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BCE reports 2009 third quarter results

    This news release contains forward-looking statements. For a description
    of the related risk factors and assumptions please see the section
    entitled "Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements" later in this
    release.

    - Net earnings applicable to common shares of $558 million, up
      $310 million year-over-year
    - Bell operating income growth of 26% driven by lower restructuring
      charges and EBITDA(1) growth of 1.5%
    - Healthy cash from operating activities of $1.5 billion; Free cash
      flow(2) of $649 million adds to strong liquidity position
    - Record Q3 wireless postpaid net activations and industry-leading TV
      net activations

MONTREAL, Nov. 12 2009 -- BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's
largest communications company, today reported BCE and Bell results for the
third quarter of 2009.
    Bell reported revenue and EBITDA growth in line with its increased
financial guidance; healthy free cash flow; an increase in net earnings
applicable to common shares to $558 million, or $0.72 per share, this quarter
compared to $248 million, or $0.31 per share, in Q3 2008; and strong wireless
and video net subscriber activations. These results demonstrate continued
progress in the execution of Bell's 5 Strategic Imperatives - Improve
Customer Service, Accelerate Wireless, Leverage Wireline Momentum, Invest in
Broadband Networks and Services, and Achieve a Competitive Cost Structure.
    "Our strategic progress this quarter makes clear that Bell is
fundamentally transforming as a customer-focused competitor," said George
Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. "Even in a challenging
economic and competitive environment, the Bell team's ongoing execution of
our strategic imperatives moves us forward every day toward achieving our
goal: For Bell to be recognized by customers as Canada's leading
communications company."
    "We have real momentum in both our wireless and wireline businesses, with
Bell TV leading the industry in net TV activations and Bell Wireless
achieving a record number of third-quarter postpaid net activations. Thanks
to effective operational management, including increased customer winbacks
and better service execution during the busy move season, we also improved
residential local line losses 3% and doubled the number of Bell Bundle
customers year-over-year." Mr. Cope said.
    Bell's momentum is accelerating with the launch this month of the fastest
and largest wireless network in Canada, which was completed on budget and
ahead of schedule; ongoing investment in service operations and in Bell's
leading-edge IP networks for business and residential customers; and a
continuing and earnest focus on driving out costs across the business.
    "Our results this quarter showed good financial discipline throughout the
business," said Siim Vanaselja, Chief Financial Officer of BCE and Bell
Canada. "In a challenging economic cycle, we have continued to focus on
improving the cost structure of our operations by implementing efficiency
initiatives to deliver sustained improvement in the profitability of our
business. Our work to drive out costs has enabled us to sustain margins, even
with incremental pension costs and ongoing pressures from the current
economic climate."
    "While we continue to make significant capital investment for long-term
growth, we have also maintained substantial cash balances and accessed the
debt capital markets on attractive terms earlier this year, enabling us to
readily fund all of our remaining 2010 debt maturities. With a cash balance
of approximately $1.2 billion, consistently healthy free cash flow
generation, and access to $1.4 billion in committed credit facilities, we
maintain a strong balance sheet and liquidity position that is well aligned
to growing our business and delivering shareholder value through our dividend
growth model." Mr. Vanaselja said.
    Bell's operating revenues increased by 1.2% this quarter, to $3,788
million, as higher product revenues from the acquisitions of The Source and
the remaining 50% of the equity of Virgin Mobile Canada (Virgin) not already
owned by Bell and growth in video revenues more than offset declines in local
and access, long distance, and wireline data revenues.
    Bell's operating income increased by 25.9% to $583 million due to higher
EBITDA and lower restructuring and other costs. Bell's EBITDA grew by 1.5% to
$1,448 million as higher revenues and cost reductions more than offset the
impact of higher pension expense and a significant increase in wireless
subscriber activations. Excluding year-over-year increased pension costs,
EBITDA growth would have been 2.9%. Bell's EBITDA margin grew slightly this
quarter to 38.2% from 38.1% last year.
    The Bell Wireless segment had record Q3 gross activations of 501,000 new
subscribers and total net activations of 135,000. Postpaid net activations of
122,000 were a Q3 record. The 15.4% year-over-year increase in total net
activations was driven by the success of new handsets, devices, services and
applications.
    Bell Wireless operating revenues increased by 0.3% this quarter with
service revenues declining by 0.6% and product revenues increasing by 1.9%.
Bell Wireless operating income and EBITDA grew by 4.7% and 0.2% respectively.
Blended ARPU(3) decreased by $2.50 to $52.13 year-over-year but improved
sequentially over the previous quarter by $1.67. The year-over-year decline
this quarter is representative of the impact of economic pressures on
customer usage, competitive moves and lower roaming revenues, which more than
offset data revenue growth of 33%.
    In the Bell Wireline segment, retail residential NAS losses improved for
an eighth consecutive quarter but total Residential NAS declined by 77,000
this quarter, or by 6.9% more than last year, due to higher wholesale
customer deactivations. Business NAS declined by 26,000 this quarter compared
to no change last year, reflecting business customer disconnections and fewer
new installations. Video subscribers increased by 40,000 and high-speed
Internet subscribers increased by 22,000 this quarter.
    Bell Wireline operating revenues increased by 1.0% as video and equipment
and other revenue growth more than offset declines in local and access, long
distance and data revenues. Equipment and other revenues increased by 78.5%
due to the acquisition of The Source at the start of the quarter. Bell
Wireline operating income increased by 83.2% as a result of higher EBITDA and
lower restructuring and other costs. Bell Wireline EBITDA increased by 2.1%
due to higher revenues and cost reductions.
    Bell invested $589 million of capital this quarter, or 4.1% more than in
Q3 of last year. Capital expenditures supported Bell's strategic imperatives
with focused investment on enhancing its wireless networks, including the
recently announced deployment of an HSPA 3G network, and the continuing
expansion of the wireline broadband network, including the Fibre-to-the-node
(FTTN) program and Fibre to multiple dwelling units (MDUs).
    BCE's cash flows from operating activities this quarter was $1,537
million, or 6.8% lower than the same period last year due to higher pension
contributions and a decrease in working capital. Free cash flow was $649
million this quarter compared to $86 million in the same period last year
despite lower cash flows from operating activities. Free cash flow in Q3 2008
included the non-recurring expenditure of $741 million for Advanced Wireless
Services spectrum licences.
    BCE's net earnings applicable to common shares this quarter were $558
million, or $0.72 per share, compared to $248 million, or $0.31 per share,
for the same period last year. EPS(4) this quarter included the favourable
resolution of past tax positions, lower restructuring and other costs, and
the impact of fewer outstanding BCE common shares as a result of share
purchases made through the normal course issuer bid completed in May. BCE's
Adjusted EPS was $0.84 this quarter, or 40.0% higher than last year.

