Videotron Ltd.
TSX : QBR.A
TSX : QBR.B

Videotron Ltd.

June 13, 2007 12:47 ET

Videotron Confirms Leading Edge Wireless Plans

Cites Broad Consumer Support for Competition, Need for Economic Growth

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 13, 2007) - Videotron wants to offer its customers the latest generation of wireless communications services, reversing Canada's trend of offering limited options that restrict Canada's prosperity, Robert Depatie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Videotron told the Canadian Telecom Summit today.

Mr. Depatie revealed the results of research that shows 62% of Canadians believe wireless service is too expensive, including 38% who find it very expensive.

Canadians Want Better Pricing, Competition

The research by Praxicus Public Strategies Inc. showed that high costs are a significant factor in Canada's low wireless service penetration rate, comparable to levels in developing economies. Commissioned by Videotron, the Praxicus survey of 1,000 Canadians conducted last weekend also established that more than 70% of Canadians want the government to encourage greater choice and competition by reserving a portion of additional frequencies for new entrants into the wireless industry.

"Canada lags the industrial world in wireless penetration," said Mr. Depatie. "Canadian prices are higher than elsewhere due to the lack of intense competition. While investors may be pleased, consumers are being exploited and the country's productivity suffers."

High Prices Restrict Prosperity

Mr. Depatie cited research that shows the penetration of wireless services is directly related to national economic prosperity, suggesting that Canada is suffering multi-billion-dollar annual losses in GDP because of its limited wireless offerings. "A study produced for Vodafone by Fuss, Waverman et.al. entitled "The impact of Telecoms on Economic Growth in Developing Countries" (2005) suggests that a gap of 38% in wireless penetration can equate to 1% of GDP growth - in Canada's case that suggests the penalty for high wireless prices has cost the country over $20Billion in lost productivity," he said.

Videotron maintains its commitment to build a wireless network using the latest generation of technologies to deliver integrative, multimedia mobile services to customers in Quebec if the company can obtain frequencies and fair competitive conditions when the federal government conducts an auction for spectrum later this year.

"The answer is to promote more competition into the marketplace. The best way to promote more competition? More competitors," he said. "Videotron can bring new content to mobile customers and we can create new markets. We can drive the convergence of technologies and bring our customers to the forefront of any-time, anywhere content."

Videotron Ltd. (www.videotron.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., is an integrated communications company engaged in cable television, interactive multimedia development, Internet access services, cable telephony and wireless telephone service. Videotron is a leader in new technologies with its illico interactive television system and its broadband network, which supports high-speed cable Internet access, analog and digital cable television, and other services. As of March 31, 2007, Videotron was serving 1,583,000 cable television customers in Quebec, including 653,000 illico subscribers. Videotron is the Quebec leader in high-speed Internet access, with 828,000 subscribers to its cable modem and dial-up services. As of March 31, 2007, Videotron had activated 20,000 lines on its wireless telephone service and was providing cable telephone service to 449,000 Quebec households and organizations.

Contact Information

  • Isabelle Dessureault
    Vice President
    Corporate Affairs and Vox
    514-380-7501
    Mobile: 514-295-0304