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1xRTT (1x)

The first phase of CDMA 2000 technology designed to double voice capacity and support data transmission speeds up to 144 kbps (kilobits per second). Compatible with IS-95. BCE wireless' service is based on a CDMA platform.


(Second Generation mobile communications system)  Also known as Personal Communications (PCS) or digital wireless mobile communications network. It is based on circuit-switched technology where each call requires its own cell channel. The most important distinguishing features of PCS systems are that they are completely digital, they can be used internationally, and they operate at the 1900 MHz frequency range. 2G services include Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication). BCE wireless' service is based on a CDMA platform.


(Third Generation mobile communications system)  Third Generation refers to current wireless technology standards that provides fast mobile data services, such as connections to the internet, multimedia, downloads and more. EVDO is Bell’s current 3G technology and Bell has also launched an HSPA+ network (also a 3G technology) to its national network in November 2009.


(Fourth Generation mobile communications system)  Fourth Generation refers to a wireless technology that will deliver the next level of high-speed mobile data service in the years after 2010. This technology will provide improved network performance and enable a new era of devices providing mobile capabilities at data speeds up to 100 Megabits per second.

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(Asymmetric digital subscriber line)  Service which allows transmission of high-speed data over standard phone lines, without interfering with regular phone calls. "Asymmetric" because it provides much higher speeds downloading than uploading.


Increases the downstream data rate of ADSL to as much as 24 Mbps. Rates can be increased further (up to 48 Mbps) by bonding multiple lines together.


(Average revenue per unit)  Average revenue per unit and average revenue generated by each unit or subscriber, expressed as a rate per month for the year.


(Asynchronous Transfer Mode)  Cell relay. Very high-speed digital transmission technology


(advanced wireless services) spectrum  Spectrum expected to be utilized for 3G/4G services. (See Spectrum) 

Accounts payable 

Amounts owing on open account to creditors for goods and services.

Accounts receivable 

Amounts receivable for merchandise or services sold on open account.

Adjusted cost base (ACB) 

Calculation of share price adjusted following historical events and completed plans of arrangement. Calculation of an ACB is important, it determines the gain (or loss) when an individual sells his shares.

Adjusted EPS 

Net earnings applicable to common shares adjusted for non-recurring items, which include (on an after-tax basis) our share of: net gains (losses) on investments, impairment charges, the results of discontinued operations and restructuring and other charges, divided by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period.

Air-time Charges 

Charges to users of wireless networks based on a flat rate or on the actual minutes of use for voice services, or kilobits or megabits for data services.


The gradual expensing of capital assets, such as plant and equipment, so as to allocate the cost over their depreciable life. Amortization reduces pre-tax income but does not reduce cash.


The traditional method of telecommunications. A transmission method employing a continuous (instead of pulse or digital) electrical signal that varies in amplitude or frequency in response to changes in sound impressed on a transducer in the sending device. Analog cellular is considered the First Generation of wireless.


Anything having commercial or exchange value that is owned by a business, institution or individual.


Professional examination and verification of a company's accounting documents and supporting data for the purpose of rendering an opinion as to their fairness, consistency and conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

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Bps (Bits per second) 

An indicator of transmission speed over a digital system or medium.


The main line that ties networks, phone systems or computers together. Used as the primary high-capacity paths for transmitting voice, data or video services between network switches and nodes.

Balance sheet (statement of financial position) 

Financial report showing the status of a company's assets, liabilities and shareholders' equity on a given date, usually the close of a month.


The relative range of analog frequencies or digital signals that can be passed through a transmission medium, such as glass fibers, without distortion. The greater the bandwidth, the greater the information carrying capacity. Bandwidth is measured in Hertz (analog) or Bits per second () (digital).

Beneficial Shareowner 

The same as a non-registered shareholder. This is when your shares of BCE are registered in the name of a brokerage, trustee or bank to make transfer easier or to preserve anonymity. The institution is the registered owner, but you will receive any dividends or profits from sales of your shares.

Black-Scholes option pricing model 

The Black-Scholes option pricing model is the financial model we use to calculate the weighted-average fair value of a stock option granted using four key assumptions: stock dividend yield, expected stock volatility, risk-free interest rate and expected life of the stock option.


Any interest-bearing or discounted government or corporate security that obligates the issuer to pay the bondholder a specified sum of money, usually at specific intervals, and to repay the principal amount of the loan at maturity. Bondholders have no corporate ownership privileges, as shareholders do.