    Financial Highlights
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ($ millions except per share amounts)   Q3 2009     Q3 2008    % change
    (unaudited)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bell(i) Operating Revenues               $3,788      $3,742         1.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bell EBITDA                              $1,448      $1,427         1.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bell Operating Income                      $583        $463        25.9%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BCE Operating Revenues                   $4,457      $4,437         0.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BCE EBITDA                               $1,801      $1,769         1.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BCE Operating Income                       $782        $667        17.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BCE Cash Flows From
     Operating Activities                    $1,537      $1,649        (6.8%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Free Cash Flow                             $649         $86         n.m.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BCE Net Earnings Applicable to
     Common Shares                             $558        $248         n.m.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BCE EPS                                   $0.72       $0.31         n.m.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BCE Adjusted EPS                          $0.84       $0.60        40.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (i) Bell includes the Bell Wireless and Bell Wireline segments.
    n.m.: not meaningful

    BCE's operating revenues increased by 0.5% to $4,457 million this quarter
as higher revenues at Bell were partly offset by lower revenues at Bell
Aliant.
    BCE's operating income increased by 17.2% to $782 million this quarter,
as higher operating income at Bell was partly offset by lower operating
income at Bell Aliant. BCE's EBITDA increased 1.8% to $1,801 million this
quarter due to EBITDA growth at Bell and Bell Aliant.

