October 10, 2008
Bell Announces Strategic 3G Wireless Network Investment, Maximizing Consumer Choice in Mobile Data and Confirming Its Path Forward to 4G LTE Wireless
MONTREAL, Quebec, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Bell today announced a significant strategic investment in its Third Generation (3G) wireless network capabilities to ensure it offers Canadians the complete range of high-speed mobile data coverage, services and handset options. The investment also confirms the company's migration path to the global Fourth Generation (4G) Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard.
"Investing in broadband networks and services and accelerating wireless are strategic imperatives for the Bell team, and they are key to achieving our goal - to be recognized by customers as Canada's leading communications company," said George Cope, President and Chief Executive Officer of BCE and Bell Canada.
"This investment initiative builds on our industry-leading wireless service - which already offers access to the largest and fastest network across North America- to deliver Canadians the broadest choice in high-speed wireless service, while confirming our path forward to LTE, the global 4G wireless broadband standard."
Maximizing choice in wireless
As it continues to expand and enhance its national 3G CDMA/EVDO service, Bell will also overlay this industry-leading network with HSPA technology, maximizing the latest-generation wireless options the company can offer customers across Canada.
Bell wireless customers will be able to choose between EVDO - already the dominant 3G standard in Canada and across North America - and HSPA, which is rapidly becoming the main platform with carriers outside North America. At the same time, overlaying HSPA on its national network will offer Bell the most efficient upgrade path to the 4G LTE broadband standard in coming years.
"This network initiative is proof positive of Bell's new 'better' brand promise - in this case, 'Wireless just got better.' We fully anticipate that our expanded national 3G networks will continue to offer Canadian consumers and business clients the best and broadest coverage and now with an unbeatable range of high-speed handsets and service options," said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility and Chief Brand Officer for Bell. "As the exclusive telecommunications partner to the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, we look forward to delivering these enhanced capabilities before Canada hosts the world in 2010."
Fourth Generation LTE
LTE is the 4G wireless broadband standard that will be rolled out globally post-2010, delivering extremely fast broadband mobile data speeds and a wide range of new mobile multimedia and personalized data services.
"Bell's transition to the global 4G LTE standard with a combined EVDO and HSPA network path aligns us with more than 30 major carriers worldwide planning a similar move to LTE," said Stephen Howe, Senior Vice President, Wireless Network and Chief Technology Officer for Bell Mobility. "This broad global technology ecosystem will mean a fast, efficient and cost-effective network transition to 4G LTE, and access to the broadest possible range of next-generation phones and data services."
Bell will greatly reduce time to market for its network overlay by leveraging its existing national network-sharing agreement with TELUS Corporation. The agreement was originally established in 2001 to ensure the fast delivery of and increased competition in national mobile data services, especially in rural and remote areas.
Following a comprehensive vendor evaluation process, Bell has chosen Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei as infrastructure providers for its national network overlay.
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers with solutions to all their communications needs, including telephone services, wireless communications, high-speed Internet, digital television and voice over IP. Bell also offers integrated information and communications technology (ICT) services to businesses and governments, and is the Virtual Chief Information Officer (VCIO) to small and medium businesses (SMBs). Bell is proud to be a Premier National Partner and the exclusive Telecommunications Partner to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. For information on Bell's products and services, please visit http://www.bell.ca/. For corporate information on BCE, please visit http://www.bce.ca/.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements concerning the expected time of completion of the addition of HSPA and LTE technology to Bell Mobility's existing wireless networks, the time at which we expect to deliver the foregoing enhanced wireless capabilities and other statements that are not historical facts. Such forward-looking statements are subject to important risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The results and events predicted in these forward-looking statements may differ materially from actual results or events. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statements will materialize.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions including, without limitation: product and equipment availability which may be affected by supply shortages, product defects and product liability; general economic and market conditions and availability of capital; failure to achieve our business objectives; dependence on Telus' network to provide service in areas not covered by Bell Mobility's network; availability of spectrum-related assets necessary to deploy HSPA and LTE technologies; events affecting the functionality of, and our ability to protect and maintain, our networks, IT systems and software; the intensity of competitive activity; intellectual property right claims or other litigation in respect of HSPA or LTE technology (or related network elements); labour disruptions; the potential adverse effects on our networks of the significant increase in broadband demand; potential changes in foreign ownership restrictions; and regulatory initiatives or proceedings, litigation and changes in laws or regulations.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this release and, accordingly, are subject to change after such date. Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this news release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. For additional information with respect to certain of these and other assumptions and risks, please refer to BCE's 2007 annual management's discussion and analysis ("MD&A") dated March 5, 2008, included in the Bell Canada Enterprises 2007 annual report, BCE's 2008 First Quarter MD&A dated May 5, 2008 and BCE's 2008 Second Quarter MD&A dated August 5, 2008, all filed by BCE with the Canadian securities commissions (available at http://www.sedar.com/) and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (available at http://www.sec.gov/). These documents are also available on BCE's website at http://www.bce.ca/.