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Manitoba Wireless Carrier Xplore Mobile to Shut Down at End of August

July 15, 2022 12:54 PM | The Canadian Press

By The Canadian Press

Cell Phone

A man looks at his phone during the Mobile World Congress wireless show in Barcelona, Spain, on February 27, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Emilio Morenatti)

Xplore Mobile Inc. will be shutting down at the end of August.

The wireless carrier, which provides service to customers in Manitoba, will cease operations on Aug. 31, according to a company statement.

Xplore Mobile says it was able to get through a number of challenges including vigorous competition and the pandemic over the years, but could not overcome “the cloud of uncertainty created by regulatory delays.”

The company says Telus Corp.-owned Koodo has created an offer exclusively for Xplore Mobile customers that will now be without a wireless provider.

Xplore Mobile was created when BCE Inc. announced that it would acquire Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. in 2016 for $3.9 billion and was told by the Competition Bureau in 2017 that it would have to “sell assets and provide services” to New Brunswick-based rural internet provider Xplornet Communications Inc. as a condition of the deal closing.

To appease the federal regulator, BCE agreed to transfer a chunk of its wireless customers and wireless spectrum licences, as well as six retail stores to Xplornet, ultimately forming Xplore Mobile.

Xplornet and Xplore Mobile have been separate companies with different owners since Xplornet was acquired by Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners LP in 2020.

CP - The Canadian Press