell Media's popular CraveTV, and the most extensive national data hosting, connectivity and cloud services for government and business customers.

As part of its launch plan, Bell MTS will maintain current MTS wireless price plans for at least 12 months from today. Integrating operations at a total of 69 Bell and MTS retail stores across the province, Bell MTS will offer the full range of MTS and Bell wireless, TV, Internet and home phone services. That includes MTS Ultimate TV and Bell Satellite TV, as well as enhanced services like Fibe TV and Fibe Internet, and exclusive products like the Wireless 4K PVR and the HomeHub 3000 residential gateway as they become available. Bell MTS wireless services will also become available at The Source, Tbooth wireless and WirelessWave locations throughout Manitoba.

Starting today, CraveTV is available to MTS Ultimate TV subscribers who can sign up for Canada's fast-growing video streaming service and get the first 30 days free.

In addition to Churchill, which will also be connected with Gigabit Fibe Internet and Fibe TV services, Bell MTS has announced these initial projects in its Manitoba capital investment program:
  • Sponsorship of Winnipeg's downtown Innovation Alley hub for students, creators and entrepreneurs including superfast LTE-Advanced mobile and Gigabit Fibe Internet services.
  • Continuous broadband wireless coverage along Manitoba's critical north-south transportation corridor, Highways 6 and 75 from Manitoba's "Hub of the North" Thompson to the US border at Emerson.
  • Expansion of mobile and wireline broadband networks in the mining centre of Flin Flon on the Saskatchewan border.
  • New wireless services for smaller towns and remote locations, including 5 underserved Indigenous communities: Easterville, Gods Lake Narrows, Gods River, Grand Rapids and Red Sucker Lake.
EDIT: There is additional info in the press release for MTS shareholders.
2017-03-17 11:00 AM
Dr.Dave I got the following popup when I visited the MTS site today:
The moment has arrived. MTS has joined forces with Bell Canada, combining a deep understanding of the province’s consumers and businesses with the resources and scale to position Manitoba at the forefront of an increasingly global ecosystem. With Bell and MTS together, today just got better.
Here is the link:

Together Bell and MTS - now called Bell MTS in Manitoba - will invest $1 billion over 5 years in the province and will amongst other things:
  • Introduce significantly faster Internet speeds
  • Expand Manitoba’s mobile network coverage, with data speeds at least double those currently available
  • Provide world-class broadband and mobile network coverage to northern and other remote parts of Manitoba
  • Bring continuous wireless coverage along Manitoba’s highways
  • Launch innovative TV and streaming services including CraveTV
  • Roll out the best whole home Internet WiFi services
  • Provide businesses in Manitoba access to the largest data centre and fibre network in the country
These advancements will deliver profound benefits to consumers and businesses alike which is why with Bell and MTS together, today just got better.

Summary of the FAQ:
There are no changes to the terms of your service or your account numbers.
There is no change to the rates that you currently pay for your services or your agreement. Also, your bill date and the way you receive and pay your bill stays the same.
Who do I call if I have any questions about my service? There is no change. You can contact MTS at 204 225-5687 or visit an MTS store.
For your wireless service, you now have access to Canada’s fastest ranked and largest network when travelling across the country.
Why are some subscribers being asked to move to another carrier and not others?
The Competition Bureau requires a number of wireless contracts to be transferred to other carriers as part of its approval process. More information about customer transfers will be provided once all the details are finalized.

How do I know if I’m one of the people being transferred to another carrier?
Customers who are transferring will be notified in advance. Bell is committed to providing a seamless transition. Until the transfer takes place, your service and rate plan will remain the same (unless you decide to change your plan or phone in the interim).
2017-03-12 05:15 PM
Dr.Dave I decided to post this here because some MTS shareholders may receive some BCE shares and be confused by the TRC Capital offer and not realize they are being ripped off. I did a quick search and found lots of examples of TRC Capital "mini-tender" offers at below market price and the timing certainly seems to coincide with the sale of MTS.

Summary: TRC Capital Corporation has made an unsolicited mini-tender offer to purchase BCE shares at a price of $56 per share, which is below market price for BCE shares. The offer represents a discount of 3.48% on the TSX closing price on March 7, 2017, the last trading day before the mini-tender offer was commenced.

Press Release: BCE recommends shareholders reject TRC Capital's "mini-tender offer"
2017-03-05 11:25 AM
Dr.Dave @dschell_2000 There is a summary in the previous link under "Election of Consideration" - MTS shareholders may choose (i) cash $40.00 or (ii) 0.6756 of a BCE common share for each MTS common share. BCE will split the purchase 45% in cash and 55% in BCE shares, and therefore shareholders may ultimately receive a combination of cash and BCE common shares.

