Quebecor Inc. is extending coverage across Canada for customers of its Freedom Mobile, Videotron and Fizz brands following regulatory rulings that it says will promote competition.
The Montreal-based company says there will be a phased expansion of the service areas for those brands as it launches its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced a policy in 2021 allowing regional providers to compete as MVNOs across Canada using networks built by large companies and earlier this year ordered them to negotiate access agreements.
Earlier this week, the CRTC ruled in an arbitration proceeding over MVNO data access rates between Quebecor and BCE Inc., siding with the latter’s proposal, after previously deciding in favour of Quebecor in a separate proceeding between the company and Rogers Communications Inc.
Quebecor’s Videotron bought Freedom Mobile for $2.85 billion in April in a move prompted by Rogers’ takeover of Shaw Communications Inc., which agreed last year to sell Freedom to ease competition concerns.
Freedom later announced it would offer its first cellphone plan with national coverage and add 5G capability for customers with plans that cost $45 per month or more in the Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton areas and other select cities.