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Bell Mobility launches next generation wireless network, devices and services
Posted: 12-Feb-2002 [Source: Bell Mobility press release]

[Canada takes a leading position in the rollout of 3G services with Bell Mobility's CDMA1X launch. ]

Toronto -- Bell Mobility today launched Canada's most powerful wireless experience with the rollout of its CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) 1X wireless network - the first in Canada. 1X delivers the fastest mobile data network in Canada, and customers in the Greater Toronto Area are the first in the country to experience the benefits of this new generation technology. Throughout 2002, Bell Mobility will introduce 1X service across the majority of its national coverage area.

Bringing a new level of services and solutions, the 1X network supports advanced wireless voice and data communications and delivers Canada's broadest suite of industry-leading business and consumer applications. Also available are new 1X-ready devices, including phones that can access data faster, and wireless modems that have voice capabilities.

"With Canada's first 1X network, Bell Mobility is helping people on the move do more faster," said Pierre Blouin, President and CEO of Bell Mobility. "Today's announcement is a milestone in our commitment to delivering the mobile solutions Canadians want while making them easier to use, more fun, more interactive and more personalized than ever before."

Mobile workers now have faster access to corporate data, e-mail, Intranets and each other. Field services, sales force automation and mobile teleworking take on a whole new dimension. Advanced features, including customization, improved graphics and faster Internet connection speed will make wireless data services more convenient and more efficient to use.

The new 1X network and devices enable consumers to personalize their wireless devices in new ways with services such as ring-tones and screen savers. It also provides the foundation for an entirely new generation of mobile applications offering rich media and graphics that will rollout throughout 2002. Together these features bring a new level of appeal for wireless devices among young Canadians seeking a personalized, feature-rich mobile experience.

Next Generation Network

Bell Mobility's new 1X network is capable of supporting wireless data speeds of up to 144Kbps and will deliver cruising speeds up to 86Kbps, as much as five times faster than previously available. This means that customers can now wirelessly download a page of text in three seconds or a digital colour photograph in just five seconds.

An added benefit to the network is the 'instant-on' and 'always-on' capability of its packet-based platform. Customers can connect to the Internet in seconds, and remain constantly connected to their information, making "dialing-up" a thing of the past. Moreover, customers are charged based on the volume of data they send and receive - instead of the amount of time they are connected to the network. Together, these features mean that now, more than ever, mobile workers can access information from many applications in a manner comparable to the office environment. Nortel Networks provides the wireless network infrastructure -- core, radio and access technology -- for Bell Mobility's CDMA network.

"Like so many Canadians, when I'm away from the office I rely on wireless devices and services to keep me connected," said Sarah Walker, Casualty Field Adjuster, HB Group Insurance, who has been previewing the Bell Mobility 1X services for the past three months. "Bell Mobility has the next generation devices and applications that keep me connected and allow me to stay productive throughout the day."

Next Generation Devices

The next generation wireless devices combine voice and data functionality and advanced features, such as larger screens, more processing power and more memory. Bell Mobility is launching Canada's first "1X-ready" device today and at least two other 1X-ready devices will be launching during the first quarter.

- Kyocera - The Kyocera 2255, Canada's first 1X-ready phone is available today. This is the first device to support downloadable ring-tones and screen savers via Bell Mobility's Mobile Browser. Available: Today, Price: $179.00 (after $100 mail-in rebate, for a two year term)

- Samsung - The Samsung SCH- N370 1X handset will support 1X data and wireless Internet, including downloadable ring-tones and screen savers. Available: Units for preview are in select stores today and will go on sale soon. Price: $199.00 (after $100 mail-in rebate, for a two year term)

- Sierra Wireless - The new Sierra Wireless AirCard 555 is a wide area wireless network interface card (NIC), which will operate on and leverage all the benefits of the 1X network, including faster data transmission. The AirCard 555 will work in both 800 MHz and 1.9 GHz as well as support voice capabilities via a headset attachment and SMS messaging capabilities. Available: soon Price: $499.00 (after $100 mail-in rebate, for a two year term).

