Rogers and Bell Canada Partner to Build National Wireless Broadband Network
Canadians to benefit from leading-edge wireless broadband network
TORONTO and MONTREAL, Sept. 16 — Rogers Communications and Bell
Canada today announced an agreement to jointly build and manage a Canada-wide
wireless broadband network expected to initially reach more than two-thirds of
Canadians in less than three years. The companies will pool their wireless
broadband spectrum holdings into a joint venture, Inukshuk Internet Inc.,
which will build and operate the network. Once built, Canada will have one of
the most robust and extensive wireless broadband networks in the world.
"The promise of wireless broadband is here and Bell and Rogers have the
expertise, resources and commitment to make it happen," said Bob Berner, Chief
Technology Officer of Rogers Communications. "This is a powerful tool for
Canadian businesses and consumers – both of whom will benefit from the
substantially increased and accelerated competition the network will bring."
Inukshuk will be the network services provider to Rogers and Bell and
their subsidiaries, and will operate on a cost recovery basis. The arrangement
will allow the companies to minimize costs and maximize wireless broadband
network coverage by pooling their spectrum holdings and leveraging both
companies’ existing wireless tower and network transport infrastructures.
Ideal for Canadians on the go, the services will be portable allowing
subscribers to access the Internet and use a host of voice, video streaming
and data applications from wherever the service is available. Bell and Rogers
will compete in the marketing and delivery of applications and services to
end-customers over the network, ensuring healthy competition and consumer
"This is an efficient, effective and responsible approach to getting more
high speed Internet services to more Canadians more quickly," added Stephen
Wetmore, Group President National Markets, Bell Canada. "Wireless broadband
offers exciting opportunities for the delivery of these services, particularly
for many of those living in unserved and remote communities."
Inukshuk will be owned and controlled equally by Rogers and Bell and will
plan, design, build, operate and maintain a Canada-wide wireless broadband
telecommunications network. Bell and Rogers will each have the right to use 50
per cent of the network’s total transmission capacity. Sales, marketing, end-
user customer care and billing functions will be provided directly by Rogers
and Bell to their respective customers.
The companies will jointly and equally fund the initial network
deployment costs estimated at $200 million over a three-year period,
completing a network footprint that will cover over 40 cities and
approximately 50 unserved rural and remote communities across Canada. Inukshuk
expects to negotiate a roaming agreement with Clearwire Corporation, a U.S.-
based company building a similar wireless broadband network, allowing Rogers
and Bell to offer customers access to an extensive Canada-U.S. wireless
broadband footprint. Inukshuk plans to continue to use network equipment
manufactured by NextNet, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clearwire Corporation.
As standards-based technologies emerge, Inukshuk is committed to evaluating
their feasibility and evolving to such standards as appropriate.
"This agreement will keep Canada at the leading edge of next generation
technologies," concluded Mr. Wetmore. "It also supports the Government of
Canada’s rural broadband objectives."
Rogers currently controls and will contribute to the joint venture its
entire broadband wireless spectrum in the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz
frequency ranges. Bell controls and will contribute to the joint venture all
of its broadband wireless spectrum in the 2.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz frequency
Separately, Bell has reached an agreement with companies controlled
directly or indirectly by Craig McCaw under which Bell will acquire the
remaining 50 per cent of NR Communications that it does not already own. NR
Communications and a subsidiary of Rogers are the two partners in the current
Inukshuk joint venture which holds approximately 98 MHz of wireless broadband
spectrum in the 2.5 GHz frequency range across much of Canada.
Spectrum transfer approvals from Industry Canada, completion of Bell’s
acquisition of Craig McCaw’s interest in NR Communications, and other
customary closing conditions are expected to be straightforward.
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This release includes forward-looking statements concerning the future
performance of the companies businesses, their operations and their financial
performance and condition. These forward-looking statements include, among
others, statements with respect to the companies’ objectives and strategies to
achieve those objectives, as well as statements with respect to their beliefs,
plans, expectations, anticipations, estimates or intentions. These forward-
looking statements are based on the companies’ current expectations. The
companies caution that all forward-looking information is inherently uncertain
and actual results may differ materially from the assumptions, estimates or
expectations reflected or contained in the forward-looking information, and
that actual future performance will be affected by a number of factors,
including economic conditions, technological change, regulatory change and
competitive factors, many of which are beyond the control of the companies.
Therefore, future events and results may vary significantly from what the
companies currently foresee, and the companies are under no obligation (and
expressly disclaim any such obligation) to update or alter the forward-looking
statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For more detailed discussions of factors that may affect actual results, see
the risks and uncertainties sections of the companies’ most recent annual and
quarterly securities filings.
About Rogers Communications
Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: RCI; NYSE: RG) is a diversified Canadian
communications and media company engaged in three primary lines of business.
Rogers Wireless Inc. is Canada’s largest wireless voice and data
communications services provider and the country’s only carrier operating on
the world standard GSM/GPRS technology platform; Rogers Cable Inc. is Canada’s
largest cable television provider offering cable television, high-speed
Internet access, voice-over-cable telephony services, and video retailing; and
Rogers Media Inc. is Canada’s premier collection of category leading media
assets with businesses in radio and television broadcasting, televised
shopping, publishing and sports entertainment. On July 1, 2005, Rogers
completed the acquisition of Call-Net Enterprises (now Rogers Telecom), a
national provider of voice and data communications services. For further
information about the Rogers group of companies, please visit www.rogers.com.
About Bell Canada
Bell Canada, Canada’s national leader in communications, provides
connectivity to residential and business customers through wired and wireless
voice and data communications, local and long distance phone services, high
speed and wireless Internet access, IP-broadband services, e-business
solutions and satellite television services. Bell Canada is wholly owned by
BCE Inc. For more information please visit www.bell.ca.
For further information: Investment Community Contacts: Rogers
Communications Investor Relations, Bruce Mann, (416) 935-3532,
email@example.com; Eric Wright, (416) 935-3550,
Eric.firstname.lastname@example.org; Bell Canada Investor Relations, Thane
Fotopoulos, (514) 870-4619, thane.Fotopoulos@bell.ca; For media inquiries,
please contact Rogers Communications Media Relations, Jan Innes,
(416) 935-3525, Jan.email@example.com; Heather Armstrong,
(416) 935-6379, Heather.Armstrong@rci.rogers.com; Bell Canada Media
Relations, Mohammed Nakhooda, (416) 581-3311, firstname.lastname@example.org and
Pierre Leclerc, (514) 870-2759, Pierre.email@example.com;
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