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Videotron CEO touts mobile service at conference

Fri, 11/16/2012 - 2:53pm
Mike Robuck

Videotron President and CEO Robert Dépatie used this week’s Mobiz 2012 conference to tout the cable operator’s mobile service, which it launched two years ago.

Despite facing intense competition, Videotron, which has most of its footprint in a condensed area of Quebec, built its own AWS network for its illico mobile service. As of Sept. 30, Videotron had 378,300 subscriber connections to its mobile telephone service and was providing cable telephone service to 1.25 million Québec households and organizations.

"We offered Quebecers mobile telephone service designed and developed by Quebecers," Dépatie said. "That approach has been the source of our success in telephone service, cable television and Internet access service. So why not in mobility? We had to go where no one had dared go before. We therefore decided to get our mobile experts working with our video, Internet and voice experts to give Quebecers the benefit of our 50 years of expertise in entertainment and technological innovation. That was practically a first for a Canadian carrier."

Videotron, a subsidiary of Quebecor Media, placed first in customer satisfaction among all eastern Canadian mobile carriers in 2011 in the J.D. Power rankings. It achieved a 92 percent customer satisfaction rate, compared with an industry average of 88 percent.

Videotron said its entry into the Québec mobile market was a turning point for the company. More than a million customers now subscribe to three or more of Videotron's services, a milestone to which the mobile service made an important contribution.

By contrast, Shaw Communications gave up on its plan to build its own LTE network in favor of offering Wi-Fi services across its footprint.

According to a story on Cartt.ca, Videotron will be rolling out a Wi-Fi-enabled iPad app for its illico Web service, which launched two years ago, before the end of the month. Currently, Videotron isn’t able to offer Apple’s iPhone over its AWS network, which Dépatie said was costing Videotron 20 percent in revenue, according to the Cartt.ca story.

At the conference, Dépatie said that Videotron would release an API related to customer mobile data usage to app developers within a few months. The API will make it easier for developers to integrate certain new functions into their apps, such as displaying the customer's current data usage before downloading a video.

"We are creative and passionate, and we know Québec consumers better than anyone," Dépatie said. "We are confident that we have made the right choices and that our move into mobility will secure the company's future. Beyond the technology, what will enable us to remain the most respected telecommunications company in Québec can be summed up in two words: Québec talent."

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