Bell completes MTS acquisition, announces vice chair for western Canada services

Bell Canada parent company BCE Inc. announced the official completion of its Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) acquisition this morning, along with the appointment of BCE executive Dan McKeen as vice chair of Bell MTS and Western Canada.

As of March 17, Bell and MTS services will officially be known as Bell MTS in Manitoba, while McKeen, who served until recently as vice chair of Bell Aliant, will be succeeded by Bell CFO Glen LeBlanc, who will assume the position in addition to his current responsibilities. McKeen himself will also continue to serve as BCE’s senior vice president of small business.

The company also reiterated plans to begin rolling out a 5-year, $1 billion broadband network expansion plan for Manitoba, with Winnipeg serving as Bell’s new western Canada headquarters and McKeen as its head.

BCE executive Dave McKeen will be transferring from Halifax to Winnipeg to serve as the company’s new vice chair for western Canada services.

“I’m proud to lead Bell MTS as we begin our plan to take broadband communications to the next level in Manitoba,” McKeen said in a March 17 statement. “I know firsthand the benefit of Bell’s scale and expertise in building the high-performance networks that consumers and businesses need in today’s economy.”

Though BCE and Bell Canada president and CEO George Cope thanked outgoing MTS CEO Jay Forbes for his support in completing the $3.9 billion acquisition in the March 17 statement, no further involvement between Forbes and the company’s future operations was mentioned.

Bell has promised MTS customers that it will maintain their current wireless price plans for at least 12 months from today.

The company also used the occasion to announce the completion of its first Bell MTS infrastructure: 4G LTE wireless service for the town of Churchill, Manitoba.

“A growing ecotourism and research centre, the Polar Bear Capital of the World is now served by the mobile network ranked faster than any in Canada and the United States, and will soon be connected with new broadband fibre connections,” McKeen said.

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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