Videotron remains on track to launch cell phone service in the summer, the company said.
As of Dec. 21, all services and switching platforms have been installed and are operational, and interconnections have been established with Videotron’s existing fiber network. Multi-phase reliability testing of these platforms is currently underway.
Videotron also said it has entered into several site access agreements or had tower-sharing requests accepted in respect of nearly 60 percent of all antenna sites required for the advanced wireless service (AWS) launch. Furthermore, the equipment for most of the contracted sites has been installed or is in the process of being installed.
Videotron still anticipates launching its AWS offering in the summer of 2010, when its new High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) network is expected to be operational.
The optimization of Videotron’s AWS build-out and launch project over the past year has evolved, the company said, resulting in a corresponding evolution of the project's investment profile as compared with Videotron's initial estimates.
That’s apparently a reference to how possible government funding never came through.
“Despite the continuing lack of clear support from governmental authorities that would expedite increased competition in this field, Videotron is maintaining the pace of its network build-out,” said Robert Dépatie, president and CEO of Videotron.
The company signaled that instead of starting up with blanket coverage of its operating area in Quebec, the rollout would be performed in stages.
Nevertheless, Videotron said it believes that this will not have a material impact on Videotron’s results of operations or financial position, because Videotron anticipates that its optimized AWS project will further benefit its penetration, revenue generation and cash conversion objectives. As previously stated, Videotron still intends to finance future AWS project disbursements from cash on hand, funds generated by operations and, if necessary, available unused lines of credit.