MTS Soldto BCE (Bell)

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Report this morning a deal has been reached for BCE to buy MTS for $3.1 billion.

As part of the deal one third of the post paid wireless customers will be transfered to Telus.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report...

Thanks for all the years of service MTS.
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CoryB, Champion

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Posted 2 years ago

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Dan, Champion

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I don't think this is good at all!
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Falcun651

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Dan you nailed it. This is not good for competition in Manitoba. Prices are sure to rise. Look at getting less for more money and shipping customers to Telus? You thought you could not get coverage in areas before, try being on Telus. I am a MTS shareholder and still do not think this is a good thing.

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K from Canada, Champion

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This is awful.

Say hello to higher wireless rates by Rogers, Telus and Bell now and caps on our internet usuage.

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/business/...
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Colin

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$15 GB of 'shareable' data for $40 a month.  Yikes
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Chad Pidruchny

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Post paid? Right now nothing they talked about makes any sense to me can someone dumb it down...or explain of some of the stuff they talked about..
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CoryB, Champion

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If you got a phone on contract you are post paid. Post paid also have a bill sent to them where pre paid (the opposite) are also known as pay as you go. Pre paid often purchase a code and add it to their account.
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Chad Pidruchny

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Oh ok...why didn't they say that in the first place lol..i just hope they dont screw us customers over...i got my data plan the way i like it...
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Tennille, Social Media Coordinator

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It's great to see a discussion about this from our customers. It will mean changes for all of us! Right now it's business as usual and we're keeping your products and services as they are. There is no change to your billing or payments, those will stay the same. 

Tennille :) 
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pcguy

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1/3 of the MTS cellular customers will be transferred over to Telus network as well.
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mcmanone, Champion

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Why telus if dam bell is buying MTS hopefully the crtc blocks it.
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Clifford Lewis, Champion

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actually its to try and get govt approval by showing they are willing to give up market share
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Clifford Lewis, Champion

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actually its to try and get govt approval by showing they are willing to give up market share
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mcmanone, Champion

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Lovely :(
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CoryB, Champion

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It is unclear if the deal will get CRTC approval. There is actually a fee in the deal payable either way if it does not complete for different reasons.
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mcmanone, Champion

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Hopefully they don't get it.
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pcguy

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gordon1111, Champion

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What do they mean 1/3rd of postpaid customers to Telus? If anything I would rather switch my wireless to bell not Telus?
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CoryB, Champion

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It would likely be customers that have ONLY MTS Wireless moving to Telus.
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gordon1111, Champion

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Hopefully because I have had MTS 6 years since I turned 18 years old. I got great credit on MTS I also have 2 cell phones and everything in my house MTS. I will be very upset if I receive a letter from Telus saying that I will be going there. If anything I would rather be a bell customer or even a Rogers customer before a Telus one. As long as I can keep the same services under "Bell MTS" I will be happy. I mean Bell Aliant seems to be okay they got everything seperate from BCE including their own leadership team except Alliant sold all wireless customers to Bell Mobility. In all I wouldn't mind staying with Bell MTS but I don't want to become a Telus customer I mean I just signed a new wireless contract in December 2015.
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No you wouldn't just get dumped over to Telus, you would still pay your bill to Bell MTS and your phone would operate as Bell MTS phone it would be 1/3 of the total income would go to Telus
(Edited)
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Dan, Champion

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I wold rather be a Rogers customer then Telus or Bell. With VoLTE, Roam Like Home, Wifi calling, extended coverage, great customer service, and Rogers is always first to launch the newest network features. First for 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE, LTE Advanced, 700Mhz, first to bring iPhone to Canada, and first cellular network in the country! I would take them as #1
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We're glad to see that you appreciate us, CoryB!  It's always nice to hear from you. :) 
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gordon1111, Champion

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Is MTS still signing up new customers on contracts even if they could be sold to Telus?
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I would need to read a wireless contract to confirm but there is normally a clause allowing any carrier to transfer their rights under the contract to a new company in the event of a sale. Clauses like this exist is virtually every ongoing services contract in Canada and not just the wireless indsutry.

