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Economy and society

A leading contributor to Canada's economy

Bell has been connecting Canadians with each other and the information they need for more than 136 years. Through a steady stream of innovative services that have shaped the communications industry, and by sustaining tens of thousands of high-value jobs and significant infrastructure investment, we have played an important role in the growth of Canada, from the smallest communities to the breadth and scope of the national economy.

As Canada’s largest communications company, with more than 21 million customer connections, Bell provides consumers and business customers with wireless, TV, Internet, home phone and business communications services, as well as leading assets in television, radio, and digital media. Bell was the first company in North America to invest in digital switching, the foundation of today’s digital age,  and we continue to bring market innovations that flow from those investments made more than 35 years ago.

Of the top 100 companies in Canada, 99 run their businesses using Bell and Bell services. We consistently rank among the top Canadian companies for research and development, spending over half a billion dollars a year.  Again in 2015, BCE was the top-ranked  communications company (Canada’s Top 100 corporate spenders in R&D).

In keeping with our commitment to leadership, we also extended our track record of building stronger communities in other ways in 2015. Specifically, we ensured that we more than comply with updated federal standards for wireless health and safety and that we continue to rigorously manage our supply chain to ensure ethical behaviour by our suppliers and to avoid the use of conflict minerals.

Financial information

($MILLIONS)20152014
Revenues 21,514 21,042
Operating costs 12,963 12,739
Wages, salaries, and related taxes and benefits 4,224 4,351
Payments to providers of capital (dividends to BCE common shareholders and interest payments) 3,800 2,800
Income taxes paid 672 743
Capital expenditures 3,626 3,717

Quick facts:

  • Bell made capital investments of over $3.6 billion in 2015. That is more than any other Canadian communications company.
  • We invested $546 million in research and development in 2015, more than any other communications company. Our roll-out of new fibre networks in Toronto, Québec City and Halifax is expected to directly create more than 4,500 jobs within Bell and our suppliers. Toronto’s deployment alone could spin out an additional 19,000 jobs.
  • We continue to upgrade our services in Canada’s North. For example, about 90% of the northern population now has access to Bell’s 4G wireless service
  • Through Bell Media and Bell TV operations, we also invested about $1 billion in Canadian content in 2015
  • In addition, we purchased $8 billion of goods and services in 2015 and our payroll injected another $4.2 billion into the economy in wages and benefits.
  • Our financial and operational success also creates wealth for our thousands of shareholders who have enjoyed 12 dividend increases since the fourth quarter of 2008 – which is overall growth of 87% – plus growth in total shareholder return of 208% in that period.
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