Telnet Network News

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Telus launches two-year ‘SharePlus’ mobile contracts

Canada’s Telus is launching ‘simplified’ mobile contract packages with two-year durations rather than its existing standard three-year lock-ins for consumers and small business customers on 30 July 2013. The move comes in the wake of the ‘code of conduct’ imposed on operators by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) allowing customers to cancel a contract after two years with no penalty, which becomes effective in December. However, Telus executives quoted by the...
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Mobilicity adjourns recapitalisation vote; takeover talks continue with multiple suitors

In a press release yesterday, financially struggling Canadian cellco Mobilicity announced that it has adjourned a debtholder vote on a recapitalisation plan (scheduled for yesterday) while it pursues an alternative plan to negotiate an acquisition of the company. Mobilicity (the trading name of Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Holdings and affiliates) noted that ‘consistent with the pursuit of all of its strategic alternatives, the company has the right to reconvene the recapitalisation plan ...
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Mobilicity recapitalisation vote rescheduled to 10 July

Debt-ridden Canadian cellco Mobilicity has delayed for a second time a vote for its debtholders to decide on a proposed recapitalisation plan to 10 July, replacing the previous date of 3 July, to allow its board to discuss ‘additional potential alternatives for the company and its stakeholders’. Mobilicity is reportedly in preliminary takeover talks with US giant Verizon under a non-disclosure agreement signed by the two parties. Thanks to TeleGeography for the article.
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Bell’s Astral acquisition cleared

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved Bell Canada Enterprises’ (BCE’s) CAD3.4 billion (USD3.25 billion) takeover of broadcaster Astral Media’s television and radio channels, after the two parties revised the terms of the deal to address anti-monopoly concerns, while the regulator imposed additional conditions to ‘uphold the public interest.’ The conditions of the approved transaction require BCE to invest in new Canadian programming and sell eleven T...
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Spectrum transfer framework: looks good for Verizon, bad for Rogers

Christian Paradis, Canada’s Minister of Industry, on Friday announced the release of the wireless spectrum licence transfer framework, aimed at improving competition by promoting at least four mobile network operators in every region of the country. As previously announced by Mr Paradis on 4 June, all spectrum transfer requests will be reviewed, and those that would result in ‘undue spectrum concentration, and therefore diminish competition’ will not be permitted – the attempt by Telus to acquir...
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Verizon continues Canadian acquisition hunt

Verizon Communications is continuing to explore potential acquisition opportunities in the Canadian mobile market, and has tabled an initial buyout offer for Wind Mobile of roughly USD700 million whilst also beginning negotiations with Mobilicity’s owners, according to two sources familiar with the situation quoted by the Globe & Mail. Last week, Verizon’s chief financial officer Fran Shammo confirmed that the US giant was examining the possibility of entering Canada, although noting that ‘r...
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Mobilicity recapitalisation vote moved to 3 July

Struggling Canadian cellco Mobilicity has delayed until 3 July the date on which its debtholders will vote on a proposed recapitalisation plan, replacing a previous date of 25 June, to ‘allow stakeholders the opportunity to review Industry Canada guidelines, regarding the transfer of wireless spectrum, prior to the vote.’ Earlier in the month larger rival Telus was blocked from acquiring Mobilicity under a federal policy not to allow the transfer of recent market entrants’ wireless spectrum to n...
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Vimpelcom abandons Wind control plan

Egypt-based Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH), a majority owned subsidiary of Russian-backed, Amsterdam headquartered Vimpelcom Group, issued a statement yesterday withdrawing its previous request to the Canadian government to acquire full control of its part-owned subsidiary in the country, Wind Mobile. The statement reads: ‘Further to its prior announcements on the proposed acquisition of control of Wind Mobile Canada, OTH announces that, after a review process and discussions with the government ...
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Verizon studies return to Canadian mobile market; Wind ownership transfer delayed by ‘security concerns’

Verizon Communications is examining a plan to acquire a second-tier Canadian mobile operator, and has held ‘exploratory talks’ with investors in Globalive Wireless (Wind Mobile) in recent weeks, while Mobilicity has also been identified as a potential acquisition target for the US group, according to sources familiar with the situation cited by The Globe & Mail. Wind Mobile has been earmarked for a sale or merger by its main financial backer Vimpelcom and CEO/founder Anthony Lacavera, while ...
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Canada delays Wind Mobile deals on security concerns: report

The Canadian government has delayed the approval of two deals that would solidify Vimpelcom Ltd's control of wireless carrier Wind Mobile over national security concerns, a Canadian newspaper reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources. Vimpelcom, an Amsterdam-based telecom company that is Wind's largest shareholder, has been trying for months to take control of Toronto-based Wind after Canadian legislation was changed to allow foreign ownership of smaller telecommunication companies. However, Ca...
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Rogers extends network sharing agreement with MTS for Manitoban LTE

