Bell Mobility Inc., a division of Bell Canada, is a Canadian wireless network operator offering wireless services across the country. The company, founded in 1986, has a customer base of over 10 million subscribers, making it the third-largest wireless carrier in Canada. The company also owns Virgin Mobile Canada and Loblaws prepaid PC Telecom, which operate as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) on the Bell Mobility network. Bell Mobility assumed responsibility for the former Aliant wireless operations in Atlantic Canada in 2006, and rebranded it as Bell in 2008. In 2017, Bell acquired MTS in Manitoba, rebranding it as Bell MTS. The first cell phone conversation in Canada took place on the Bell network in 1985. The company's ownership structure is complex, with Bell Canada itself being a subsidiary of BCE Inc., a publicly traded corporation.
Bell 4G Network
4G LTE was launched by the company in September 2011, over the B4 (1700 MHz), later adding B2 (1900 MHz) and B7 (2600 MHz) in March 2012, and has been expanded in partnership with TELUS Mobility.
700 MHz LTE is also deployed in partnership with TELUS over several bands depending on regional licencing including B12, B13, B17, and B29 (Supplemental DL) - noting however that B17 is a sub-band of B12 so the two are broadcast as the one transmission. B5 (850 MHz) LTE is also in use in areas where CDMA has been decommissioned and subsequently refarmed. Bell began providing fixed wireless TDD-LTE services over B42 (3500 MHz) to select areas in 2014.
June 2015 saw the launch of LTE-A services, reaching 220 Mbps peak DL rates, and tri-band LTE-A (3C) in August 2015 achieving 290 Mbps. In April 2017 Bell launched quad-band (4C) LTE-A services which it says will deliver mobile broadband speeds of up to 750 Mbps with the addition of 256QAM.
LTE-A was upgraded further in February 2018 with the addition of 4X4 MIMO to its 4C 256QAM network, boasting peak theoretical data rates in excess of 1.5 Gbps, and achieving real-world data rates over 1 Gbps. Bell also announced support for Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology to aggregate unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum with LTE in licensed bands to provide even higher data rates.
Bell 5G Network
The company launched 5G services in June 2020 using n66. Additional frequencies were added, most notably mid-band 5G in June 2022.