Bell Mobility Company Brief

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Company Brief
Bell Mobility

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00017805

Publication Date: 2205

Report Type: VENDOR


Bell Mobility was founded in 1985 when its parent company, BCE (Bell
Canada), introduced Canada’s first cellular network. As the nation’s second
largest wireless carrier and a subsidiary of its largest telecommunications
provider, Bell Mobility offers wireless communications services nationally.
Bell Canada boasts LTE network coverage across 99 percent of Canada’s
population, providing the backbone for its ongoing 5G services expansion. The
company’s peak GB-class LTE and fiber access speeds are
over 1.5Gbps, with a massive 5G network that began full rollout
in 2020. This brief takes a deeper
look at Bell Mobility’s operations.

Report Contents:

Fast Facts

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Name: Bell Mobility
5099 Creekbank Rd
Mississauga, ON, L4W 5N2
Phone: (902) 658-7474
Fax: (416) 282-3503
Type of Vendor: Wireless communications
Founded: 1985
Service Areas: Canada


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Bell Mobility is Canada’s original mobile services provider, and currently one of the country’s Big
Three by subscribers, alongside Rogers and TELUS. The carrier launched in 1985 when its parent company, BCE (Bell Canada), introduced the
nation’s first cellular network. Today, that subsidiary provides wireless communications services nationally
under the Bell Mobility brand, in addition to providing wireless
through the Bell Aliant brand.

As the wireless industry began to take off, Bell Mobility entered into an
$83 million CAD agreement with Northern Telecom in 1992 to build and implement
a fully digital cellular network. By 1999, Bell Mobility owned nearly 55 percent
of the Canadian prepaid
wireless market and planned to conduct trials of CDMA2000 in Ottawa with Nortel

Since that time, Bell Mobility has competed extensively with the top wireless
companies in Canada including Rogers Wireless and TELUS. In 2009, Bell Mobility
introduced a 4G LTE network and acquired full ownership of Virgin Mobile Canada, providing it with an even
larger customer base. In 2011, Bell Mobility launched Enhanced Mobile TV
following Bell Canada’s buyout of CTV and launch of Bell Media. In 2015, Bell
Mobility announced that it would offer MiFi 4G LTE 100M bps mobile hotspots
through a partnership with Novatel Wireless. Representing the first launch of
Novatel 4G LTE hotspots outside of the US, the service provided average
speeds of 10-40Mbps. Also in 2015, Bell Mobility acquired 2500MHz wireless
spectrum. Bell Mobility – through its parent company – also officially closed its
acquisition of Manitoba Telecom (MTS), in 2017; purchased AlarmForce Industries
and Axia NetMedia, in 2018; upgraded its Fiber network to 1.5Gbps access speeds,
also in 2018; and shuttered its legacy CDMA network, in 2019.

More recently, the onset of global pandemic has signaled a time of transition
for Bell Mobility. On the heels of a US roaming agreement with AT&T, the company
noted the retirement of longtime President and CEO, George Cope, in January
2020 in favor of Mirko Bibic. In 2021, Bell Mobility launched its nationwide 5G
network, announcing continuously expanding coverage. During this time, Bell
Canada also opted to sell nearly 40 of its data centers to Equinix in a series
of all-cash transactions valued at CAD1.78 billion (US$1.5 billion).


Bell Mobility has more than 25 years of service in the marketplace, and stands as the leading provider in a number of provinces.
The provider’s
market share is partially affected by the fact that the top-ranked carrier, Rogers, focuses its efforts on
the southernmost reaches of Canada; Bell Mobility offers services to some of
Canada’s most
far-flung subscribers, including all the way up to the edge of the arctic circle.
Given most-recent estimates (2021)1, Bell is the second-largest wireless carrier in
Canada counting number of subscribers with 9,459,185. Market leader Rogers
Wireless boasts 11,297,000, while third-ranked TELUS Mobility comes in just
behind Bell Mobility with 9,290,000 subscribers.

1 shows Bell’s place in a crowded Canadian wireless carrier market.

Figure 1. Canadian Wireless Carriers Market Share

Figure 1. Canadian Wireless Carriers Market Share

Source: CWTS


Bell Mobility’s strategy is to advance how Canadians connect with one another
and the world by building on its competitive strengths and embracing new
opportunities in the integrated, digital future. The company is committed to
bringing best digital connections and next-gen services to customers, and it
believes it is positioned to deliver continued success in a fast-changing
communications market. Bell Canada’s six strategic imperatives include:

  • Building the best networks
  • Driving growth with innovative services
  • Delivering the most compelling content
  • Championing customer experience
  • Operating with agility and cost efficiency
  • Engaging and investing in its people


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As a service arm of Bell Canada, Bell Mobility shares its parent company’s executive team and Board
of Directors.

