BCE Inc. has closed its $3.1-billion deal to acquire Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. and says it will begin investing in networks and offering its Fibe-branded television and Internet services in the province.
The companies announced the friendly takeover last May but only received the final necessary federal approvals last month. BCE announced Friday it has completed the transaction as planned and will pick up a total of 710,000 wireless, TV and Internet customers.
Manitoba was one of the last provinces with a regional telephone company that offered competition in the wireless market to the Big Three national carriers: BCE, Rogers Communications Inc. and Telus Corp.
Wireless prices in the province are lower than in many other parts of the country, and to win the blessing of the Competition Bureau and the federal Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, BCE agreed to transfer 24,700 of its wireless subscribers (plus cellular airwaves and retail stores) to rural Internet provider Xplornet Communications Inc., which plans to launch a new mobile business in the province.