April/May 2017 - Bell MTS will bring $1B in LTE, fibre innovations to Manitoba

This February, BCE Inc. received federal approval for its purchase of MTS. In March, Bell MTS launched and announced an ambitious plan for province-wide investment and innovation.

MTS is a Manitoba staple, around for as long as many Manitobans can remember. With the acquisition, Bell is adding its weight to MTS’ already-dominant market share in Manitoba – and helping Manitobans trust their home-grown telecom to provide world-class services and upgrades into the future.

“I’m proud to lead Bell MTS as we begin our plan to take broadband communications to the next level in Manitoba,” said Dan McKeen, Vice Chair, Bell MTS & Western Canada. “I know firsthand the benefit of Bell’s scale and expertise in building the high-performance networks that consumers and businesses need in today’s economy.”

MTS has always been steeped in Manitoban communities and lives. Continuing the MTS legacy, Bell MTS is committed to maintaining and expanding that connection to the people in Manitoba.

The company was presenting sponsor at ICTAM’s most recent event, the sixth annual The Innovators (read more about it). Taking its responsibility for community investment seriously, MTS will continue to support events and initiatives from small- to large-scale.

Bell MTS also knows Manitoba’s young people are its future. The MTS Future First program provides sponsorships, grants, in-kind donations, scholarships and volunteer support for organizations across the province that work to help young people.

Mental health issues are also growing in importance to on a regular basis – particularly among younger Canadians. Bell Let’s Talk – an inspired international social media conversation about mental health that has yielded almost $90 million in Bell donations to Canadian mental health to date – focuses on fighting stigma, improving access to care for mental health, supporting research and leading by example in workplace mental health.

This year, Bell Let’s Talk expanded in Manitoba with a new dedicated fund for indigenous mental health chaired by Clara Hughes, Winnipeg Olympian.

“Local engagement and insight have been key to Bell Let’s Talk from the start,” said Hughes. “Bell Let’s Talk can make a real difference in opening new avenues of community support. I’m very excited to help make that happen.”

Bell MTS is already well on its way to innovating in Manitoba. Last month, they introduced 4G LTE in Churchill, a first for the northern town. The newly formed Bell MTS will invest $1 billion over five years to introduce leading-edge communications technologies to Manitoba. Some of the things it plans to introduce are internet speeds of up to 20 times faster than those widely available, TV service, and LTE wireless service for Bell MTS customers.
 
“It’s a significant upgrade in technology for people in Manitoba,” said George Cope, BCE’s CEO, in an interview with the Financial Post. “Our number one interest is to keep the customers we have and grow that business.”