Freedom Mobile announced Thursday the launch of a $50 plan that includes unlimited calls and texts, as well as 40 gigabytes of data accessible throughout Canada and the United States, following its acquisition by Videotron, a subsidiary of Quebecor. .

The $2.85 billion deal was prompted by the takeover of Shaw Communications by Rogers Communications, which last year agreed to spin off Freedom Mobile in a bid to alleviate competition concerns as a precondition to fusion.

Under conditions of federal approval issued by Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne in March, Videotron must offer packages that are at least 20% lower than competitors’ packages and spend $150 million over the next two years to upgrade Freedom Mobile’s network.

The company says work is underway, with teams dedicated to upgrading the wireless network, to support the upcoming implementation of 5G technology and seamless roaming.

But the recently announced plan, which marks Freedom’s first offering with national coverage, “goes far beyond any expectations set by Ottawa,” said telecommunications consultant Mark Goldberg.

“It’s not just 20%. It’s a unique package,” he observed.

While he noted that this isn’t the first time a Canadian carrier has offered cross-border roaming, “it’s definitely the lowest price I’ve seen and it’s showing some fierce competition in terms of price”.

Earlier this year, Minister Champagne said his approval of the merger between Rogers and Shaw would make Freedom Mobile a strong fourth national carrier, which would also encourage competition and lower prices in the market.

Mr. Goldberg expects Freedom, as well as Rogers, Bell Canada and Telus to meet that expectation by offering other incentives to their customers.

Freedom also said it has made improvements to its services that go beyond Quebecor’s commitments at the time of the transaction, such as a price freeze guarantee, which applies to all current and future customers as long as they retain their packages.

Earlier this month, Rogers slashed the price per gigabyte of data by 50% on its most popular plan, giving customers access to 50 gigabytes of data for $85 per month. He also announced new bundled options for Rogers and Shaw customers in British Columbia, Alberta and other provinces.