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Press release from CNW Group

MTS Allstream welcomes Federal Government decision to increase investment and innovation in telecommunications

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

MTS Allstream welcomes Federal Government decision to increase investment and innovation in telecommunications19:36 EDT Wednesday, March 14, 2012Greater access to global capital will promote innovation and greater consumer choice in Canadian marketsStock Symbol: MBTOTTAWA, March 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (TSX: MBT) (the "Company" or "MTS Allstream"), including its two operating divisions MTS and Allstream, today welcomed the Federal Government's decision to support innovation in Canada's telecommunications sector and loosen restrictions on investment. Federal Industry Minister Christian Paradis made the announcement this afternoon at a news conference in Russell, Ontario."This is a positive development for MTS Allstream and for Canadians and Canadian businesses," said Pierre Blouin, Chief Executive Officer, MTS Allstream. "This announcement means more investment, better prices and more choice for Canadians. The Federal Government should be congratulated for its focus on strengthening the Canadian economy and its support for more investment in Canada's telecommunications sector."Under current Canadian law, foreign investors are prohibited from directly owning more than 20 per cent of a Canadian telecommunications business, limiting domestic companies' access to capital and strategic partnerships.  Once the legislative amendments necessary to give effect to the Minister's announcement today have been passed, competitive providers that have 10 per cent or less market share in Canada's telecommunications market will be open to increased foreign investment.  Investment restrictions remain applicable to telecommunications carriers that are also broadcast distributors, such as MTS in Manitoba."For MTS Allstream this announcement means greater access to capital and the potential to open up valuable new opportunities, particularly for Allstream.  The removal of these restrictions will allow Canada to assume its place as a destination for investment and opportunity in the digital economy, " Blouin noted.Mr. Blouin also commented on the wireless auction policy announced by the Minister."While we will need to review the spectrum cap approach adopted by the Minister, we understand that the government is endeavouring to strike the appropriate balance of enabling greater competition in the marketplace to the benefit of consumers while also pursuing the important goal of greater deployment of wireless broadband services to rural areas," he added.Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (MTS Allstream)MTS Allstream is one of Canada's leading national communication solutions companies, providing innovative communications for the way Canadians live and work today. The company has more than 100 years of experience, with 5,500 employees across Canada. MTS Allstream's business is dynamic and consists of two operating divisions.  In Manitoba, MTS is the leading full-service telecommunications provider for residential and business customers. MTS's suite of services include the latest in wireless technology, broadband services, IPTV, voice services, home security, and an extensive range of business solutions. Across Canada, Allstream is a leader in IP communications and is the only national provider that focuses exclusively on the business telecommunications market. MTS Allstream has nearly two million customer connections spanning business customers across Canada and residential consumers throughout the province of Manitoba. The Company's extensive national fibre optic network spans more than 30,000 kilometres. MTS Allstream has spent 11 consecutive years on the Jantzi Social Index for leadership in social responsibility and is the recipient of the 2011 Governance Gavel Award from the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, recognizing clear and effective public disclosure and leading governance practices. MTS Allstream's common shares are listed on the TSX (trading symbol: MBT).  Customers, stakeholders and investors who want to learn more about MTS Allstream are encouraged to visit: www.mtsallstream.com.  For more information about MTS's products and services, please visit www.mts.ca. For more information about Allstream's products and services, please visit www.allstream.com.Forward-looking Statements DisclaimerThis news release includes forward-looking statements and information (collectively, the "statements") about the Company's corporate direction, business opportunities, operations, financial objectives and future financial results and performance that are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. As a consequence, actual results in the future may differ materially from any conclusion, forecast or projection in such forward-looking statements. Therefore, forward-looking statements should be considered carefully and undue reliance should not be placed on them. Examples of statements that constitute forward-looking information may be identified by words such as "believe", "expect", "project", "should", "anticipate", "could", "target", "forecast", "intend", "plan", "outlook", "see", "set", "pending", and other similar terms.Factors that could cause anticipated opportunities and actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, matters identified in the "Material assumptions" section below, the "Risks and uncertainties" section, elsewhere in the Company's 2011 Annual MD&A and 2011 Annual Information Form, all of which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.  Please note that forward-looking statements reflect Management's expectations as of today. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.For further information: Media: Selena Hinds Corporate Communications 204-941-8576 selena.hinds@mtsallstream.com               Investors: Paul Peters Investor Relations 204-941-6178 paul.peters@mtsallstream.com