Thanks to the Wireless Code there is also likely language protecting customers from significant rate increases for the life of the contract. That said you can be required to change to a current in market plan when your contract expires. There is actually prescedent for this as Canadians were forced to give up their $30 plans which included unlimited wireless data in order to move to the HSPA network from the older CDMA network.
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Interesting... Funny thing is I was considering to switch to bell before I got my contract renewed in December. If I had known I probably would of just switched then.

I bet MTS customer care is swamped today. I bet lots of customers are calling regarding this. I do think that this could be beneficial to customers but at same time there are risks involved but we will have to see what happens.
(Edited)
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CoryB, Champion

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There will be no changes for six to nine months if not longer. The most notable change before then will be the stock is going to trade with the offer price from Bell on the table. That means if say "Winnipeg Municipal Telecommunications" (aka made up company) wanted to make their own proposal they would normally offer above Bell's reported $40/share.

As the purchase by Bell is pending several government approvals it is legally a provisional dealer. In more plain consumer speak, Bell has offered to purchase the home pending a satisfactory home inspecting.

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Tennille, Social Media Coordinator

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Just think Gordon, if you had switched in December you wouldn't be able to enjoy the cost savings of bundling of your services and the flat rate data! ;) 
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I know Tennille :) I would of course stay with MTS I was just saying I did consider all my options before I always sign a contract and MTS won with the best bundle discounts and total Internet and great customer care :)
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Zeph Hannem, Champion

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What I fear about this deal is that there could be potential job losses to MTS employees and their contractors.
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CoryB, Champion

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No job is safe under this proposal sadly. It is unlikely the techs in the field would be impacted but anyone you don't see face to face could easily be moved out of the province.

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gordon1111, Champion

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There could be some job losses but in reality MTS has been cutting jobs a few times over the years. The one thing it could do is create more jobs in the call centre which could benefit Manitobans. Another thing it could also do is reduce wait times on the phone as Bell has a much larger customer care team being nationwide. This can also increase coverage and make roaming cheaper. I'm trying to see the positives in this I know this one was a shocker for me.
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Clifford Lewis, Champion

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I thought that there were complaints about Bell having off shore call centers to cut support costs.

A lot of the back office stuff like accounts payable  and other financial jobs could be sent to one central site not in Manitoba.
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Tennille, Social Media Coordinator

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Thank you for your concern of us! That's really thoughtful. It's really great to see that our customers still care. :D 
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Something Manitoba has done well in the past for other companies is running customer care call centers. Being located in the middle of Canada makes scheduling staff to cover both early Eastern times and late west coast times easier. As much as some people will view it as a negative, the lower base of businesses also make it easier to find staff to work in the customer care centers compared to places like Calgary. Hopefully this is one of the areas Manitoba will gain on when the Bell sale goes through and perhaps those jobs, if currently of shore, can be returned to Canada.
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Lets look at the positive side of things here. We could have an increased device selection, faster network upgrades like the rest of the country, Telus, Rogers, and Bell as potential service providers for manitobans who live outside of the city, etc.
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Zeph Hannem, Champion

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I can agree with making better services possible for those who live outside of Winnipeg, but it all comes at the cost of actually making this happen, and with that said, don't be surprised if you see a price increase on services reflecting on your bill.
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This is interesting:

"Gigabit Fibe Internet availability, delivering Internet speeds on average up to 20 times faster than those currently offered to MTS customers, within 12 months after the transaction closes."

Source: http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/bce-announces-agreement-to-acquire-manitoba-telecom-services-mt...

That suggests a rapid build out of what MTS calls FiON, most likely with a heavy focus on urban markets (Winnipeg, Brandon, etc) in the first 12 months after the deal closes. This would mean rural communities begging for service upgrades would likely remain heavily untouched until at least 2018. Yikes!

The flip side of what I read on Bell's fiber plans it would likely mean the higher speed tiers, aka 50 and higher, would become more affordable and the lower tiers, 10 and 25, would be largely unchanged.