Book value 

1. Value at which an asset is carried on a balance sheet.

2. Net asset value of a company's securities

Book value per share 

This is common shareholders’ equity divided by the number of common shares outstanding.


High-speed transmission. The term is commonly used to refer to communications lines or services at T1 rates (1.544 Mbps) and above. Broadband facilities - fiber optics and coaxial cable, for example - may carry numerous voice, data and video channels at the same time.

Broker (Brokerage house or firm) 

A securities firm or an investment advisor associated with a firm. When acting as a broker for the purchase or sale of listed stock, the investment advisor does not own the securities but acts as an agent for the buyer and seller and charges a commission for these services.


Provisioning of two or more telecom services together.

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CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) 

Code Division Multiple Access is a digital wireless technology introduced into service in 1997 to replace analog wireless service. It has since been enhanced with high-speed 1XRTT and EVDO. CDMA and its enhancements are the predominant wireless technology used across Canada and North America. Bell’s current 1XRTT/EVDO network covers over 97% of the Canadian population and is the largest in Canada.

CLEC (Competitive local exchange carrier) 

Providers of local telecommunications service in competition with incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC).

CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) 

An agency of the Government of Canada responsible for regulating Canada's broadcasting and telecommunications systems. The CRTC does not regulate the rates charged for wireless, DSL and long-distance services and Bell TV's DTH satellite television services.

Call Centre 

A facility with operators, computers, and client databases that handles large numbers of incoming and outgoing customer care and marketing calls.

Call Option 

A contract that gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy a fixed amount of a certain stock at a specified price within a specified time.

Capital assets 

Tangible property used in the operations of a business, but not expected to be consumed or converted into cash in the ordinary course of events. They are normally represented on the balance sheet at their net book value.

Capital Gains Tax 

A capital gain is when you sell an asset like shares in BCE for more than you paid for them. In Canada and many other countries, you have to pay a tax on the gain you make when you sell. This is a capital gains tax. You should consult a tax advisor for more information on your personal tax situation.

Capital expenditures 

Investments to expand our networks to meet customer demand and for replacement purposes. In general, expenditures made which will provide future benefits or contribute in generating future revenues for longer than a one year period.

Capital intensity 

Capital expenditures as a percentage of total operating revenues.

Capital structure 

Capital structure shows how much of our net assets are financed by debt and equity. Namely, capital structure is comprised of our long-term debt (including short-term portion net of any cash balance), non-controlling interest, preferred stock and shareholder's equity.


Asset account on a balance sheet representing paper currency and coins, negotiable money orders and checks and bank balances.

Cash equivalents 

Highly liquid securities with a known market value and a maturity, when acquired, of less than three months.

Cash flow 

All the changes that affect the cash balance during an accounting period.

Cash flow per share 

Cash flow per share is calculated as follows:

Cash flow per share

Cash flow yield (annualized) 


Cash flow yield (annualized)

Cell site 

The physical location of the transmitter, receiver, antennae, and signalling and control equipment used to provide wireless services.


Wireless telephone service which is interconnected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), the regular telephone network.

Central office 

A telephone switching facility that covers a geographic area, such as a small town or a part of a city. It is where subscribers' telephone lines in the local loop are connected to intracity and intercity trunks.

Centrex service 

A combination of exchange service and intercommunicating service through switching equipment located in the central offices.


The rate at which existing subscribers cancel their services is called churn. Churn is calculated as the number of subscribers disconnected in a given period divided by the average subscriber base for that period.

Common dividend payout ratio 

Dividends paid on common shares divided by net earnings applicable to common shares.

Common dividend yield 

Common dividends paid for the period divided by the company's share price at a specific date.

Common stock (common share) 

Units of ownership of a public corporation. Owners typically are entitled to vote on the selection of directors and other important matters as well as to receive dividends on their holdings. In the event that a corporation is liquidated, the claims of secured and unsecured creditors and owners of bonds and preferred stock take precedence over the claims of those who own common stock.

Cost method 

The cost method of accounting for an investment means an investment is recorded at historical cost. Dividends received or receivable from the investment are included in the calculation of our net earnings, and do not affect the historical cost of the investment.

Costs of acquisition (COA) 

Also referred to as subscriber acquisition costs. This measure is expressed per gross activation for a given period. Includes costs associated with acquiring a customer such as hardware subsidies, marketing and distribution costs.

