Major Canadian cell phone providers are keeping an eye on vacationers

Things are slowly heating up in Canadian mobile communications. With the summer season traditionally quieter, national operators appear to be looking to capitalize on the current tourism excitement to attract new customers both in Canada and elsewhere on the continent.

It started in the spring with provider Freedom Mobile, which used its time under the auspices of Videotron to review its pricing map. Some less attractive packages have disappeared and others have appeared. This includes a North America plan for $50 per month, which offers up to 40 gigabytes of downloadable data from both the US and Canada each month.

Roaming fees and fees for exceeding monthly limits have been one of the main drivers of revenue growth for Canadian wireless providers for years. By tapping into this niche with a fairly generous data plan that crosses the Canada-U.S. border, Freedom Mobile and Videotron hope to make a big impact on the lucrative clientele of frequent travelers, whether for business or pleasure.

The goal is always the best possible coverage.

Bell responded quickly. The Montreal-headquartered provider has signed an agreement with Air Canada to deploy its network on the Montreal-based airline’s aircraft. Passengers can text for free using Air Canada’s Wi-Fi. Foreign travelers visiting the country will be offered a SIM card so they can connect to the Bell network when they land on Canadian soil.

9.5 million potential customers

All of this is nothing compared to the $30 million Telus has invested in Montreal in recent months. The Vancouver-based provider hopes to attract at least some of the 9.5 million tourists expected in the Quebec metropolis in the summer by expanding its 5G network.

These are major events that are among the largest in Canada and take place every summer at the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit, the Old Port and the Parc Jean-Drapeau – in short, almost everywhere in Montreal. At these events, visitors brandish their cell phones, film and photograph what they see, sometimes sharing their images live with friends or on social networks.

A lot of mobile data is exchanged over wireless networks. It’s important that networks withstand this pressure, says Nazim Benhadid, vice president of network construction and operations at Telus. “Our investment ensures that all of these customers are well served, particularly customers who transmit large amounts of video data,” he said Duty.

For example, Telus estimates that the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit site alone broadcast the equivalent of 10,000 high-definition films over its network during the three days of the Canadian Grand Prix. “It’s a significant volume,” notes Mr. Benhadid.

As a sign of the times, phone owners continue to avoid traditional telephony and prefer to exchange digital content with their loved ones. Every year the demand for bandwidth grows by 20 to 25%, a trend that will not stop, the Telus manager continued. “It is a major technological challenge. In the Old Port, a heavily visited location, our strategy is to offer a combination of 5G, 4G and WiFi spectrum. »

Telus also says it has deployed a 3km radius Wi-Fi network in the Old Port to offload some of the bandwidth used by visitors from here and elsewhere. “The goal is always the best possible coverage. »

Tourism and Technology Alliance

Mobile operators have little choice when it comes to investing in increasingly robust networks. Consumers are demanding more and more and more organizers of large tourism events are leveraging their presence to offer digital outdoor experiences.

This is especially true for the Montreal International Jazz Festival, which begins this Thursday, June 29th. A wall of the Maison du Festival on Sainte-Catherine Street, on the edge of the Quartier des Spectacles, has been equipped with an augmented reality component accessible via a smartphone.

The digital experience brings the “Wall of Legends” to life. It features eight interactive tables that combine sound and images, recalling great moments of Montreal jazz. This includes excerpts from archival music from artists such as Oscar Peterson, Leonard Cohen and Herbie Hancock.

Obviously, all of this is possible thanks to wireless networks. And that’s just the beginning: Virtual and augmented reality experiences are becoming more numerous as events and festivals look to increase their attendance.

And with the number of visitors to a city like Montreal running into the millions each year, a wireless infrastructure capable of welcoming all of these people is required. An important business card for suppliers who are constantly looking for new subscribers.

To watch in the video

Andrea Hunt

Twitter enthusiast. Organizer. Explorer. Reader. Zombie aficionado. Tv specialist. Thinker. Incurable internet maven.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *