Quebecor Deploying Own 3G Wireless Network for Late 2009

Back in July we reported on the Canadian wireless spectrum auction, where the biggest investor (aside from the big three: Rogers, Bell, and Telus) was Quebecor Media, spending $554M for spectrum rights in Quebec. Today, Quebecor announced their plans to make use of that spectrum “space”, deploying a HSPA/3G network under the Vidéotron brand, a Quebecor Media subsidiary. Currently Vidéotron’s wireless service piggybacks on Rogers’ network. Quebecor President and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau bills it as a major shift for Quebecor’s business:

“This project is of more than technical interest; it is a watershed event in the history of Quebecor Media and Videotron…what we are announcing is not just the building of a new telecommunications network; with this network, we are laying the foundations of a new business model for Quebecor Media and all its subsidiaries.”

Vidéotron claims that this $800M investment will create 1,000 jobs, though the price includes the $554M spent just on spectrum rights. Nokia Siemens Networks will supply the hardware for the upgrade. The new network will be launched in 12-18 months, around the same time Globalive plans to launch in other provinces.