Cumulative Preferred 

A preferred stock that has a provision that unpaid dividends accumulate and must be paid before any dividends are paid on the company's common shares

Current assets 

Cash, accounts receivable, inventory and other assets that are likely to be converted into cash, sold, exchanged or expensed in the normal course of business, usually within a year.

Current liabilities 

Debts or other obligations coming due within a year.

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DRIP or DRP (Dividend Reinvestment and Stock Purchase Plan) 

Plan under which shareholders can reinvest their dividends and purchase additional shares with cash payments.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) 

A technology for bringing high-bandwidth information to homes and small businesses over ordinary copper telephone lines.

DTH (Direct-to-Home) 

Satellite service which broadcasts directly to end-users. Bell TV provides DTH satellite service.

DVR (Digital Video Recorder) 



Information that has been translated into a form that is more convenient to move or process electronically.

Data card 

See Turbo Stick.

Data revenues 

Includes legacy and non-legacy data revenues.

Legacy data services include the earlier vintage lower speed data services. Legacy data revenues include digital transmission services such as MEGALINK™, network access and Integrated Services Network (ISDN) and Data, as well as, competitive network services and the sale of inter-networking equipment.

Non-legacy data revenues include national and regional Internet Protocol (IP) data, Internet and e-commerce.


  • Money, goods or services that one party is obligated to pay to another in accordance with an expressed or implied agreement. Debt may or may not be secured.
  • General name for bonds, notes, mortgages and other forms of paper evidencing amounts owed and payable on specified dates or on demand.

Debt to EBITDA ratio 

Total debt including debt due within one year divided by EBITDA.

Deemed Disposition 

Under certain circumstances, tax rules state that a transfer of property has occurred, even without an actual purchase or sale. For example, when former Teleglobe shareholders exchanged their shares for BCE shares, they were deemed to have sold their Teleglobe shares to BCE.


Describes a method of storing, processing and transmitting information through the use of distinct electronic or optical pulses that represent the binary digits 0 and 1. Digital transmission and switching technologies employ a sequence of discrete, distinct pulses to represent information, as opposed to the continuously variable analog signal. Digital transmission generally enhances the privacy of radio-communications and facilitates data transmission.

Digital equivalent access lines (DEA) 

Digital equivalent access lines are derived by converting low capacity data lines (DS-3 and lower) to the equivalent number of voice grade access lines. Broadband equivalent access lines are derived by converting high capacity data lines (higher than DS-3) to the equivalent number of voice grade access lines.

Conversion factors
Basic ISDN2
Primary ISDN23
DS-1, DEA24
10 Base T155
100 Base T1,554
Gigabit E15,554

Distribution of earnings to shareholders, prorated by class of security and paid in the form of money, stock, scrip or, rarely, company products or property. The amount is decided by the board of directors and is usually paid quarterly. Dividends must be declared as income in the year they are received.


A small piece of hardware that connects to a laptop or desktop computer. It is a portable device and is often identical in appearance to a USB flash drive. Although earlier use of dongles was to authenticate a piece of software, the word dongle is now widely used to refer to a broadband wireless adaptor. Also see Turbo Stick.

Dividend yield 

Annual percentage of return earned by an investor on a common stock. The yield is determined by dividing the amount of the annual dividend per share by the current market price per share of the stock.

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EVDO (Evolution Data Optimized) 

Evolution Data Optimized has been developed from the CDMA standard. It is the most popular mobile data network technology in Canada and across North America. Bell’s current EVDO network covers over 89% of the Canadian population.


Income generated by providing goods or services.

Earnings per share - Basic 

Net earnings applicable to common shares divided by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period.

Earnings per share - Diluted 

Net earnings applicable to common shares divided by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period, assuming that all potentially dilutive securities (warrants, stock options, convertible bonds, convertible preferred shares) are converted to common shares. Fully diluted EPS must be reported on the profit and loss statement regardless of the materiality of the difference between basic and fully diluted EPS.

Earnings per share before non-recurring items (EPS before non-recurring items) 

See adjusted EPS.

Earnings statement (profit and loss statement, statement of operations) 

Summary of the revenues, costs and expenses of a company during an accounting period. Together with the balance sheet as of the end of the accounting period, it constitutes a company's financial statements.

EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) 

Operating revenues less cost of revenue and selling, general and administrative expenses, meaning it represents operating income before depreciation, amortization of intangible assets and restructuring and other.

EBITDA margin 

EBITDA divided by total operating revenues.

EBITDA to interest ratio 

EBITDA divided by total interest expense.

Electronic delivery (e-delivery) 

Notification by email of corporate documents availability on the Website. Shareholders enrolled to the e-delivery service will not receive paper documents. They will also receive their proxy form by email and can vote their shares by Internet.

Employee Savings Plan (ESP) 

Plan under which BCE and some of its affiliates offer their employees to purchase shares through payroll deductions. The employers contribute up to a certain percentage as defined in the plan.

Employee share purchase plan 

Plan under which an issuer will offer its employees to purchase shares of the company with certain benefits.


Interest owned by shareholders in a corporation - stock as opposed to bonds.

Equity method 

The equity method of accounting for an investment means an investment is initially recorded at cost, and adjustments are made to include our share of the investment's net earnings or losses.

Ex Dividend 

This means "without dividend." If you buy a share quoted ex dividend, you are not entitled to an upcoming already-declared dividend. The seller receives this dividend instead. The ex dividend date is the date on which shares start trading without the right to receive the upcoming declared dividend.

Extraordinary item (gains/losses) 

Non-recurring items which are not in the normal course of business activities and do not depend primarily on decisions made by management.

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FTTH (Fibre to the home) 

Broadband network where an optical fibre runs directly to a subscriber’s home or premises.

FTTN (Fibre to the node) 

Broadband network architecture based on fibre optic cables run to a cabinet serving a neighborhood. The network delivers high-speed data deep into neighborhoods.

FTTP (Fibre to the premise) 



A proposed Canadian television regulatory policy that, if enacted, would require cable and satellite television companies to compensate conventional, over-the-air television stations for the right to carry their signals.

Fibre Optics 

Technology that uses glass (or plastic) threads (fibres) to transmit data. A fibre optic cable consists of a group threads capable of transmitting messages modulated onto light waves. The bandwidth capacity of fibre optic cable is far superior to copper wire.

Financial statements 

Financial statements that bring together all assets, liabilities, and operating accounts of a parent company and its subsidiaries.


Policies referring to the CRTC’s ability to refrain from regulating telecom services, allowing for greater reliance on market forces.

Form 40-F 

This is a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) form that Canadian companies that are listed on US exchange use as a registration statement or as an annual report. It serves as a wraparound for the company's Canadian public reports.

Free cash flow 

Cash from operating activities and distributions received from Bell Aliant less capital expenditures, preferred share dividends, dividends/distributions paid by subsidiaries to non-controlling interest, other investing activities and Bell Aliant free cash flow.

Future income taxes 

We use the asset and liability method on all transactions recorded in the consolidated financial statements. Future income taxes reflect the temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities for accounting purposes and the amounts used for tax purposes. We calculate future income taxes using the rates and provisions in enacted tax laws.

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GSM (Global System for Mobile) 

Global System for Mobile Communications is a digital wireless technology introduced into service in 1996 to replace analog service. A popular technology worldwide, it is second to CDMA in North America. GSM has been upgraded first to GPRS, then EDGE and most recently to HSPA high-speed data capability. Bell has skipped the older voice-focused GSM standard and moved directly to an HSPA+ network.


Goodwill is created when we acquire businesses. It is calculated by deducting the fair value of the identifiable net assets acquired from the cost of the investment. Goodwill represents the value of factors that are expected to contribute to a greater earnings power, such as a good reputation, customer loyalty or intellectual capital.

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HDTV (High Definition Television) 

A set of standards for television that offer the highest resolution and sharpest image possible. Generally consists of a minimum of 720 vertical lines of video format resolution, as opposed to standard definition, which consists of 480 vertical lines of video resolution.


High Speed Packet Access Plus is an enhanced broadband technology which delivers download speeds of up to 21Mbps. Bell launched an HSPA+ network in November 2009.

HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) 

High Speed Packet Access is a mobile data standard which evolved from GSM. While not as popular as EVDO in North America, HSPA is growing quickly, in large part because of its efficient upgrade path to the 4G LTE standard.

Homes passed 

Total number of homes that have the potential of being connected to a network in a defined geographical area.


The business of housing, serving and maintaining files for one or more websites or email accounts.


A specific geographic location in which an access point provides public wireless broadband network services through a WLAN such as Wi-Fi or WiMax.