Next Generation Services

Business services available for Bell Mobility's 1X network will provide: improved access to corporate e-mail and intranets, file sharing, easier access to contacts and scheduling information, more efficient access to web content with graphics.

Bell Mobility is also introducing new services for consumers, in particular the youth segment. Now users will have the ability to download personalized ring-tones and screen savers directly from their cell phone without having to use a PC.

"We will continue to rapidly expand the selection of new, feature-rich services for m-commerce, entertainment and information," added Blouin. "Throughout 2002 and beyond, we will expand our lineup of services enabled by 1X technology that will include greeting cards, downloadable photos and location-based services."

- Data to Go(TM) - Bell Mobility's Data to Go solution provides the cable to connect a 1X phone with a laptop or handheld device, giving customers fast, secure access to e-mail, corporate networks and other vital information - anytime, anywhere.

- Premium Wireless Services (PWS) - PWS provides popular entertainment content to Bell Mobility customers through 500 ring-tones and screen savers. The PWS mobile media content will grow to over 1,500 during the second quarter of 2002.

- Wireless Games - Through partnerships with leading video game developers, such as THQ, the fourth largest video game publisher in North America and Europe, Bell Mobility customers will continue to have access to some of the most popular video games on the market. The 1X network and devices will make mobile entertainment an even richer experience with better than ever graphics, motion, sound and colour definition.

New business applications will also be available from the following partner companies whose applications will be enhanced by the 1X next generation network:

- Veratium - MOTIVUS provides secure real-time access to the Windows desktop using any Internet-enabled device. While mobile, you can view, email or fax any file that resides on your desktop computer or corporate network and connect to your email, attachments, calendar, tasks and contacts. MOTIVUS is by Veratium Software Ltd., which is partially funded by Bell Mobility Investments, Bell Mobility's engine for fuelling development of next generation applications and bringing them to market.

- Nextair - Nextair will offer several products for mobile workers in specific vertical markets: an enterprise class dispatch solution, an Internet-based dispatch application service and a wireless extension to existing corporate solutions.

Next Generation Partners

Bell Mobility is also working with a number of technology leaders to bring the full benefits of its next generation network to Canadians.

- Compaq - Bell Mobility has selected Compaq to provide the integrated solution for location-based services (LBS) which will be available throughout the 1X network. For both consumers and businesses, this exciting new technology will support useful and convenient applications based on the user's location. This is also the first step in being able to deliver E911 services to our customers that will enable accurate dispatch emergency assistance in the future.

- Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Ltd. - Bell Mobility is working with HP Canada to build new wireless solutions that deliver productivity gains to both business and consumers. This will be achieved by enabling a new generation of applications and devices in a constantly connected environment.

- Nortel Networks - Bell Mobility's next generation network is the first commercial 1X network built by Nortel Networks globally. Nortel Networks provides the entire core, radio and access technology for Bell Mobility's CDMA network. Nortel Networks industry-leading wireless infrastructure CDMA technology allows Bell Mobility to offer high-quality and high-speed data capabilities. Nortel Networks technology allows Bell Mobility to provide 'always on' media-rich applications today.

Pricing & Setup

In order to take advantage of the next generation network, data customers will require 1X-ready devices and a 1X data rate plan. Bell Mobility will be able to offer customers more flexible billing packages for wireless data based on the volume of data transmitted rather than packages based on airtime.

1X Data Rate Plans:

1X Data rate plans start at $25 per month for 3 MB. Bell Mobility is also announcing an introductory offer of $50 for unlimited use for six months. This introductory period will allow customers to gain an understanding about how much data they will require and therefore make an informed decision about which rate plan they should sign up for. Occasional users will also have the option to pay on a per use basis at a rate of $15/1MB.

1X Mobile Browser Plans:

Customers with a 1X-ready handset can take advantage of an introductory offer of $5/unlimited use for basic Mobile Browser menu access. Ring-tones and screen savers will be charged on a pay-per-use basis at $1.50 per download. High value games will be charged on a premium subscription basis ranging from $1 - $5, depending on the game title.

Voice Plans:

Billing for voice usage will remain unchanged and customers will continue to be billed for their voice usage based on the number of minutes used.

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