Stop BCE from purchasing MTS Inc.

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  • Updated 2 years ago
We all know this will be bad for Manitoba, MTS has been doing great with their investments in cellular, Internet and TV networks.

Below is a link to express your concerns to the Competition Bureau if you oppose the deal.

http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/ei...
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Dan, Champion

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  • Mad at BCE

Posted 2 years ago

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Rob S.

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Hear hear!! Why allow them to go to 3 providers when we and Saskatchewan have the 4 that the Competition Bureau/Industry Canada said it wanted in place? Wouldn't it make sense to provide incentives to the other jurisdictions to build on what MB and SK already have? It defies logic that this would pass any kind of sniff test unless a whole lot of people with more money than me stand to make a whole lot more on this deal. If that's the case, which I believe it is, we're screwed and will soon be paying $100-$120 monthly for cells and caps on the internet will start shortly thereafter.
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Dan, Champion

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Exactly true Rob S. Look at the UK, look at the United States, all have 4 carries in all areas and some places have even more. Would be perfect if Shaw partnered with Rogers just like how Bell and Telus have partnered.
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gordon1111, Champion

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To be honest I can see it either going through or being blocked. Or accepted with conditions. However - should the deal not go through I predict that Telus will make an offer within 6-12 months. As they are smaller they could have a chance at getting approved should BCE not.
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Dan, Champion

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Yes, I think I'd rather see MTS go to Telus. Bell is big enough as it is and Telus is a lot smaller, so I'd rather see it go to Telus. Either way if the BCE deal does get approved I won't be happy and plan on switching all my stuff to Shaw and cell phones to Rogers Wireless.
(Edited)
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gordon1111, Champion

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I will most likely be keeping everything with BellMTS. Unless things gets bad then I will switch to Koodo and Shaw but I am keeping an open mind.
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CoryB, Champion

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Some facts:

1. Currently Telus and BCE have similar shares of the Manitoba wireless market.

2. Telus buying MTS still reduces wireless completion from four companies to three.

3. BCE is an owner and creator of content (tv shows, etc) and both Telus and MTS are not.

4. Telus considering making an offer to purchase MTS and did not proceed.

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Rob S.

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Here's what you can expect from Bell; they are addressed about a third of the way in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt3DlPDKx_g
(Edited)
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Rob S.

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Apples and oranges. If you can't see their long term plan you aren't looking close enough. You think this will stay the same?


That's what 4 providers changes. Awesome isn't it when greed is challenged?
(Edited)
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gordon1111, Champion

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I wasn't comparing Apples to Oranges if you are referring to me... I was trying to remain optimistic to hoping nothing significant changes. I do however see the prices nationwide and personally should by time my contract comes to renewal and they are in that range I will be checking out likely the sub brands Fido, Koodo etc. I do know they are a bit cheaper then the main ones and a friend of mine in Toronto is pretty happy with his Koodo plan. So we shall have to see what the future will hold.
(Edited)
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Rob S.

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I was trying to remain optimistic to hoping nothing significant changes
Look, I'm not trying to be insulting but that is naive. Canada pays pretty much the highest cell phone costs in the world. Bell, Rogers and Telus made over 20 BILLION dollars last year off our 34 million residents. The only place there is a reduction in cost and real competition is in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the only two provinces with 4 Telecom providers. They see the cord cutters as a threat and this is one of their only moves left. This is what this "deal" would do for competition? Where's the 4th provider after the "deal"?



See that Unlimited part that Manitoba has? Nowhere else in the country. You think we'll get to keep that? Why would anyone support this?

Dwayne Winseck explains this in more detail here:
https://dwmw.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/why-bells-bid-to-buy-mts-is-bad-news/
(Edited)
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gordon1111, Champion

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Okay were all doomed... Happy?
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Rob S.

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That's your interpretation? I'm just trying to save us money and the better service we now mostly have. The rural customers unfortunately won't get any favours from Bell. Their promise of investment only matches what MTS is already doing. And MTS is more profitable on a percentage basis than them. The only people to benefit here are the current shareholders. No one else. Period.
Oh, and of course, Bell.