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IDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network) 

Developed by Motorola to utilize existing 800 MHz channels for digital service. Combines two-way radio, dispatch, telephone, text messaging, and data transmission into one network.

ILEC (Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier) 

The existing telephone companies, prior to the introduction of local competition.

IM (Instant Messaging) 

A form of real-time communication between two or more people through typed text.

IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) 

Television content that, instead of being delivered through traditional formats, is received by the viewer through the technologies used for computer networks. Digital content is formatted using IP and is supplied through a broadband connection.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) 

A service which allows the simultaneous transmission of voice and data conversation over a single connection.

ISP (Internet Service Provider) 

A company that allows users to connect to the Internet.

Income Taxes 

A class of items comprising the final section of a company's statement of operations, which, although necessarily incurred in the course of business and customarily charged before arriving at net earnings, are more in the nature of costs imposed than costs subject to the control of everyday operations.

Intangible assets 

Right or nonphysical resource that is presumed to represent an advantage to the firm's position in the marketplace. Such assets include copyrights, patents, trademarks, goodwill, computer programs, capitalized advertising costs, organization costs, licenses, leases, franchises, exploration permits and import and export permits.

Internet Protocol (IP) 

Internet Protocol is the method by which data is transmitted between computers connected to the Internet. Each computer on the Internet has at least one IP address that uniquely identifies it from all other computers on the Internet, making it possible for data to be transmitted to a particular destination.

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Kbps (Kilo bits per second) 

An indicator of transmission speed over a digital system or medium.

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LNP (Local Number Portability) 

Ability for wireless/wireline telephone customers to retain their number should they choose to switch service providers.

LPIF (Local Programming Improvement Fund) 

A fund established by the CRTC to ensure that viewers in smaller Canadian markets continue to receive a diversity of local programming. The LPIF will be funded through a contribution by license Class 1 terrestrial broadcasting distribution undertakings and DTH undertakings (i.e. Bell TV).

LTE (Long Term Evolution) 

Long Term Evolution is a wireless broadband standard that will be available globally post 2010. More than 30 major carriers worldwide are making the transition to LTE with the efficient and cost-effective HSPA approach as a stepping stone.


The amount of debt in relation to equity in a firm's capital structure - measured by the debt-to-equity ratio. The more long-term debt there is, the greater the financial leverage. Shareholders benefit from financial leverage to the extent that return on the borrowed money exceeds the interest costs and the market value of their shares rises.


Claim on the assets of a company - excluding ownership equity. Characteristics: (1) It represents a transfer of assets or services at a specified or determinable date. (2) The firm has little or no discretion to avoid the transfer. (3) The event causing the obligation has already occurred.

Liquid asset 

Cash or an asset easily convertible into cash. In a corporation's financial statements, liquid assets are cash, marketable securities and accounts receivable.

Local area network (LAN) 

A group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line (or wireless link) within a small geographic area.

Local Loop 

The lines between a customer and a telephone company’s central office.

Long-term debt 

Debt due in a year or more. Normally, interest is paid periodically over the term of the loan, and the principal amount is payable as notes or bonds mature.

Long term debt to equity ratio (LT Debt/Equity) 

Long-term debt (including portion due within one year) divided by total shareholders' equity.

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Mbps (Mega bits per second) 

An indicator of transmission speed over a digital system or medium.

MDU (Multiple Dwelling Units) 

Industry term for apartments and condominiums.

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) 

A standard that extends the SMS text messaging protocol to enable mobile phone users to transmit messages formatted with text, graphics, audio, and/or video.

MOU (Minutes of Use) 

An operational metric used to measure the amount of voice usage for a wireline/wireless subscriber in a given period of time. Also referred to as usage.

MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) 

A mobile service provider without licensed spectrum or network that leases wireless capacity from other carriers to resell to end customers.

Market Capitalization 

Market capitalization is derived by multiplying the company's share price at a specific date by the number of common shares outstanding at that date.

Market value 

The price at which buyers and sellers trade similar items in an open marketplace. In the absence of a market price, it is the estimated highest price a buyer would be warranted in paying and a seller justified in accepting, provided both parties were fully informed and acted intelligently and voluntarily.

Marketable securities 

Securities that are easily sold. On a corporation's balance sheet, they are assets that can be readily converted into cash - for example, government securities, banker's acceptances and commercial paper. In keeping with conservative accounting practice, these are carried at cost or market value, whichever is lower.


