New wireless carrier to launch in November

The more players on the market, the better prices or the service for customers, just simple competition rules. Every company, every business will try to offer something special, to do something better than their competitors to attract more customers and to stay in business.

A new wireless carrier will launch in Manitoba this week, following up on a Competition Bureau deal that tapped it as a fourth player in the province's telecommunications mix after Bell officially acquired MTS in 2017.

The newest carrier comes under a name of Xplore Mobile, in this market it is not easy to win the mobile customers, some people have been using the same carrier for many years and will not be easy to persuade for such a change unless offered a great deal, they can't refuse.

Xplore Mobile will launch on November 14, joining Bell MTS, Telus and Rogers in the Manitoba market. It will begin with 20,000 customers — moved over from Bell MTS as part of the deal with the Competition Bureau of Canada — and six retail locations in Winnipeg and Brandon.

Xplore Mobile is the wireless branch of New Brunswick-based Xplornet Communications Inc., which already provides internet to some Manitoba communities. The company is branding itself on simplicity, transparency and fairness, including a new-to-Manitoba data rollover feature that allows customers to transfer unused data from one month to the next.

To be honest, this is a new and great offer, just think how many times at the end of the month, if you are curious and checking, you had noticed those unused minutes or data Megabytes that will just burn and you have to pay again for the next month. But with a data rollover feature, if you are not overusing your plan, it will be mowing to the next month and if you need it, you can really abuse and still do not go over the monthly plan, so you don’t have to pay any extra!

Customers tapped to make the switch have already been notified by mail and will have to go in-person to a store to complete the process. All 20,000 come from the Winnipeg and Brandon areas. Kathy Knight, CEO of the Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba, said Manitoba's telecommunications landscape is competitive, but Xplore Mobile's 20,000-customer headstart gives it an edge.

Knight pointed to under-served rural or remote areas of Manitoba that have long complained of poor cell coverage as "niche opportunities" — as long as Xplore can deliver improved service.

In some areas it is not just a bad connection, sometimes there is no cell service at all, so this can be used to everyone’s benefit, the new company can find its area to growth and expansion and the new customers, who live or work in such areas can finally get the good cell service they need and have been missing so far.

Knight said Xplore has worked to position itself well among its competitors. Its promise of simplicity may appeal to wireless customers, she said, and the data rollover plan stands out on the market. The carrier shouldn't have a problem retaining its customers, as long as it lives up to its promises, she added.

Andrew Parkinson, a spokesperson for Bell MTS, said Bell MTS will always be competitive in Manitoba's market, and its wide variety of plans will meet all user requirements and budgets.

Parkinson was critical of the data rollover plan. "Data rollovers are an older concept from an era when data usage wasn't as intensive and users often had a lot of unused data at the end of the month," Parkinson wrote in an email.

"That's changed now with the rise of social media, video streaming and other data-intensive applications."

Let’s wait just a few more days and see for ourselves what they really have to offer, as the new carrier will begin its information campaign, more users will find out about their existence and the plans the Xplore Mobile has to offer, so every person can decide for himself to make a switch from the current carrier or not. 

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