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ALL ABOARD! - Bell Canada extends Wi-Fi pilot to VIA Rail Canada trains

    For the first time in North America, mobile WLAN Internet connectivity is
    available on a pilot basis to train passengers

TORONTO,July 9 2003 --Bell Canada today announced the extension of the
AccessZone(R) Wi-Fi hotspot pilot service to select VIA Rail train cars.
During the four month pilot which starts today, Bell Canada will equip select
VIA 1 train cars with wireless Internet access that will provide free wireless
local area network ("WLAN"), based on the 802.11b Wi-Fi technology standard,
for VIA 1 passengers traveling between Montréal and Toronto. This provides
mobile professionals, business travelers and consumers with 802.11b enabled
laptops or handheld devices another convenient option to wirelessly access the
Internet, e-mail and corporate networks while traveling on the train.
    For the first time in North America, mobile WLAN connectivity, using
combined satellite and wireless networks, will be available within a moving
passenger train car. The pilot service combines the strengths of Bell
technologies, including Bell ExpressVu's satellite service, Bell Mobility's 1X
next generation wireless network and Bell's nationwide data network, with
support from chip manufacturer and Wi-Fi industry leader Intel Corporation and
wireless technology developed by Ottawa-based PointShot Wireless. Here is how
it works: the Internet is transmitted "down" to the train from Bell
ExpressVu's Internet satellite service to onboard equipment and then to the
end-user's WLAN-enabled device. Responses from the end-user's device are then
transmitted back "up" to the train's WLAN equipment and then delivered over
Bell Mobility's 1X network to the Internet.
    "Today's announcement is another example of Bell's commitment to meeting
the evolving needs of mobile professionals and business travelers who are
increasingly using wireless technologies for Internet access while away from
home or the office," said Almis Ledas, Vice-President corporate development,
Bell Mobility. "This service is a clear demonstration of Bell's ability to
align its resources namely satellite, wireless and wired data networks, with
innovative companies like Intel and PointShot Wireless to create a 4-month
pilot service that will provide train passengers with WLAN real-time on-board
    "Intel is delighted to be working with Bell Canada to promote the
development of Wireless LAN Internet access on VIA Rail trains," said Doug
Cooper, general manager, Intel of Canada. "Our research indicates that
Canadian business people want to use their travel time to catch-up with email,
work on presentations and do other work-related tasks. They appreciate easy
and convenient access to the Internet. With Intel(R) Centrino(TM) mobile
technology, notebook PC users have the freedom and flexibility of being
unwired, whether at work, in a hotel, at an airport - even on a train."
    The WLAN connection provided on the train will be similar to or better
than dial-up connection speeds, allowing passengers to be more productive by
accessing VPN, corporate intranets, sending and receiving e-mail, or browsing
the Internet. On the outset of the pilot, VIA Rail express train number 53
from Montreal to Toronto and number 66 from Toronto to Montreal will have a
VIA 1 car equipped with WLAN capabilities. During the pilot Bell Canada
intends to roll-out more VIA 1 cars with WLAN access. Bell AccessZone users in
Dorval Train Station, Toronto's Union Station and Montreal's Central Station
can now extend their on-line work time from the lounges to on board the train.
    "By facilitating Bell's and Intel's pilot we're helping our passengers
using 802.11b enabled computing devices to do business where they want and
access information when they need it," said Guy Faulkner, Product Manager
Corridor Services (Quebec and Ontario) VIA Rail Canada. "This is a further
example of our commitment to provide today's business traveler with the most
productive travel experience possible."
    "WLAN Internet access on VIA 1 allows the business traveler to be as
productive on the train as they would be in the office, increasing the value
and appeal of rail travel. A recent survey conducted by PointShot and Intel
showed us that more than 90% of respondents saw benefits in having the ability
to access the internet and email while on a train," said Shawn Griffin,
President & CEO PointShot Wireless.
    Bell's Wireless Accelerator Fund has supported the VIA Rail pilot program
deployment by providing funding to Ottawa-based PointShot Wireless for the
development of the on board Internet rail solution. Bell's Wireless
Accelerator is a unique investment program for wireless products, services and
applications, in which Bell works hands-on with partner companies to
accelerate product development, provide technology leadership and offer market
expertise. Bell's Wireless Accelerator Fund helps partner companies to reach
more than four million Bell Canada wireless subscribers. For more information,
please visit

    Bell AccessZone

    AccessZone, a Wi-Fi hotspot pilot powered by Bell Canada provides
Canadian companies with a convenient way to wirelessly access Internet
service. The pilot was launched in December 2002 and has grown to include more
than 20 enterprise locations including: Toronto's Union Station and Mount
Sinai Hospital, Montreal's Dorval Airport, Kingston, Ontario's Confederation
Park and Marina and Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges. By leveraging the
widespread availability of 802.11b enabled computing devices, AccessZone is
helping mobile professionals and business travelers do business where they
want and access information when they need it. Intel is working with Bell to
advance WLAN computing for mobile PC users, by encouraging the deployment of
public hotspots, verifying that these hotspots work with Intel Centrino mobile
technology-based notebooks, and promoting the availability of hotspots to
encourage use.
    Based on the initial success of the AccessZone pilot, Bell will continue
to provide its corporate customers the free hotspot service to the end of
2003. Extending the pilot, including the VIA Rail service, provides an
opportunity to gather more detailed feedback from users on key information
such as market demand, usage patterns and pricing. Beginning this summer, each
time users access the free service they will be prompted to answer a list of
questions about their use of WLAN technology and services. Bell Canada has
seen a very positive response to the AccessZone pilot and is anticipating
continued success and growth over the next five months. For more information
on AccessZone and pilot location providers, please visit

    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


For further information: Don Blair, Bell Media Relations,
(416) 581-3311, 1-888-482-0809,

SOURCE Digital Voice / VoIP

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