Monetizing means converting the value of a business or other asset into cash or a cash equivalent.

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NAS (Network Access Service) 

A connection or line that provides customers with access to the public-switched telephone network.

Net benefit plans (expense) / credit 

We maintain plans that provide two types of benefits:

  • Pension benefits
  • Other retirement and post-employment benefits

The amount of the net pension benefit plans (expense) / credit in a year primarily depends on:

  • the return on pension plan assets expected to be generated during the year - the lower the return, the lower the credit or the higher the expense
  • the present value of future pension benefit payments to employees - the lower the present value, the higher the credit or the lower the expense
  • actuarial gain / (loss) - the difference between the actual net benefit asset and credit and that calculated based on our accounting assumptions. We amortize this into earnings over time.
Net debt 

Includes long term debt, as well as debt due within one year plus retractable preferred shares, net of cash.

Net debt to total capitalization ratio 

The net debt to total capitalization ratio is a key measure that we use to assess our financial condition. It tells you how much net debt (short-term and long-term debt net of cash) we have in relation to our capital (total net debt, non-controlling interest and shareholders' equity). Note that net debt includes retractable preferred shares which are classified in other long-term liabilities included on our Balance Sheet.

Net debt to EBITDA 

Net debt divided by total EBITDA.

Net earnings 

Difference between total revenues and total operating expenses less income deductions and non-controlling interest. Total operating expenses comprise operating expenses including amortization, net benefits plans credit/expense, restructuring and other charges. It is out of this figure that dividends are normally paid.

Net earnings applicable to common shares 

Net earnings less dividends on preferred shares.

Net earnings before non-recurring items 

Net earnings applicable to common shares adjusted for non-recurring items, which include (on an after-tax basis) BCE's share of: net gains (losses) on investments, impairment charges, the results of discontinued operations and restructuring and other charges.

Net worth 

Amount by which assets exceed liabilities. For a corporation, net worth is also known as shareholder's equity or net assets.

Non-cash working capital 

Funds invested in a company's accounts receivable, inventory and other current assets. Working capital finances the cash conversion cycle of a business - the time required to convert raw materials into finished goods, finished goods into sales and accounts receivable into cash. Non-cash working capital equals current assets (excluding cash) less current liabilities.

Non-controlling interest 

Non-controlling interest is the portion of a subsidiary's common shares that BCE does not own. The non-controlling interest in the statement of operations is affected by:

  • The percentage of a subsidiary that BCE does not own
  • The amount of the subsidiary's after-tax earnings.
Non-current asset 

Asset not expected to be converted into cash, sold or exchanged within the normal operating cycle of the firm, usually one year. Examples of non-current assets include capital assets, leasehold improvements, intangible assets.

Non-recurring items 

Non-recurring items generally include, on an after tax basis, BCE's share of: discontinued operations; impairment charges, net gains or losses on investments, and restructuring and other charges.

Non-registered shareholder (beneficial shareholder) 

Holder of shares without certificate. The shareholder account is maintained at a brokerage house (broker) and the shares are held in the name of the firm (street name). BCE has no access to brokerage house accounts and can only communicate with the shareholders through a third party, ADP, if the broker is an ADP client, or with the broker itself.

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Off-balance sheet arrangements 

These are transactions that we enter into with third parties that do not appear on our balance sheet.

Operating income (or loss) 

The difference between the revenues of a business and the related operating expenses, excluding income derived from sources other than its regular activities and before income deductions.

Operating Margin 

Operating income divided by operating revenues.

Operating revenues 

Revenues generated in the normal course of operations, from the sale of goods and the rendering of services.

Other income 

This includes income we receive from activities that are not part of our regular business, such as:

  • net gains on investments, including gains or losses when we dispose of, write-down and reduce our ownership in investments
  • foreign currency gains (losses)
  • other items, including interest income, equity in net earnings (losses) in significantly influenced companies and miscellaneous income.

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PCS (Personal Communication Services) 

Mobile communications system interconnected with the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), the regular telephone network.

PVR (Personal Video Recorder) 

A consumer device that digitizes broadcast or cable TV onto a hard disk; it allows for time shifting, pause and fast forward (until real time) or to record a program for viewing at a later date like a VCR.


A group of data elements transmitted together that may be part of a larger transmission. Each packet is transmitted individually. Once all packets forming a message arrive at the destination, they are recompiled into the original message.


