TELUS and Rogers beat Bell to big government contract

27 Mar 2007

The Canadian federal government in Ottawa has awarded the bulk of a CAD77.3 million (USD66.5 million) set of wireless contracts to TELUS Mobility and Rogers Wireless, snubbing their main mobile rival Bell Mobility. The two-year contracts, issued at the end of last month, are valued at around CAD42 million for TELUS and CAD35 million for Rogers, with Bell bringing up the rear with a contract valued at only around CAD340,000. The government had said it would choose the carriers based on pricing and technical criteria. The contracts include the supply of cellular phones, PDAs, datacards and push-to-talk facilities, accounting for at least 90% of the government’s wireless service needs. The government currently spends a total of around CAD40 million each year on wireless services from all three operators. Bell Mobility’s new president, Wade Oosterman, and George Cope, president of parent company Bell Canada, have recently increased the company’s focus on profitability. When asked to comment on the tender by local press, Bell Canada spokesman Paolo Pasquini would only say that ‘there’s value for access to the company’s network,’ a philosophy apparently reflected in its bid.