The BCE price on Mar. 3 was $57.98, which works out to $39.17 per MTS share. If everyone chooses cash, people will get 55% in BCE shares, which are worth less than $40 equivalent.

Some people may choose BCE shares because they can defer the capital gains tax until they sell the BCE shares.
2017-03-05 10:59 AM
dschell_2000 Can someone explain why the market price of MBT closed at $39.26 on Friday, when there is a guaranteed, gov't approved buyout happening on Mar 17 at $40.00? Why would anyone be willing to sell their shares at a 1.85% discount?

Dave S.
2017-03-03 07:45 PM
Dr.Dave MTS President and CEO Jay Forbes to leave company upon expected close of transaction with Bell
2017-02-23 01:47 PM
gordon1111 Everyone got that letter. That letter is irrelevant I don't think we will know until after the deal is done.
2017-02-23 01:20 PM
vjose32 I guess i'm not one of those customers as I can the letter saying I was being transferred to another Bell/MTS entity.
2017-02-15 12:45 PM
Dr.Dave ISED press release highlights:
Statement - Manitoba consumers get more choice with approval of Bell-MTS deal

As part of this deal, ISED has approved the transfer of MTS's spectrum licences to Bell and Xplornet Communications Inc. Xplornet has announced it will expand into mobile wireless service for the first time.

To acquire MTS, Bell must sell assets and provide services to Xplornet - Competition Bureau
Under the terms of the consent agreement, Bell must sell six retail stores, 24,700 subscribers and 40 MHz of spectrum to Xplornet, a leading provider of rural broadband internet through fixed wireless and satellite networks throughout Canada, including rural Manitoba. The divestiture to Xplornet will establish a new entrant in the Manitoba mobile wireless services market. Bell will also provide Xplornet with key services including expedited access to Bell’s towers in Manitoba for five years, temporary access to a mobile wireless network in a specified territory in Manitoba for three years, support for wireless handset procurement for five years and certain negotiated mobile wireless roaming services for five years. In addition, postpaid Bell Mobility customers in Manitoba who are under contract at the time of the consent agreement will be able to switch to Xplornet without penalty.

Additionally, Bell has committed to selling a significant number of its MTS subscribers and approximately one-third of its MTS dealer locations to TELUS.
Competition Bureau statement regarding Bell's acquisition of MTS - Competition Bureau
2017-02-15 10:46 AM
Dr.Dave Highlights of Bell press release:
Bell acquisition of MTS receives final regulatory approvals from ISED and Competition Bureau, transaction set to close on March 17

BCE and MTS today welcomed approval by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the Competition Bureau of Bell's $3.9 billion acquisition of MTS. Bell has now obtained all regulatory approvals required to complete the transaction and launch Bell MTS on March 17, 2017.

"...Bell MTS is also announcing today that we will maintain current MTS wireless price plans for at least 12 months after the closing of the acquisition," said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. Bell MTS plans to invest $1 billion over the next 5 years to enhance broadband networks and services in Manitoba, including the introduction of Gigabit Fibe Internet, Fibe TV and Bell's LTE wireless network.

Bell and MTS have agreed to transfer to Xplornet Communications Inc. a total of 40 MHz of 700 MHz, AWS-1 and 2500 MHz wireless spectrum currently held by MTS, which has also been approved by ISED; 24,700 wireless customers once Xplornet launches its mobile wireless service; and 5 retail outlets in Winnipeg and 1 in Brandon. Xplornet will receive transitional remedy network access from Bell MTS in urban areas of Manitoba for 3 years and other operational benefits as Xplornet builds out its own wireless network in Manitoba. Financial terms of these transactions will not be disclosed.

Bell will divest to TELUS approximately one-quarter of MTS postpaid subscribers, for total proceeds of approximately $300 million, subject to final adjustments, and 13 MTS retail locations following the completion of the Bell MTS transaction.

Bell MTS will operate a total of 69 retail locations offering wireless and wireline services across the province; MTS products will be available for the first time in Bell, The Source, Tbooth wireless and WirelessWave locations.

Bell Media's fast-growing CraveTV video streaming service will be available to MTS TV customers as well as Internet subscribers.

The MTS press release contains info for MTS shareholders:
BCE acquisition of MTS set to close March 17, 2017 with today's receipt of final regulatory approvals
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