A method of managing traffic between ISPs.


The percentage of a product or service that has been adopted by customers in a given geographic area relative to the total customer base in that given geographic area.

Pension deficit 

A pension fund has a deficit when the value of its assets is less than the amount needed to pay accrued pension benefits to pensioners and active employees.

Pension settlement 

A company makes a settlement when it substantially settles all or parts of an accrued benefit obligation. An example is a lump-sum cash payment to employees in exchange for their rights to receive future benefits.

Pension surplus 

A pension fund has a surplus when the value of its assets is more than the amount needed to pay accrued pension benefits to pensioners and active employees.


An industry term for population or the number of potential subscribers in a market. A POP refers to one person living in a populated area that is included in a network or coverage area.


A method of payment for wireless service where the subscriber pays for services and usage after having consumed the services.


A method of payment for wireless service that allows a subscriber to prepay for a set amount of airtime in advance of actual usage. The subscriber's prepaid account is debited at the time of usage. Actual usage cannot exceed the prepaid amount until an additional prepayment is made.

Preferred stock 

Class of capital stock that pays dividends at a specified rate and that has preference over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of assets. Preferred stock does not ordinarily carry voting rights.

Price Cap 

A form of regulation used by the CRTC which sets a maximum price that an ILEC can charge for desginated services.

Price to book ratio 

Current stock price divided by most recent quarter's book value per share multiplied by 4 (to annualize).

Price to cash flow ratio 

Current stock price divided by most recent quarter's cash flow per share multiplied by 4 (to annualize). Cash flow is defined as cash from operations less capital expenditures.

Price to earnings ratio 

Current stock price divided by most recent quarter's earnings per share multiplied by 4 (to annualize).

Price to revenues ratio 

Current stock price divided by most recent quarter's revenues multiplied by 4 (to annualize).

Productivity efficiencies (Productivity gains) 

Year-over-year gains or improvements in unit costs. For example, we have taken costs out of the business by reducing costs of customer acquisition and servicing and general support.


Written authorization given by a shareholder to someone else, who does not necessarily need to be a shareholder, to represent him or her and vote at a shareholders' meeting.

Push To Talk (PTT) 

A two-way communication service that works like a walkie-talkie.

Public switched telephone network (PSTN) 

PSTN is the international collection of interconnected voice-oriented public telephone networks, both commercial and government-owned. It's also referred to as the Plain Old Telephone Service.

Put Option 

An option that gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to sell a fixed amount of a certain stock at a specified price within a specified time.

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Quadruple Play Bundle 

A service package that combines Home phone, internet, TV, and wireless services into one convenient bundle.

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This means that BCE has the option to buy back preferred shares or debt securities at a price and time stated in the original terms of the securities.

Registered shareholder 

Holder of a share certificate indicating the number of shares held in the company. The certificate is recorded on the books (register) of the company in the name of the owner. BCE has access to the register and can communicate directly with the shareholders.


Carriers that buy services from facilities based carriers and resell them to end-users. (See MVNO for an example of a wireless reseller).

Restructuring and other charges 

This includes various operating expenses that are not directly related to the operating revenues generated during the year, such as costs related to streamlining initiatives, asset write-downs and other types of charges.

Retained earnings (Deficit) 

Net profits (losses) kept to accumulate in a business after dividends are paid. Retained earnings (deficit) plus the total of all the capital accounts represent the net worth of a firm.

Retention Spend 

Represents costs associated with the retention of existing subscribers, such as direct costs associated with marketing and promotional efforts.


A feature of some debt securities or preferred shares which gives the holder the right, under specified conditions, to redeem the security on a stated date at a stipulated price.

Return on assets (ROA) 

The latest 12 month's net earnings divided by the total assets from the most recent quarter.

Return on equity 

Net earnings available to common shareholders as a percentage of average common shareholders’ equity.

Return on invested capital (ROIC) 

Latest twelve month's net earnings divided by the most recent quarter invested capital (long-term debt plus common stock equity plus preferred equity).


A service offered by wireless network operators that allows subscribers to use their mobile phones in the service area of another operator.

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SIM Card (Subscriber Identification Module) 

An HSPA compatible device needs a SIM card to work with the network. It is the subscriber identity and stores information such as a phone number, contacts, and text messages.