Bell Wireless Segment

    While the weaker economy and ongoing competitive actions impacted revenue
growth and ARPU, Bell Wireless delivered record third-quarter gross
activations and postpaid net activations, which should well position the
company for improved performance in the future.

    - Total Bell Wireless operating revenues increased by 0.3% to
      $1,178 million this quarter as growth in wireless data revenues and
      increased product sales more than offset the impact of lower ARPU.
    - The acquisition of the remaining 50% of Virgin was completed on
      July 1, 2009. Accordingly, beginning in Q3 2009, wireless ARPU, churn
      and cost of acquisition reflect 100% of Virgin's results. For prior
      periods, these metrics have been reported on a pro forma basis to
      reflect 100% of Virgin's results.
    - On a pro forma basis, postpaid ARPU decreased by $3.98 to $64.09 due to
      customer migration to lower rate plans, lower usage and lower roaming
      revenues as customers reacted to a weaker economy, while prepaid ARPU
      decreased by $0.48 to $18.36. Blended ARPU decreased by $2.50 to
      $52.13.
    - Bell Wireless operating income grew by 4.7% to $354 million this
      quarter as a result of higher EBITDA and lower restructuring and other
      costs. Bell Wireless EBITDA increased by 0.2% to $475 million this
      quarter due to modest revenue growth and lower operating expenses.
    - EBITDA margins on wireless service revenues increased to 45.0% this
      quarter from 44.6% last year.
    - Total gross activations were 501,000 this quarter, or 14.1% higher than
      last year, reflecting the success of new handsets and turbo sticks and
      enhanced data services and applications.
    - Total net activations were 135,000 this quarter, or 15.4% higher than
      last year. Postpaid net activations were 122,000 this quarter, or 8.0%
      higher than last year. Prepaid net activations were 13,000 compared to
      net activations of 4,000 a year ago.
    - The Bell Wireless client base grew by 4.0% year-over-year to reach
      6,707,000 at the end of the quarter.
    - On a pro forma basis, postpaid, prepaid and blended churn increased
      year-over-year. Postpaid churn increased to 1.3% from 1.1% last year
      and prepaid churn increased to 3.5% from 3.1%. Blended churn increased
      to 1.8% from 1.7%.
    - On a pro forma basis, cost of acquisition decreased to $320 per gross
      activation this quarter, or 15.3% lower than last year.

    Bell Wireline Segment

    The Bell Wireline segment delivered EBITDA growth and solid video and
high-speed Internet subscriber gains.

    - Bell Wireline operating revenues increased by 1.0% to $2,659 million
      this quarter as product revenue growth from the acquisition of The
      Source and video revenue growth were partly offset by decreases in
      local and access, long distance and data revenues.
    - Bell Wireline operating income increased by 83.2% to $229 million this
      quarter as higher EBITDA and lower restructuring and other costs more
      than offset higher depreciation and amortization of intangible assets.
      Bell Wireline EBITDA increased by 2.1% this quarter, to $973 million,
      due to higher revenues and cost reductions.
    - Local and access revenues declined by 6.0% to $783 million this quarter
      due to ongoing residential and business NAS erosion.
    - Total NAS declined by 103,000 this quarter compared to a decline of
      72,000 last year. On a year-over-year basis, total NAS declined by
      5.8%. Business NAS declined by 26,000 this quarter compared to no
      change last year reflecting business customer disconnections and fewer
      new installations in Ontario and Québec. Retail residential NAS losses
      improved for an eighth consecutive quarter due to growth in customer
      winbacks. Although retail residential NAS losses improved, total
      Residential NAS declined by 77,000 this quarter, or by 6.9% more than
      last year, due to higher wholesale customer deactivations.
    - Long distance revenues declined by 9.0% to $264 million this quarter
      due mainly to ongoing residential and business NAS erosion, pricing
      pressures in the business market, and the increased adoption of
      unlimited or large block of time plans by residential customers.
    - Data revenues decreased by 2.4% to $892 million this quarter as a
      decline in data equipment sales to business customers and lower legacy
      data revenues more than offset higher residential Internet revenues.
    - High-speed Internet customer subscribers grew by 1.9% compared to last
      year. There were 22,000 net activations this quarter compared to 33,000
      last year. The year-over-year decrease in net activations is due to an
      increase in business customer deactivations and fewer wholesale net
      activations as a result of the weaker economy.
    - Video revenues were $400 million this quarter, or 10.2% higher than
      last year due largely to an ARPU increase of $4.15 to $69.35. ARPU
      increased as a result of customer upgrades to higher-priced programming
      packages, driven partly by the increased adoption of premium set-top
      boxes.
    - Video EBITDA was $83 million this quarter, or 9.2% higher than last
      year, due to higher ARPU and a larger customer base.
    - Total video subscribers increased by 40,000 this quarter compared to an
      increase of 7,000 last year. At the end of the quarter, the video
      subscriber base reached a total of 1,924,000.
    - Video subscriber churn remained stable at 1.4%.
    - Equipment and other revenues increased by 78.5% to $241 million due to
      the acquisition of The Source at the start of the quarter.