(Edited)
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ertyu

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My guess, all this means is that they turn up the speeds on the existing FION.
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turtlepower

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That's what I was thinking when I heard it, just a speed upgrade for existing FiON customers.  For all I know, MTS could have already been planning those upgrades.
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Pretty sure Bell's plans go deeper than just speed bumps for existing FiON users. It looks like it also includes price cuts and an accelerated rollout. This will likely start with MTS fiber that exists but is not in use. The MTS plan to date, like it or not, is to treat FiON as a speed bump on DSL. Most people will not pay the $140/month for service that is the lowest price you cannot achieve on DSL
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ertyu

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Where are you getting this information? I've seen no mention of price cuts anywhere. FION and DSL aren't really options at all currently, you either have one or the other, not an option to choose.
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CoryB, Champion

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MTS website, internet price for anything under 100 is the same on DSL or FiON. Prices and speeds for all levels are published. Go to the Bell site, set market as Ontario and look at their current price list. Bell 50 is cheaper than MTS 50.
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Chad Pidruchny

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what I fear the most is other than a chance of price increases,  but I worry the mose is that we will lose our unlimited Data plan ( which I use and can't live with out it)
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MTS never offered truly unlimited data in the consumer market. Their consumer side data plans have always had fair use clauses. If you look at the wired Internet side it also has a fair use clause although to date it is almost never used to limit data use.

In terms of fair use, data limits tend to be mostly fair and reasonable. Streaming Netflix at the maximum resolution 24/7 for example for not be a "reasonable " or "fair" use.
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Chad Pidruchny

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even though it wasn't truly unlimited I would hate to see it go...
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I took a look at Bell's fiber offerings. The 15 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload plan includes 60 GB of monthly usage in Quebec (75 GB in Ontario).If you max out your upload & download simultaneously, you'll burn through your monthly data cap in 19 hours.

Do you watch 4k video? 8 hours worth will destroy that cap.

Do you play computer games? The download for one game (Star Citizen) is expected to be over 100 GB soon, prepare to pay hundreds of dollars in overages or subscribe to a much more expensive plan.

Do you backup large files to the cloud for your home or business? You may need to reconsider...

Bell's website advertises a $15 unlimited data add-on, but ONLY if you subscribe to their Fibe TV service as well.

I want an ISP (INTERNET Service Provider), not a TV provider who uses protectionist policies to force their clients to pay for TV services that aren't wanted or needed. Fiber data is dirt cheap for Bell, but they're terrified of what companies like Netflix can do to their TV division, and that's why they have data caps. Manitobans are better served with MTS.
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gordon1111, Champion

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Actually Bell Aliant in Atlantic Canada has been owned by Bell for several years. I think maybe 2004 and they have unlimited data caps. The other thing Bell did for that division was transfer all Aliant mobility customers to Bell but they all are on one bill. Also I did some checking and Bell Aliant appears to have their own social media team so if they can keep that with the Proposed Bell MTS division maybe it won't be so bad.
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Dustin, Champion

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I dont think we need to worry about that kind of data allotement here. Keep in mind that shaw with their much higher bandwidth caps will help keep Bell in check.

Also, these caps may be soft caps, like with Shaw. Shaw has advised me that they dont care about people who exceed them occasionally. What they will do is insist that the regular and consistant offenders upgrade their package.
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Rob S.

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WTF is with that "Praise" icon? And by whom? This is a bad deal and everyone knows it. I don't care whom they plant on this forum, I'm not buying it and neither should you.
(Edited)
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MTS isn't officially sold yet. Likely you will hear media coverage once anything is finalized. Keep your eye on the news broadcast websites.
(Edited)
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Dan, Champion

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Really hard to say if anyone else would make an offer to buy MTS, I'd safely say Shaw could not as it would make Shaw the only provider in Winnipeg for services, Rogers I don't think would be intrestered as they operate a Cable infrastructure set up same as Shaw so I don't think they would, and Telus I don't believe is large enough to buy out MTS. Bell is becoming to large though and this scares me, who will they buy out next, Sasktel? TbayTel? Videotron? Eastlink?
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gordon1111, Champion

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Well AT&T is significantly larger then Bell and they seem to have a good relationship with its customers.
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Dan, Champion

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AT&T seems to be the best provider in the United States. They operated a combined GSM/HSPA/LTE network. Interesting how Verizion is running a CDMA/LTE network. I wonder why MTS didn't go in that same approach instead of building a HSPA network from ground up.
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Just replying that it came out today Telus had given serious consideration to buying MTS but ended their analysis without making an offer once the Bell deal was made public.
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Just thinking out loud here.. But perhaps Bell will keep MTS completely separate from Bell Canada.  For example they are calling the company "Bell MTS" maybe they will keep calling the company itself as MTS but will refer to Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. as "Bell MTS".  I know when the company use to be called MTS Allstream inc.  people wouldnt say I have mts allstream as my provider etc. they would say I use MTS as my provider. When Best Buy bought Future Shop they kept everything pretty much independent from Best buy. I know they closed all Future Shops down but they essentially were competing against each other for years.  

