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Rogers dials up telephony service expansion

Wed, 06/29/2005 - 8:00pm
Karen Brown

Rogers Communications Inc. now has a greater voice in the Canadian telephony market, announcing a major expansion of phone service starting Friday that banks on its acquisition of Call-Net Enterprises Inc.

The board of directors at Call-Net, which markets its services under the Sprint Canada brand, approved the acquisition plan yesterday. Today, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved the $330 million deal that will close Friday - which coincidentally happens to be Canada Day. Following that, Sprint Canada will be rebranded under the Rogers flag.

Nor will Rogers waste time capitalizing on its ready-made telephony service. Starting Friday it will introduce Rogers Home Phone local cable telephony service in the greater Toronto metro area. Rogers will maintain the Sprint Canada pricing tiers, but it will offer bundled discounts averaging about $5 if customers sign up for the MSO's cable, Internet or wireless service with a two-year commitment.

Customers who sign up can keep their existing phone numbers and tap call features including enhanced 911 emergency service, directory assistance, voicemail, call display and call waiting. The MSO plans to roll out the service to its entire cable territory and add to the call feature list in the coming months.

"This announcement marks a great day for both Rogers and Sprint Canada customers alike," said Edward Rogers, Rogers' president, in a release. "It marks a powerful choice for consumers in communications service providers, it marks the ability for consumers to enjoy expanded bundles of communications and entertainment services, and it marks the introduction of another powerful and innovative service offering utilizing the capabilities of our highly advanced and reliable cable network."

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