I'll be happy when this "deal" is rejected by Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED, the recently renamed Industry Canada), the Competition Bureau and the CRTC for the reasons I have already stated above.
(Edited)
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CoryB, Champion

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For people wanting to oppose the BCE purchase of MTS you need to focus your efforts.

1. Only on the wireless service side does the proposed purchase change the number of companies and result in a reduction in competition.

2. MTS broadband service has included clauses in the user contracts for years to allow data caps as Bell operates in other provinces although they have been unenforced.

3. On the tv service side there are significant issues that MTS has been unable or unwilling to address including the over two year wait for TSN Go, the over year long wait for WWE On Demand and the now over three months without streaming access to the TMN content including HBO Canada.

4. The Competition Bureau is largely not going to care what impact the sale has on customers bills. They have largely ignoring suspected industry collusion in the wireless market in other provinces and other industries such as gas prices. They are going to look more heavily at what the sale does to the number of choices, not so much what those choices charge. Dwayne's table shared already in this post is an excellent summary of what it likely means. Keep in mind having two carriers with under 10% market share is the driver of the competitive market, not a somewhat independent company with 50% of the market share.

5. Industry Canada has a very narrow focus in the review of the proposed sale. Their area of oversight is limited to the allocation of wireless spectrum. They have no control over what carriers charge customers per month. It is not something they even give much consideration in their decisions. They have been the lead on the four carrier national strategy and setting aside wireless spectrum from new entrants. The BCE deal would transfer the "new entrant" spectrum to one of the incumbents however the deal occurs outside the transfer restriction window put in place of the first spectrum auction.

6. The CRTC review will likely focus on telecom policies like CanCon, ensuring the tv channel distribution rules for a vertically integrated company are followed and to clarify that conditions previously placed on BCE apply such as allowing wholesale access to the wired broadband network. This stage of the review will be more telling BCE how the sale is implemented than presenting a chance to oppose it.

7. The final piece to keep in is BCE could restructure their purchase to proceed largely as proposed except instead of sending 1/3 of the wireless customers, etc to Telus they leave it mind in "old MTS". That would effectively create a small, independent wireless company with about 16% of the market share and no other services. Under that structure BCE would still have 40% of the market share and Telus would be left at 9%. Changing the deal to a structure like this would likely pass all the required approvals. It would also likely severely limit how competitive "old MTS" could be in the wireless space. It also then be "competitive pressures" and "natural customer churn" that lead to the reduction in wireless market competition and with it increases in prices.

--

End of the day customers are not going to be able to stop the BCE purchase of MTS, at best we are going to be able to do is have conditions and restrictions applied to the sale.

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gordon1111, Champion

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Im guessing that should Telus get the 1/3rd customers they are going to have to offer unlimited data to those customers for the duration of customers contract because unless I am wrong that unlimited data is a key part of the wireless service agreement. CoryB correct me if I am wrong on that one.
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CoryB, Champion

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The "unlimited" data was never written into the contract but is an amendment of sorts buried in the faire use clause. Further, by the time transition to Telus would occur the"unlimited" plan will have been out of market long enough that contacts will be month to month.

I am not an expert on it but Telus had a history of being ruthless to people on unlimited data plans like the one they used to offer themselves. As the plan is month to month Telus could give customers a: do nothing and you post the same but your data cap is dropped significantly OR keep your 15 GB cap with throttled overage for a much higher monthly rate.

Something to watch for even with Bell is even the current "flat rate" plans are based on *quantity* of data used not the *speed* you get the data. Bell could throttle data at a much lower cost and still comply with the contract and customers would have no out without penalty.
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gordon1111, Champion

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I just checked my contract in my email and it says Flat-rate Data/tethering to me that shows that it is the base plan.
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Gordon - The key is look where it talks about the speed you get data, if there is a throttle point and what it is and what your speed is reduced to after. None of that is in the contract.
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gordon1111, Champion

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CoryB I understand now thank you.
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CoryB, Champion

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I should add, here is an excellent link that was part of the Open Media presentation to the CRTC on TalkBroadband. While it is specific to a somewhat rural community in BC you could easily change Bowen Island and Telus for Winkler and MTS or Morris and Bell and it would apply equally.