If Bell keeps MTS and Bell separate that would in my opinion mean they would likely keep all products the same as before the merger if it goes through.  So same customer care centre same website everything.  This is just my thinking of what might happen but if it would be like this then maybe it wouldnt be as bad as some people think.   

Have a great weekend!   
Gordon
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Dan, Champion

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Never know. I'm thinking it's going to go the same way Bell Aliant did.
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Huge ruling out of Ottawa today on BCE separate from the MTS proposal.

On a high level, the CRTC ruled that BCE must allow third party ISP to resell high speed Internet access to end customers over Bell's fiber network. BCE appealed and lost. This would mean that if the BCE purchase went through the MTS fiber network would need to be open to independent companies to offer internet service, something Manitoba has not seen in over a decade!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/ottawa-rejects-bce-appeal-says-must-give-small-pla...

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Just wondering did anybody else get any email invites for online surveys regarding the sale? 

I have had two of Canada's bigger survey companies send me surveys on this in the last 2 weeks. 

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I did not receive the survey and have been very vocal online about the sale to BCE.
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CoryB what are your thoughts? Do you want the sale to be approved? Or do you want MTS to remain independent?
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Wireless is a huge concern and NOT because of the potential price increases. Currently MB has four companies in the market, two with under 10% market share. That is why we have a competitive market. The deal, as proposed, would reduce that to three companies with roughly equal market share. The other part that is a concern on the wireless side is the proposed spectrum allocations after the deal would create significant barriers to a fourth wireless company ever entering the market.

On the wired broadband side though it could be an improvement. The CRTC has already ruled that BCE must allow independent companies wholesale access to their broadband networks including fiber. BCE attempted to appeal but was denied. As this is on BCE's existing service area it is unclear if it would apply to MTS post-purchase but it seems likely and would open competition.

On the TV side it should be an improvement. Look at the long wait for TSN Go or the current status of WWE Network and TMN Go for current pain points.

How the BCE ends for customers of MTS will ultimately depend what if any conditions are put on the sale.
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Rob S.

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This is a disaster. If this is allowed to move forward why do we even have a competition bureau or Industry Canada or whatever it's called now?

There's also another threat to competition on the horizon. Pending government approval, Bell Canada will buy regional cellular provider Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) for close to $4 billion.

Manitobans pay some of the cheapest rates for wireless services in Canada. The low prices have been attributed to more competition, buoyed by that strong regional player, MTS.

The Consumers' Association of Canada predicts Bell's acquisition will lead to higher prices in the province.

"That is an absolutely disgusting move. It limits competition," says president Bruce Cran. His association made a submission this week to Canada's Competition Bureau, opposing the sale.

"Manitobans are very nervous," he says. "It doesn't make any sense at all from a consumer point of view."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/cellphone-deals-canada-1.3587744

(Edited)
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This is straight speculation at best as no one knows what will happen if the BCE sale is completed.

On wired voice service it is a dying service regardless of this service. It is really not something worth hiking rates on regardless of who is offering service. This would be a neutral.

There are issues on the tv side, for example the lack of access to WWE Network On Demand, TMN Go, Sportnet Now, Global Go, etc. There is a history of limited movements on these fronts. Also if you look at the Bell tv prices they are similar to what MTS offers. With the upcoming change to single channel pick and pay and the CRTC review of the Skinny Cable implementation my thinking is the tv side will be neutral or a small win.

On the broadband side, MTS currently runs a completely closed network. BCE had a recent ruling entered against them that they need to allow other providers wholesale access to their network. Not to mention that BCE offers fast services such as their 150 Mbps fiber for $100 compared to the FiON 100 for $140. MTS also has been slow to invest in network upgrades as witnessed by the issues rural customers face and the policy to not build out the fiber network in urban areas. The prospect of improved broadband speeds for lower prices would be a definite win.

That leaves only wireless with significant concerns. It is unknown what impact the BCE sale will have other that removing the possibility of a fourth carrier. That could change based on the reviews on the sale. At this point I would mark wireless as a loss but provisionally as the terms could change.

