Rogers and Videotron to build-out expanded LTE network in Québec and Ottawa
Shared network will bring benefits of LTE to more consumers and
businesses by 2014
Expanded LTE coverage in rural regions
MONTRÉAL, May 29, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, Videotron and Rogers announced an agreement to bring LTE to even more customers in the province of Québec and the Ottawa region. Under the 20-year agreement, the two companies will pool their efforts to quickly build out and operate a shared LTE wireless network, the most advanced wireless technology in the world. This network will deliver an optimal user experience for consumers and businesses in both key markets.
This announcement builds on Rogers extensive LTE footprint across Canada, including Montreal, Ottawa and Québec City. The fast-paced rollout of LTE infrastructure will position the two companies to meet the steadily growing needs of consumers and businesses, ensuring many more can enjoy incredibly fast speeds, throughput and take advantage of the latest and greatest LTE enabled devices.
"This agreement will benefit businesses and consumers and is part of Rogers focused, strategic game plan," said Nadir Mohamed, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers Communications Inc. "This network and spectrum sharing agreement, combined with the expansion of our LTE footprint, will allow even more consumers to experience the superior connectivity and incredibly fast speeds that LTE delivers."
"This is excellent news for our customers and our shareholders. This agreement will enable us to go farther and to do it faster and is indicative of our determination to anticipate our customers' needs and to maintain the close relationship we have built with them." said Robert Dépatie, President and CEO of Quebecor Inc. and CEO of Videotron.
Under this agreement, Videotron and Rogers will share the cost of deploying and operating a shared LTE network. This will deliver capital and operating savings, allowing both companies to reinvest in their customers and networks. Videotron and Rogers will maintain their business independence, including their product and service portfolios, billing systems and customer data.
Benefits for consumers and businesses
The network sharing agreement will leverage existing infrastructure in many of Quebec's urban and rural centres. The fast build-out of the LTE mobile network will further improve the quality of the customer experience and enable both carriers to better anticipate and respond to their customers' needs.
For its part, Videotron will also be able to expand its handset line-up. "It is always advantageous to have several options in a fast-changing wireless market," added Robert Dépatie. "This is another benefit that the agreement will bring our customers."
Better rural coverage and competitive advantage for business
In addition to increasing network performance, this agreement will expand mobile coverage more quickly in rural Québec, helping to reduce the urban-rural digital divide.
"These improvements will directly enhance the competitiveness of Québec businesses and help meet the demand for more powerful mobile services. In this sense, all of Québec and the Ottawa region will benefit from this agreement. The agreement we have reached will enable us and Rogers alike to make more efficient use of our spectrum, and to derive maximum benefit from our investments," said Robert Dépatie. "The required capital expenditures will be less than if the two companies would have built out parallel LTE access networks."
In addition to the network sharing agreement, Videotron and Rogers have also come to an agreement regarding Videotron's unused AWS spectrum in the Greater Toronto Area. Videotron will have the option to transfer its Toronto spectrum licence to Rogers, subject to regulatory approvals, beginning January 1, 2014 for a price of $180 million.
"Data usage is exploding and customers want to continue to enjoy the fastest possible speeds and throughput. Our plan is to put this unused spectrum to use to meet this demand, especially in a dense urban area, like Toronto," said Mohamed.
As part of the overall agreement, Rogers and Videotron will each provide each other with services for which Rogers will receive $200 million and Videotron $93 million, payable over a period of 10 years.
Rogers Communications is a diversified Canadian communications and media company. We are engaged in wireless voice and data communications services through Wireless, Canada's largest wireless provider. Through Cable, we are one of Canada's leading providers of cable television services as well as high-speed Internet access and telephony services to consumers and businesses. Through Media, we are engaged in radio and television broadcasting, televised shopping, sports entertainment, and magazines and trade publications. We are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). For further information about the Rogers group of companies, please visit www.rogers.com.
Videotron (www.videotron.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., is an integrated communications company engaged in cable television, interactive multimedia development, and Internet access, cable telephone and mobile telephone services. Videotron is a leader in new technologies with its illico interactive television service and its broadband network, which supports high-speed cable Internet access, analog and digital cable television, and other services. As of March 31, 2013, Videotron was serving 1,849,200 cable television customers, including 1,500,300 subscribers Digital TV. Videotron is also the Québec leader in high-speed Internet access, with 1,397,300 subscribers to its cable service as of March 31, 2013. As of the same date, Videotron had 420,900 subscriber connections to its mobile telephone service and was providing cable telephone service to 1,274,000 Québec households and organizations. For the eighth consecutive year, Videotron was ranked as Québec's most respected telecommunications company by Les Affaires magazine, based on a Léger Marketing survey.
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Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements, Risks and Assumptions:
This release includes "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws and assumptions concerning the acquisition of wireless spectrum as detailed above. We caution that all forward-looking information is inherently subject to change and uncertainty and that actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. A number of risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking information or could cause our current objectives, strategies and intentions to change, including but not limited to various regulatory approvals. Many of these factors are beyond our control and current expectation or knowledge. Should one or more of these risks, uncertainties or other factors materialize, our objectives, strategies or intentions change, or any other factors or assumptions underlying the forward-looking information prove incorrect, our actual results and our plans could vary significantly from what we currently foresee. Accordingly, we warn investors to exercise caution when considering statements containing forward-looking information and that it would be unreasonable to rely on such statements as creating legal rights regarding our future results or plans. We are under no obligation (and we expressly disclaim any such obligation) to update or alter any statements containing forward-looking information, the factors or assumptions underlying them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. All of the forward-looking information in this earnings release is qualified by the cautionary statements herein.
SOURCE: Rogers Communications Inc.For further information:
VP, Investor Relations, Rogers
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Senior VP and CFO, Quebecor Media Inc
514-380-4144 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Director, Public Affairs, Rogers
416-935-7359 or email@example.com
Vice President, Public Affairs, Quebecor Media Inc.
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