|May 10, 2000|
Microcell Telecommunications Inc. Creates Microcell i5 Inc.
|Mr. André Tremblay, President and Chief Executive Officer of Microcell Telecommunications Inc., today announced the founding of a new mobile Internet services development company, Microcell i5 Inc. A wholly owned subsidiary of Microcell, the new company represents an initial investment of $50 million. The objective of Microcell i5, which has already begun operation, is to become the Canadian leader in Internet services by 2003. Microcell i5 plans to launch its first services in the autumn of 2000, with Fido customers across Canada (numbering more than 650,000 to date) as the target clientele.|
Studies estimate that between now and 2005, Canadian access to Internet services using mobile terminals will reach 45%, confirming the enormous potential of Microcell i5's activities. ''The challenge is considerable: making it possible for customers to access services anytime and anywhere in a personalized manner using their Fido,'' says Mr. André Tremblay. ''To position Fido as a communications tool for generations to come, we will rely on all of the strength of the brand, the spirit of community associated with it, and the synergy among the various Microcell subsidiaries.''
To achieve these objectives, Microcell i5 has agreed to build a corporate structure that will make it possible to bring together the best people in the mobile Internet services field. ''In the coming months, Microcell i5 plans to create some 150 jobs. Our goal is to assemble a team of the most qualified professionals in the new information economy. This team will make it possible for us to launch products which will stand out from the competition,'' underscores Mr. François-Charles Sirois, President and Chief Operating Officer of Microcell I5.
To reach its goals quickly, Microcell i5 plans to establish strategic partnerships with the most experienced players in the content, applications, infrastructure and technology industries. ''We are negotiating with several potential partners,'' confirms Mr. Sirois. ''These partnerships will make it possible for us to build a solid infrastructure in order to launch our first generation of services, and support the anticipated growth in advanced mobile services.'' The first project to be launched by Microcell i5, the portal for people on the go, should be available to Fido customers in the fall of 2000. Several data services will be made accessible using Fido.
''The evolution of our GSM network will play a key role in terms of the data products and services that will be introduced,'' confirms Mr. Tremblay. ''Within a year, the data transmission rate of our network should be increased tenfold. This upgrade will make possible to develop a host of services that meet the expanding needs of Microcell customers.''
With 55% of mobile telephones, GSM is the most widely used mobile communication protocol in the world. The GSM standard means Microcell is able to benefit from all of the advantages that come with a critical mass of users.
Besides offering distinct advantages over other technologies, the GSM standard provides an unparalleled level of security, giving it a privileged position in the race to provide transactional services via the Internet.