And if you think it is ``just a rural issue`` just wait until 4K video moves a little more into the mainstream and see how those urban networks buckle under the same types of congestion rural customers face now.

https://youtu.be/veStCemQClg

(Edited)
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Dan, Champion

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Hey Rob S.
Here's another great story from Bell. They charged for a 911 fee on the people's bill but didn't offer 911 service in the area. Bell just got a $1 Million lawsuit. Can't wait to deal with all these issues here!

http://mobilesyrup.com/2016/06/29/bel...
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Rob S.

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Yeah, more of the same. Just like their "skinny basic". What a colossal joke.
From a technology viewpoint, Bell has been better than Rogers for many years. However, there are a lot of other things I don't like about Bell as a company. Being a Bell customer is like putting your bank account in a vice, they are always trying to squeeze more money out of it.
True, their skinny basic package clearly reflects Bell's intension to prevent customers from saving any money.
I hope that Shaw Direct will soon invest some money in new hardware and more HD channels. Their skinny basic looks like the best choice and I would not mind switching to this provider once the upgrade is completed.
So much to look forward to...

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/12-television-industry-channels-providers/239842-skinny-basic-tv-dis...
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Rate increases are nothing new...even in MB.  When I had an older MTS plan that did not include Voicemail, CallerID and Texting,  I recall seeing the price of those add-ons increase on a regular basis all the time.  Sure, the increase was never that much at once...but it still happened. 
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Dan, Champion

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That's not the point here. Point here is they raised them without notifying the customer.
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The bigger issue is the CRTC does not lock in rates for the length of contracts. As the CRTC is holding hearings to review the wireless code of conduct again I am planning to include that on my submission, aka require the complete rate be locked in for the whole contract length unless there is an agreement from BOTH sides on a rate change.
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Dan, Champion

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I don't know what you are talking about, yes in a contract your rate cannot change during your contract, I've been on the same plan for a number of years and no price change for me. If you are talking about this issue we read here in the news this is for land line phone not wireless.
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The issue is older but still worth baking into the code of conduct before someone exploits it again. It used to be you had a base plan of $20, a data add on of $20, $15 for SMS and MMS and say $15 for caller id and voice mail. The contract only restricts increases on the $20 base plan. In the past carriers have said mid contract the price of your data went from $20 to $30 and there is almost no recourse.
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Rob S.

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Wow
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So Bell (BCE) is starting a roll out of 4K cable with a set top box that supports 4K Netflix. They are also rolling out 1 GBs consumer broadband but yes let's Stop BcE from purchasing MTS.

http://mobilesyrup.com/2016/08/04/bel...
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gordon1111, Champion

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To be honest I am against the idea of being "transferred" at all. It should be the customers choice who they use as a provider. I feel that it is bad business to be transferring customers to anyone especially to a competitor. I signed a contract with MTS not Telus. If I wanted I could of signed up with Telus at anytime. That is what I am most concerned about with this transaction.
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The BCE purposed transfer of wireless customers to Telus is actually in contradiction to Canadian wireless policy and would likely raise concerns with the competition Bureau as it is the only area of the deal where competition is being reduced. There is an open comment period to the CRTC on wireless policy in September and again in February before in person hearings are held. This will likely end up indirectly looking at aspects of the proposed BCE purchase.

I would think the transfer is going to focus on out of contract customers and those under contract with only wireless service. That said it could look at which position customers were in at the time the sale was first purposed rather than the state of customers when the deal cloaes.

The final note for now is that all customers, regardless of contract, are free to change providers at any time with the exit fee capped at about $20 plus the cost of your device.
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gordon1111, Champion

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That makes sense. I do not have any other services in my name at this time except I am a total Internet user under my moms account I hope that will be one thing that allows me to stay on Bell MTS as I really do not want to change providers as I am nearly a 7 year long customer of MTS who always pays my bills on time etc.
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When the details settle out there will likely be switcher deals from all the remaining carriers to catch people that are unhappy.
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gordon1111, Champion

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That makes sense. I'm sure eventually everything will work out in the end with everyone. I do think that even when / if the deal goes through the market will work it's self out. We all just have to wait and see on that.