MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of the North American video market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes MTS Allstream Inc. (MTS Allstream) with the 2009 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Competitive Strategy Leadership. Over the past year, all telco providers have felt the impact of the economic downturn on their business. In this environment and in an industry where customers have many companies to choose from for their video services, highly competitive strategies need to be utilized to help a company stand out as a leader. With their high quality video service, MTS Allstream has successfully stood apart and ahead of its competition.
"Cable and satellite video providers have the majority of the market share, making it challenging for telco providers to grow in the video market," explains Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst, Gina Villanueva. "Competitive strategies are crucial in today's environment; companies are monitoring their business closely and focusing on growth opportunities that will be available once the economy bounces back."
In the telecommunications market, MTS Allstream offers a complete breadth of products in the consumer market, from wireline and wireless telephony to security and alarm monitoring services along with video service. The company has the unmatched ability in Manitoba to bundle up to five of its services. Frost & Sullivan used certain criteria to benchmark MTS Allstream's performance against key competitors - its ability to lever competitive intelligence, execution of competitive strategy, and effective brand positioning to drive improved customer satisfaction/value and market share.
Early in 2009, MTS Allstream launched its new high definition television (HDTV) platform in Manitoba, branding it MTS Ultimate TV. The technology is from Alcatel-Lucent with Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV. MTS Allstream is the first company in Canada to deploy this next generation of HDTV service. MTS Ultimate TV enables customers to utilize an advanced personal video recorder (PVR) to record up to three programs at the same time, access value-added features, and to watch their recorded programs on any television in their home connected to the service. Customers with MTS Ultimate TV currently can access over 250 digital channels, 28 channel packages, 48 high definition channels, over 65 music and local radio stations, the advanced PVR, an interactive program guide, access to pay-per-view and video-on-demand programming, and online customization of channel packages.
"MTS Allstream uses competitive intelligence to understand its customers and bring them value-added services for market share gain," notes Villanueva. "Examples of its application of competitive intelligence are their online customization ability and unique service capabilities."
MTS Ultimate TV customers can select between channel packages and individual channels online, using the Internet and a web portal. This allows them to tailor their channel selections and have those changes implemented almost instantaneously for viewing. Customers frequently report satisfaction with this functionality, which MTS Allstream developed in response to the inflexibility of the channel offerings of its major competitors. This has set MTS Allstream apart from the perspective of the customer's viewing experience.
MTS Ultimate TV customers also have the choice to go beyond the usual triple and quadruple-play services commonly found in the industry with a fifth service: home security and monitoring services. Consumers who bundle together MTS Allstream services receive additional discounts for each service they choose. MTS Allstream carefully manages their bundling strategy to maximize customer acquisition, retention and satisfaction while lowering their customer cost of acquisition and churn levels. Over 65 percent, or 270,000 households in their target markets, have more than one MTS Allstream service, demonstrating the success of the company's strategy.
Effective market deployment is crucial for growth in the television market, and MTS Allstream has done a first-rate job. It has deployed MTS Ultimate TV to Winnipeg, Portage la Prairie and Brandon, Manitoba; enhancing customer relationships by providing more-advanced and competitively-priced services than the incumbent video providers.
MTS Allstream's customer support is a strong indicator of its focus on customers' needs. For example, MTS Allstream provides support pages dedicated to understanding service bills and payment procedures. For customers moving to a new home, MTS Allstream provides a Moving Wizard to make the process as simple as possible. The service is available 24/7 and customers can transfer services to their new residence and add other services such as home alarm and monitoring, with the first month free.
Finally, through marketing, the expansion of its network footprint, and customer support, the MTS Allstream has grown its television base by 4.2 percent from the previous year to 83,600 revenue generating units. With television revenues growing by 17 in 2008, MTS Allstream has done exceptionally well in the video market staying ahead of the other telecommunications companies in Canada. Ranked #1 in terms of telco market share in Canada, the MTS Allstream is building off its competitive strategy strength to achieve a leadership position in the video market.
For these achievements, MTS Allstream is the worthy recipient of the 2009 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Competitive Strategy Leadership in the North American video market.
Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About MTS Allstream
MTS Allstream is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. As one of Canada's leading national communication solutions companies, MTS Allstream provides innovative communications for the way Canadians want to live and work today. The company has more than 100 years of experience, with 6,000 employees across Canada dedicated to a mission of delivering true value as seen through the eyes of its customers. In 2008, MTS Allstream had nearly two million total customer connections spanning business customers across Canada and residential consumers throughout the province of Manitoba. The company's extensive national broadband and fibre optic network spans almost 30,000 kilometres. MTS Allstream is a proud sponsor of Cindy Klassen, 2006 World Champion and Canada's greatest Olympian, and a proud contributor to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.'s common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (trading symbol: MBT). To learn more about MTS Allstream services, markets, community commitments and record of creating shareholder value, visit: www.mtsallstream.com.
About Frost & Sullivan
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