Bell Aliant Regional Communications

    Bell Aliant's revenues decreased to $786 million this quarter, or by
3.2%, due to lower local and access, long distance and equipment and other
revenues. Bell Aliant's operating income decreased by 2.5%, to $199 million,
due to lower revenues and higher restructuring and other costs partly offset
by cost containment initiatives.

Common Share Dividend

    BCE's Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.405 per
common share, payable on January 15, 2010 to shareholders of record at the
close of business on December 15, 2009.

Outlook

BCE confirmed its increased financial guidance for 2009 as follows:

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Increased 2009                Current
                                   Guidance provided            Expectation
                                         on August 6
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bell(i)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenue Growth                           1% - 2%       Low end of range
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EBITDA(ii) Growth                        1% - 2%               On track
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Capital Intensity                      15% - 16%               On track
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BCE
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Adjusted EPS                       $2.40 - $2.50      High end of range
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Free Cash Flow(iii)          $1,750 M - $1,900 M               On track
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (i)   Bell's 2009 financial guidance for revenue, EBITDA and capital
          intensity is exclusive of Bell Aliant.
    (ii)  EBITDA includes pension expense
    (iii) The most comparable Canadian GAAP financial measure is cash flows
          from operating activities. For 2009, BCE expects to generate
          approximately $1,750 million to $1,900 million in free cash flow.
          This amount reflects expected BCE cash flows from operating
          activities of approximately $4.9 billion to $5.1 billion.

Call with Financial Analysts

    BCE will hold a conference call for financial analysts to discuss its
third quarter results on Thursday, November 12 at 8:00 a.m. (Eastern). Media
are welcome to participate on a listen-only basis. To participate, please
dial (416) 340-8018 or toll-free 1-866-223-7781 shortly before the start of
the call. A replay will be available for one week by dialing (416) 695-5800
or 1-800-408-3053 and entering pass code 8037862#.
    There will also be a live audio webcast of the call available on BCE's
website at: http://www.bce.ca/en/news/eventscalendar/webcasts/2009/20091112/.
The mp3 file will be available for download on this page later in the day.

Notes

The information contained in this news release is unaudited.

    (1) The term EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
        amortization of intangible assets) does not have any standardized
        meaning according to Canadian GAAP. It is therefore unlikely to be
        comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. We
        define EBITDA as 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. We use EBITDA, among other measures, to
        assess the operating performance of our ongoing businesses without
        the effects of depreciation, amortization of intangible assets and
        restructuring and other. We exclude these items because they affect
        the comparability of our financial results and could potentially
        distort the analysis of trends in business performance. We exclude
        depreciation and amortization of intangible assets because it largely
        depends on the accounting methods and assumptions a company uses, as
        well as non-operating factors such as the historical cost of capital
        assets. Excluding restructuring and other does not imply they are
        non-recurring. EBITDA allows us to compare our operating performance
        on a consistent basis. We believe that certain investors and analysts
        use EBITDA to measure a company's ability to service debt and to meet
        other payment obligations, or as a common measurement to value
        companies in the telecommunications industry. The most comparable
        Canadian GAAP financial measure is operating income. The following
        tables are reconciliations of operating income to EBITDA on a
        consolidated basis for BCE, Bell and for our Bell Wireline and Bell
        Wireless segments.

