Monday, December 13, 2004

Bell reveals plans for faster wireless network


MONTREAL — Bell Canada outlined plans today for a faster wireless network that the company says will be up to six times speedier than what's currently available in Canada.

The Montreal-based phone company said technical trials have begun in the Toronto area and that the new network will be rolled out in major urban centres across Canada throughout 2005 and 2006.

Bell said the new network will be capable of data speeds of up to 2.4 million bits per second — comparable to a high-speed home Internet available over land lines.

The advance wireless network will use the EVDO standard (Evolution, Data Optimized).

The company says EVDO provides the platform for the next major growth phase in wireless services, allowing for new consumer video, data-rich applications and enhanced business productivity solutions.

"Wireless data presents the same tremendous growth potential today that wireless voice did almost 20 years ago," Michael Neuman, president of Bell Mobility and Bell Distribution Inc., said in a statement.

Shares of Bell's parent, BCE Inc. (TSX: BCE) closed at $28.42, down 13 cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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