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Canada's Mobile Francophones

While major U.S. MSOs like Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), and Cox Communications Inc. are still gearing up their mobile service plans, Canadian cable operator Vidéotron Telecom Ltd. has already launched wireless in a big way. Through an MVNO deal with Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE: RG; Toronto: RCI), Canada's largest cable operator and mobile carrier, Videotron has fired up mobile service across the greater Montreal area. The move follows earlier wireless rollouts in Quebec City, Gatineau, Sherbrooke, and Chicoutimi. The MSO says it plans to go mobile throughout its Quebec service territory by year's end. That's good news for its Francophone customers.

Even better news is that Videotron has eschewed the tired term "quad play" for its four-product package. Instead, the Canadian is using the multi-lingual brand Quattro for its service bundle. The basic package is priced at an attention-grabbing $89.95 per month Canadian (about $80 U.S.) for a basic selection local telephone, 300 mobile minutes, basic digital TV and 600-kbit/s cable Internet service. A bigger bundle, including 7 Mbit/s Internet and 500 mobile minutes, is available for $122.95 per month Canadian (about $110 U.S.). In an effort to deliver on the simplification promise of bundling, Videotron Quattro customers receive a single monthly bill, as well as one point of contact for customer and technical service support. Videotron serves more than 1.5 million basic cable, 550,000 digital cable, 730,000 Internet, and 285,000 residential telephone customers. — Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News

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