    ($ millions)

    BCE                                                 Q3 2009     Q3 2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating income                                        782         667
    Depreciation and amortization of intangible assets      828         792
    Restructuring and other                                 191         310
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EBITDA                                                1,801       1,769
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    BELL                                                Q3 2009     Q3 2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating income                                        583         463
    Depreciation and amortization of intangible assets      688         654
    Restructuring and other                                 177         310
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EBITDA                                                1,448       1,427
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    BELL WIRELINE                                       Q3 2009     Q3 2008
    Operating income                                        229         125
    Depreciation and amortization of intangible assets      564         529
    Restructuring and other                                 180         299
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EBITDA                                                  973         953
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    BELL WIRELESS                                       Q3 2009     Q3 2008
    Operating income                                        354         338
    Depreciation and amortization of intangible assets      124         125
    Restructuring and other                                  (3)         11
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EBITDA                                                  475         474
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    (2) The term free cash flow does not have any standardized meaning
        according to Canadian GAAP. It is therefore unlikely to be comparable
        to similar measures presented by other companies. We define free cash
        flow as cash flows from operating activities and distributions
        received from Bell Aliant less capital expenditures, preferred share
        dividends, distributions paid by subsidiaries to non-controlling
        interest, other investing activities and Bell Aliant free cash flow.
        We consider free cash flow to be an important indicator of the
        financial strength and performance of our business because it shows
        how much cash is available to repay debt and reinvest in our company.
        We present free cash flow consistently from period to period, which
        allows us to compare our financial performance on a consistent basis.
        We believe that certain investors and analysts use free cash flow to
        value a business and its underlying assets. The most comparable
        Canadian GAAP financial measure is cash flows from operating
        activities. The following table is a reconciliation of cash flows
        from operating activities to free cash flow on a consolidated basis.

    ($ millions)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Q3 2009     Q3 2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash flows from operating activities                  1,537       1,649
    Bell Aliant distributions to BCE                         73          73
    Capital expenditures                                   (704)       (705)
    Other investing activities                              (38)       (732)
    Cash dividends paid on preferred shares                 (26)        (31)
    Cash dividends/distributions paid by subsidiaries
     to non-controlling interest                            (93)        (92)
    Bell Aliant free cash flow                             (100)        (76)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Free cash flow                                          649          86
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    (3) The acquisition of the remaining 50% of the equity of Virgin not
        already owned by Bell was completed on July 1, 2009. Accordingly,
        beginning in Q3 2009, wireless ARPU, churn, and cost of acquisition
        reflect 100% of Virgin's results. For prior periods, these metrics
        reflected our previous 50% ownership but have been reported on a pro
        forma basis to reflect 100% of Virgin's results.

    (4) The term Adjusted net earnings does not have any standardized meaning
        according to Canadian GAAP. It is therefore unlikely to be comparable
        to similar measures presented by other companies. We define Adjusted
        net earnings as net earnings before restructuring and other and net
        losses (gains) on investments. We use Adjusted net earnings and
        Adjusted EPS, among other measures, to assess the operating
        performance of our ongoing businesses without the effects of after-
        tax restructuring and other and net losses (gains) on investments.
        We exclude these items because they affect the comparability of our
        financial results and could potentially distort the analysis of
        trends in business performance. Excluding these items does not imply
        they are non-recurring. The most comparable Canadian GAAP financial
        measure is net earnings applicable to common shares. The following
        table is a reconciliation of net earnings applicable to common shares
        to Adjusted net earnings on a consolidated basis and per BCE Inc.
        common share.

    ($ millions except per share amounts)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Q3 2009                 Q3 2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               PER                     PER
                                  TOTAL       SHARE       TOTAL       SHARE
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings applicable
     to common shares               558        0.72         248        0.31
    Restructuring and other         123        0.16         210        0.25
    Net (gains) losses on
     investments                    (32)      (0.04)         30        0.04
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Adjusted net earnings           649        0.84         488        0.60
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Management's Discussion and Analysis

    This release should be read in conjunction with BCE's 2009 Third Quarter
MD&A dated November 11, 2009 which is incorporated by reference in this
release, and is filed by BCE with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
under Form 6-K (available at www.sec.gov) and with Canadian
securities
commissions (available at www.sedar.com). This document is also
available on
BCE's website at www.bce.ca.

