The Canadian operator said the funds would be used to greatly improve its network coverage over the next two years

Last week, Bell Canada announced that it will rapidly expand its fibre and wireless networks across the country by investing $1 billion to $1.2 billion in capital expenditure over the next two years. 

The additional funds themselves have seemingly been generated by the company’s sale of 13 Canadian data centres last year, which were purchased by Equinix for around CAD780 million back in October. 

The operator said that around CAD700 million will be invested over the coming year, in addition to the operator’s roughly CAD4 billion annual capex. Bell hopes to use these funds to help rollout fibre to 400,000 additional homes and businesses, aiming for a total coverage of just under seven million locations by the end of the year. 

Beyond fibre, Bell says that it plans to double its 5G coverage, which it currently available in around 150 locations, reaching around 50% of the Canadian population. The company initially launched 5G in just six locations in June last year. Nokia and Ericsson are Bell’s partners for their 5G rollout.

“Our success in 2021 will continue to be anchored to the priorities we set in 2020. They center on increased investment on core network infrastructure that will lay the foundation for future broadband internet and 5G growth; improving the end-to-end customer experience; the ongoing digital transformation of our operations and a continued sharp focus on our cost structure,” said Bell CEO Mirko Bibic.

“We will accelerate capital spending in 2021 to forge ahead even more aggressively on our successful broadband strategy, expanding our all fiber connections, opening up wireless home internet to even more rural communities and building our wireless 5G network faster.”


Also in the news: 
BT on fibre: Cut business rates and “build like fury”
TIM joins the party for European Open RAN
Coverage is king, says Sunrise CTO