  • Gordon Nixon – Chairman, Bell Canada
  • Mirko Bibic – President and Chief Executive Officer, Bell Canada
  • Claire Gillies – President, Bell Mobility
  • Stephen Howe – Chief Technology and Information Officer

Major Products

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Wireless continues to be a key growth service for Bell Mobility, with recent investments
having yielded high-speed wireless networks and strong subscriber growth. Bell
claims to offer "Canada’s best network," covering more than 34 million citizens
and offering "peak Gigabit-class LTE speeds" that exceed 1Gbps (average speed of
25-220Mbps) for theoretical downloads and fiber access speeds of 1.5Gbps. 5G
connectivity began its nationwide rollout in 2020 and has continued despite the
pandemic, with 5G coverage reaching approximately 35 percent of the country’s
population by May 2021. The
capability is designed to support high-def video streaming and VR
(virtual reality) services, in addition to large file downloads.

Table 1 looks at the Bell Mobility portfolio.

Table 1. Products and Services
Product Service Description
Mobility Resale devices and accessories that run on the Bell Mobility network
throughout Canada

The company’s line-up of smartphones and tablets include
the Samsung Galaxy products, Apple’s iPhones, HTC and Motorola smartphones, and
other leading mobile phones

International roaming plans allow Bell customers to access wireless networks
in more than 220 countries

Internet Fiber, Wi-Fi, and Mobile Internet services
TV Assorted packages, hardware, 4K services, and the Fibe TV app
Bundles TV + Internet and TV + Internet + Home Phone bundles, plus "Build your
own" bundle options
Smart Home Assorted "Smart Home" (formerly AlarmForce) packages
Connected Things Technology for smartwatches, connected cars, trackers, connected home,
lifestyle products, and VR (virtual reality)
Business Small, SMB, and Wholesale-targeted business services

Major Competitors

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Bell Mobility competes intensely with the other top wireless companies in
Canada’s marketplace. These include:

Rogers Wireless:
TELUS Mobility:

Recent Activity

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Recent news items of note for Bell Mobility include:

  • February 2022 – Bell Canada’s full-year 2021 fiscal report showed wireless operating revenue up 3.6 percent to $8,999 million
    on both higher service and product revenues. Mobile connected device subscribers totalled 2,249,794 at the end of the year, an increase of 9.4
    percent over 2020.
  • November 2021 – In the company’s third fiscal quarter of 2021, the company reported 266,919 total wireless mobile phone,
    mobile connected device, retail Internet, and IPTV net subscriber activations, an increase of 10.2 percent. Its 136,464 mobile phone net
    subscriber activations was up 14.3 percent year-over-year.
  • October – Bell Mobility is ranked #1 for the second year in a row in
    PCMag‘s 2021 Fastest Mobile Networks Canada, an annual
    study of mobile network performance across the country. According to the report, “Bell’s performance in Toronto and MontrĂ©al pushed it ahead of
    all other Canadian Wireless carriers,” adding, “Not only is Bell’s 5G performance the fastest in Canada, but it is also faster than anything
    available in the US.
  • August – For its second quarter 2021 results, Bell announced that total wireless operating revenue grew 10.7 percent to
    $2,128 million, reflecting both higher service and product revenues; the company led all national players in wireless service revenue growth,
    which increased 5.8 percent to $1,580 million, representing the first quarter of year-over-year growth since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • July – Implements Canada’s first 5G roaming for the United States, with access to Bell partner networks covering more than
    90 percent of the US national population with 5G service.
  • June – Announced the latest expansion of its 5G network in Atlantic Canada, including the first 5G service in Newfoundland
    and Labrador; also confirms that by late 2020, the company will expand the 5G network to more locations across the region, including Prince
    Edward Island.
  • May – In response to federal regulatory and policy decisions, the company announced that its capital investment plan
    will be increased by up to $1.7 billion, or as much as $500 million more than previously budgeted. The accelerated investment for 2021 and 2022
    is in addition to approximately $4 billion in capital that Bell typically has invested each year in network expansion over the last decade. With
    an additional $200 million also invested in capacity and coverage in 2020 to respond to the unprecedented usage demands of the COVID crisis, Bell’s
    total capital investment from 2020-2022 will be as high as $14 billion.


1 "Industry Statistics – 2021" (chart). CWTA. Accessed May 2022.


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