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

    Certain statements made in this news release, including, but not limited
to, statements relating to our financial guidance for 2009, and other
statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements and
are subject to important risks, uncertainties and assumptions.
    The results or events predicted in these forward-looking statements may
differ materially from actual results or events. As a result, we cannot
guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize and you are
cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
These forward-looking statements assume, in particular, that many of our
lines of business will be resilient to the current economic downturn.
However, we caution that the current adverse economic conditions make our
forward-looking statements and underlying assumptions subject to greater
uncertainty and that, consequently, they may not materialize. It is
impossible to predict with certainty the full impact that the current
economic downturn and credit crisis will have on our business or residential
customers' purchasing patterns. The forward-looking statements contained in
this news release are made as of the date of this release and, accordingly,
are subject to change after such date. Except as may be required by Canadian
securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any
forward-looking statements contained in this news release, whether as a
result of new information, future events or otherwise. Except as otherwise
indicated by BCE, these statements do not reflect the potential impact of any
non-recurring or other special items or of any dispositions, monetizations,
mergers, acquisitions, other business combinations or other transactions that
may be announced or that may occur after the date hereof. Forward-looking
statements are provided for the purpose of providing information about
management's current expectations and plans relating to 2009 and allowing
investors and others to get a better understanding of our operating
environment. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be
appropriate for other purposes.

Material Assumptions

    A number of Canadian economic and market assumptions were made by BCE in
preparing forward-looking statements for 2009 contained in this release,
including, but not limited to: (i) Canadian GDP to decrease by approximately
2%, compared to 2008, consistent with estimates by the six major banks in
Canada, (ii) the Bank of Canada's target overnight rate to remain fairly
stable at approximately 1%, (iii) the Consumer Price Index as estimated by
Statistics Canada to decline to the range of 1.0% to 1.5%, (iv) revenues
generated by the residential voice telecommunications market to continue to
decrease due to wireless substitution and other factors including e-mail and
instant messaging substitution, (v) current levels of competition to continue
for residential and business local voice telephony, as cable operators and
other telecom service providers maintain the intensity of their marketing
efforts and continue to leverage their network footprints to pursue market
share in our regions, (vi) wireless industry penetration growth in 2009 to be
similar to 2008, subject to the economic environment potentially causing a
slowing of growth.
    In addition, BCE's and Bell Canada's 2009 guidance is also based on
various internal financial and operational assumptions. Our guidance related
to Bell (excluding Bell Aliant) is based on certain assumptions concerning
Bell, including, but not limited to: (i) many of our lines of business to
provide good resiliency and protection from an economic downturn so that
spending on our core wireline telephone services should not be severely
impacted given the importance of these services to both residential and
business customers, (ii) reduced housing starts and residential moves to
contribute to reduced customer turnover, (iii) business market demand to be
adversely affected as business clients revisit their investment plans due to
tighter credit availability, economic uncertainty, continued competition from
offshore manufacturing and reduced public sector spending, (iv) the softening
of the Ontario and Québec business market to continue with the potential to
drive business NAS erosion higher, (v) more conservative investments by
business customers to result in lower capital spending requirements to
support business customers, (vi) the economic recessionary environment,
increased price competition and the introduction of new wireless entrants,
potentially in late 2009, to put pressure on ARPU and result in customer
satisfaction and retention becoming even more critical over time, (vii)
residential NAS losses to decline in 2009 compared to 2008, (viii) Bell's
revenue outlook was derived in the context of a worsening economy, (ix)
Bell's total net benefit plans cost, which is based on a discount rate of
7.0% and a 2008 return on pension plan assets of approximately (19.5%), is
expected to be approximately $260 million in 2009, * Bell's 2009 retirement
benefit plans funding is estimated to be approximately $500 million, based on
a 10-year amortization of the pension solvency deficits that arose during
2008, (xi) Bell's capital intensity in 2009 is estimated to be in the 15% to
16% range, (xii) Bell to continue to invest in extending its fibre network,
and (xiii) Bell's 100-day plan annualized cost savings and other cost
reduction opportunities to be approximately $400 million.
    Our guidance related to BCE is based on certain assumptions for 2009,
including, but not limited to: (i) restructuring and other charges in the
range of $500 million to $550 million, (ii) depreciation and amortization
expense at levels slightly above 2008, (iii) an effective tax rate of
approximately 20%, while the statutory tax rate is approximately 32%, (iv)
relatively stable cash taxes for 2009 given the accelerated utilization of
Bell's investment tax credit carry-forwards, and (v) the permanent repayment
of long-term debt maturing in 2009.
    The foregoing assumptions, although considered reasonable by BCE at the
time of preparation of its financial guidance and business outlook and other
forward-looking statements, may prove to be inaccurate. Accordingly, our
actual results could differ materially from our expectations as set forth in
this news release.

