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Videotron will create more than 600 new jobs in 2010

Canadian media and publishing group Quebecor Inc said on Wednesday its Videotron cable company expects to hire more than 600 staff by the end of 2010 as it readies to roll out a wireless network.

The move is the latest sign of increasing life in Canada's wireless sector as new entrants such as Quebecor, Globalive and Dave Wireless prepare to take on the established carriers that dominate the market.

Quebecor has estimated it will spend C$800 million to C$1 billion on a high-speed network in Quebec that it expects to launch this summer.

Montreal-based Videotron said it hired 600 staff in 2009, largely for its new network, and expects to hire more than 600 this year for the network and other corporate projects.

Those 1,200 jobs exceed a previous estimate that Videotron would create 1,000 jobs between October 2008, when it first announced its wireless network, and the end of 2010.

The company said it is looking mainly for telecommunications engineers, network and programmer analysts, technicians, and sales and customer service staff.

Last week, Globalive said it hopes to raise several hundred million dollars to accelerate its Canadian network build-out and pay down debt.

Backed by Egyptian-based Orascom Telecom with a US$700 million four-year loan, Globalive estimates it will spend US$1.5 billion over 10 years to launch its service.

Currently, Telus, BCE's Bell Canada and Rogers Communications control 95 percent of the Canada's wireless market.

Cable and telecom company Shaw Communications also purchased spectrum in the government's 2008 auction, but has not yet announced wireless plans.

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