If you have legitimate concerns on the sale I strongly encourage you to respond to the Competition Bureau, Industry Canada and the CRTC when they call for public comments. The Competition Bureau has already opened up public comments.,

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Dan, Champion

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Thats alright if MTS internet network isn't the best or TV. Gets people outside more to enjoy the weather. We all lived without internet before, who says we can't do it now.
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CoryB, Champion

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Running an out of market plan as those services do ia risky. You can be cancelled at anytime for violating terms of service. That said I have heard the stories from people doing it and rarely does anything happen.
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This might seem to early to wonder but what will happen in the event the sale goes through to Esecuritel warranty package if certain customers are transferred to Telus or even Bell MTS customers. As I know Bell doesn't deal with Esecuritel and they don't offer the warranty either in Manitiba and I think Telus uses another company also. This is a big concern for me as I didn't get AppleCare this time around, so if anything happens outside my warranty period I'm relying on that option to be available. I hope this question can be answered as I'm sure people besides me are concerned regarding this. Thanks
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gordon1111, Champion

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I can't as I just signed a new contract so my buyout is over $400 dollars plus I like the plan that I have right now.
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CoryB, Champion

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The warranty as it stands today with Esecuritel has *nothing* to do with MTS other than them selling it to you. After the sale you deal directly with Esecuritel. That will not change.
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gordon1111, Champion

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Oh okay CoryB but MTS bills you for it , that's what I'm getting at. I don't think Esecuritel direct bills you. And your only allowed to get it within 30 days of getting the phone.
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CoryB, Champion

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MTS is just the bill collector. It's no different than MTS pays MB Hydro every month.
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gordon1111, Champion

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got it! Thanks CoryB!
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gordon1111, Champion

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I feel that MTS isn't informing the customers well enough on this sale. Customers have questions and I feel that if they can setup a section on the website or even community forum about possible FAQ's customers may have it would help a lot. I realize that nothing will be finalized until the sale is complete but if these FAQs or even a letter to customers it could cause lots of people to be better at ease. thanks
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CoryB, Champion

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It's Bell (BCE) that needs to be selling the deal not MTS. That said the side opposing the sale is swinging hit after hit out of the park.
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Tennille, Social Media Coordinator

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You guys always have great discussions. :) 
K from Canada and CoryB made some good points in response to your comments Gordon.  If we had answers we would surely set up a FAQ page.  We do not know what Bell will or won't do once this sale is finalized, I wish we had more to share with you! 
As it gets closer hopefully we'll know more and will share the news. 
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You're right Tennille, it's such a lively and and engaged conversation. It's fabulous to see!

 We're so glad that our customers are curious about what happens next and have questions accordingly. We totally understand, and can totally appreciate the wondering's that are being discussed.

As mentioned above, we don't really have any of the details of what may happen when the sale is finalized. Rest assured we're in this together and we won't leave you folks hanging, once there are details are available to share - we absolutely will! 

Cheers,
Gillian
(Edited)
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gordon1111, Champion

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I am glad that we have such a positive dialogue flowing! I appreciate that things right now are the way they are. I am suggesting though that once things are known it would be beneficial to release a FAQ to customers. I understand the predicament that both sides need to work toward. Thanks.
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CoryB, Champion

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I got a feeling once the Competition Bureau finishes their review a lot more will be cleared up. Most of the potential blocking issues are on the wireless side including the reduction in competition. On tv, wired voice, and broadband services as much as customers may not like Bell that are limited grounds to truly object to the sale.
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Clifford Lewis, Champion

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I would also not be surprised that there is a limit on what can be released imposed by the Toronto Stock Exchange regulators.  Depending on what information  is released it could have an effect on the price of the stock (both Bell and MTS)  before the sale takes place.
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CoryB, Champion

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Also keep in mind the deal is subject to three regulatory reviews with many, many opponents. The deal has national implications and is getting attention far outside Manitoba. Bell is disclosing as little as needed partly to give opponents less to respond too. It seems to first to reply with be the Competitor Bureau. It is interesting they are first as that is what most of the opposition is based around, specifically in the wireless space. What the Competition Bureau finds will heavily influence the Industry Canada review. I expect the CRTC review will be last as they will have volumes and volumes of conditions to impose but nothing overly interesting that isn't public already.