Material Risks

    Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially
from our expectations expressed in or implied by our forward-looking
statements include: general economic and credit market conditions, the level
of consumer confidence and spending, and the demand for, and prices of, our
products and services; our ability to implement our strategies and plans in
order to produce the expected benefits; our ability to continue to implement
our cost reduction initiatives and contain capital intensity while seeking to
improve customer service; the intensity of competitive activity, including
the increase in wireless competitive activity that could result from Industry
Canada's licensing of advanced wireless services spectrum, and the resulting
impact on our ability to retain existing and attract new customers, and on
our pricing strategies and financial results; increased contributions to
employee benefit plans; our ability to respond to technological changes and
rapidly offer new products and services; events affecting the functionality
of, and our ability to protect, maintain and replace, our networks,
information technology (IT) systems and software; our ability to maintain
customer service and our networks operational in the event of the occurrence
of epidemics, pandemics and other health risks; events affecting the ability
of third-party suppliers to provide to us essential products and services;
labour disruptions; the potential adverse effects on our Internet and
wireless businesses of network congestion due to a significant increase in
broadband demand; our ability to raise the capital we need to implement our
business plan, including for BCE's dividend payments and to fund capital and
other expenditures; our ability to discontinue certain traditional services
as necessary to improve capital and operating efficiencies; regulatory
initiatives or proceedings, litigation and changes in laws or regulations;
launch and in-orbit risks of satellites used by Bell TV; competition from
unregulated U.S. direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television services sold
illegally in Canada and the theft of our satellite television services; BCE's
dependence on its subsidiaries' ability to pay dividends; stock market
volatility; depending, in particular, on the economic, competitive and
technological environment at any given time, and subject to dividends being
declared by the board of directors, there can be no certainty that BCE's
dividend policy will be maintained; Bell Aliant's ability to make
distributions to BCE and Bell Canada; health concerns about radio frequency
emissions from wireless devices; and loss of key executives.
    For additional information with respect to certain of these and other
assumptions and risks, please refer to BCE's 2008 Annual MD&A dated March 11,
2009 included in the BCE 2008 Annual Report, BCE's 2009 First Quarter MD&A
dated May 6, 2009, BCE's 2009 Second Quarter MD&A dated August 5, 2009, and
BCE's 2009 Third Quarter MD&A dated November 11, 2009, all filed by BCE with
the Canadian securities commissions (available at www.sedar.com)
and with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (available at www.sec.gov).
These
documents are also available on BCE's website at www.bce.ca.

About BCE

    BCE is Canada's largest communications company, providing the most
comprehensive and innovative suite of communication services to residential
and business customers in Canada. Operating under the Bell and Bell Aliant
brands, the Company's services include telephone services, wireless
communications, high-speed Internet, digital television, IP-broadband
services and information and communications technology (ICT) services. BCE
shares are listed in Canada and the United States. For corporate information
on BCE, please visit www.bce.ca. For Bell product and service
information,
please visit www.bell.ca.


For further information: Media inquiries: Claire Fiset, Bell Media Relations,
(514) 870-4739, 1-877-391-2007, claire.fiset@bell.ca;
Investor inquiries:
Thane Fotopoulos, BCE Investor Relations, (514) 870-4619,
thane.fotopoulos@bell.ca

SOURCE Corporate

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