Rogers Communications announced yesterday it has extended its network sharing agreement with Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) to offer 4G LTE services across the province of Manitoba, while enabling MTS customers to access faster LTE services and to roam on Rogers’ LTE network nationwide. Starting 17 June 2013 Rogers will roll out its LTE Max network – offering multi-band 2600MHz/AWS (2100MHz/1700MHz) services enabling theoretical maximum speeds of 150Mbps – to customers in Winnipeg, Brandon, Vic...
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Mobilicity proceeds with recapitalisation after Telus abandons takeover

Financially-struggling Canadian cellco Mobilicity has issued a statement that it will pursue its previously announced recapitalisation plan after larger operator Telus exercised an option to terminate a proposed takeover of the company. The recapitalisation plan will be voted on by Mobilicity’s debtholders on 25 June 2013. The Telus-Mobilicity deal was effectively blocked earlier this month by a decision from Industry Minister Christian Paradis, who stuck by an existing federal policy of prevent...
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Public Mobile bought by Thomvest and Cartesian

Canadian cellco Public Mobile was yesterday sold to Canadian investment firm Thomvest Seed Capital and US private equity firm Cartesian Capital for an undisclosed price. The CDMA2000-based mobile operator, which launched services in May 2010 and covers the Toronto and Montreal areas, was sold by a consortium of US and Canadian private equity firms. Thomvest and Cartesian indicated that they aim to fund Public Mobile’s bid for 4G wireless spectrum in an upcoming auction set for January 2014, and ...
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Wind founder announces potential bid for Mobilicity

The founder and CEO of Canadian cellco Globalive Wireless (Wind Mobile), Anthony Lacavera, announced yesterday that his company is interested in buying Mobilicity, after Industry Minister Christian Paradis earlier in the day blocked the proposed purchase of Mobilicity by large incumbent operator Telus by vetoing the transfer of wireless spectrum. Lacavera was quoted by Reuters as saying: ‘Our past offers for Mobilicity stand and we look forward to having ongoing discussions with them.’ He noted ...
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Telus blocked from buying Mobilicity; 700MHz auction delayed to January

The proposed takeover of struggling Canadian cellco Mobilicity by larger rival Telus has been effectively blocked by a decision from Industry Minister Christian Paradis, who yesterday announced that the federal government would stick by its existing policy of not allowing the transfer of wireless spectrum from new market entrants to nationwide incumbent operators until 2014 at the earliest. Paradis confirmed to reporters in Ottawa that the pro-competition policy, which aims to see at least four ...
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Bell-Astral deal deadline extended to 31 July

Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) has extended its revised takeover offer for Astral Media to 31 July 2013, from a previous target date which passed on Saturday, as it awaits regulatory approval for the CAD3.4 billion (USD3.29 billion) transaction, CTVnews reports. The original takeover bid announced in March 2012 was rejected by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) over concerns it gave Bell an unfair level of control of the television market; the CRTC held a week ...
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Rogers and Videotron ink LTE network sharing deal

Rogers Communications and Videotron have signed an agreement which will see the two companies build and operate a shared LTE network in and around Quebec and Ottawa. The 20-year deal, which also includes the sharing of some existing infrastructure, is a cost-saving arrangement under which Rogers and Videotron will maintain their own products, services, billing systems and customer data. Over the first ten years, Videotron will pay Rogers CAD200 million (USD194 million), and Rogers will pay Video...
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Telus’s acquisition of Mobilicity moves one step closer

The Ontario court which had been overseeing Mobilicity’s efforts to restructure its debts has approved Telus’s takeover of the beleaguered cellco. Mobilicity’s bondholders approved the proposed CAD380 million (USD366 million) deal last week, and now, following the court’s green light, the only regulatory hurdles remaining are for Canada’s Competition Bureau and Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, to sanction the purchase. Thanks to TeleGeography for this Article
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MTS to sell Allstream to Egyptian investment group Accelero

Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) is selling its Allstream business to Egyptian investment group Accelero Capital Holdings in a deal that values the long-distance telephony operator at around CAD520 million (USD503 million). MTS is expected to put around CAD130 million of the proceeds into its pension plan, and to repay CAD70 million in short-term indebtedness incurred in February 2013 to pre-fund the company’s pension obligations. Accelero was co-founded by Egyptian entrepreneur Naguib Sawiris. T...
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Mobilicity debt holders approve Telus takeover

The proposed CAD380 million (USD367 million) takeover of financially-struggling Canadian cellco Mobilicity by larger rival Telus cleared its first hurdle yesterday when more than two-thirds of Mobilicity’s debt holders approved the sale plan, following which Telus and Mobilicity will seek court approval for the transaction. The deal is by no means assured though, as it requires permission from authorities including the Competition Bureau and telecoms ministry Industry Canada, which must decide w...
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