SMS (Short Messaging Service) 

A wireless messaging service that involves the transmission of a short text message and its receipt by a wireless terminal.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 

American federal agency created by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to administer that act and the Securities Act of 1933, formerly carried out by the Federal Trade Commission.


Instrument that signifies an ownership position in a corporation (a stock), a creditor relationship with a corporation or a government body (a bond) or rights to ownership such as those represented by an option, subscription right and subscription warrant.

Set-top box 

A stand-alone analog or digital device that receives and decodes programming so that it may be displayed on a television.

Share (or stock) 

Unit of equity ownership in a corporation. This ownership is represented by a stock certificate, which names the company and the shareowner. The number of shares a corporation is authorized to issue is detailed in its corporate charter. Corporations usually do not issue the full number of authorized shares.

Share certificate 

Engraved document which shows ownership of a bond, stock or other security.

Shareholder's equity 

Total assets minus total liabilities of a corporation.

Shares outstanding 

Stock held by shareholders.

Short-term debt (debt due within one year) 

All debt obligations coming due within one year: shown on a balance sheet as part of current liabilities.

Significantly influenced 

Significantly influenced means that:

  • we have a 20% to 50% equity interest in a company that we do not control or jointly control, and
  • we have a significant influence on the company's (investment) operating, investing and financing activities.

An advanced wireless device or PDA that provides text messaging, email, multimedia downloads and social networking functionality in addition to voice.

SmartTouch feature revenues 

Revenues derived for optional features, such as caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding. SmartTouch revenues are included in Local and access revenues.


A term generally applied to electromagnetic radio frequencies used in the transmission of sound, data, and video.

Spin off 

Common term in reference to a transaction under which an issuer distributes to its shareholders a portion or all of one of its holdings. For example, in May 2000, BCE distributed 37 % interest in Nortel Networks to its shareholders also referred as the Nortel Distribution.

Statement of cash flow 

Analysis of cash flow included as part of the financial statements in annual or quarterly reports of publicly held companies. The statement shows how changes in balance sheet and income accounts affected cash and cash equivalents and breaks the analysis down according to operating, investing and financing activities. As an analytical tool, the statement of cash flow reveals healthy or unhealthy trends and makes it possible to predict future cash requirements. It also shows how actual cash flow measured up to estimates and permits comparisons with other companies.


Ownership of a corporation represented by shares that are a claim on the corporation's earnings and assets.

Stock Split 

Division of a company's outstanding common shares into a larger number of common shares. A two-for-one split means you get two shares for each one you own. Companies use stock splits to make it more affordable for investors to buy shares in board lots of 100 shares.

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Using a mobile device to gain Internet access for another device. Tethering works by connecting a device that can access the Internet, to another device that cannot. This can be done through Bluetooth wireless technology or cables (such as USB), allowing the device without built-in access to connect to the Internet, using the connected device as a modem.

Total debt to total assets 

Total long-term debt including debt due within one year divided by total consolidated assets.

Transfer Agent 

A trust company appointed by a company to keep a record of the names, addresses and number of shares held by its shareholders.

Treasury stock 

Stock reacquired by the issuing company and available for retirement or resale. It is issued but not outstanding. It cannot be voted and it pays or accrues no dividends. It is not included in any of the ratios measuring values per common shares.

Turbo Stick (Bell’s PC data card) 

A portable device, often identical in appearance to a USB flash drive, that enables laptop users to gain access to a reliable high-speed internet connection while on the go, in all the same places that they would use their wireless phone.

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See MOU.

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VPN (Virtual Private network) 

A private data network that makes use of a public telecommunications infrastructure, maintaining privacy through the use of a private secure network and security procedures.

Very high speed digital subscriber line (VDSL) 

VDSL transmits data in the 13 Mbps to 55 Mbps range over short distances, usually between 300 to 1500 meters, of twisted pair copper wire. The shorter the distance, the faster the data is transmitted.

Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) 

Transmitting voice signals in digital form over the Internet using the internet protocol (IP) method.

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WAN (Wide Area Network) 

A data network extending multiple local area networks using wireline or wireless telecommunications.


Short for "wireless fidelity", it is a term used for a high-frequency wireless local area network (WLAN).


A standards-based wireless technology that provides high throughput broadband connections over long distances.

Wireless local area network (WLAN) 

A local area network whereby a mobile user can connect to through a wireless (radio) connection.

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Return on an investor's capital investment.

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