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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bell to provide free WiFi access in Montreal | FP Tech Desk | Financial Post

Bell Mobility is erecting a wireless “hot spot” zone over one of Montreal’s most heavily trafficked boulevards, providing free mobile Internet access in the area.

Beyond being a positive gesture of civic engagement in a key market, Bell, which is collaborating with local business interests, will benefit in tangible ways from the new network.

The new local-area network, which sits at the heart of the city along Saint-Laurent Boulevard, will give all users 30 minutes of access a day free of charge letting commuters zip off emails from a smartphone, download music to a laptop or watch video on a tablet without having to use Bell or a rival carrier’s cellular network, which costs money.

Existing Bell wireless customers however are given unlimited access at no cost. For a carrier locked in an escalating territorial scrap with Quebecor Media Inc.’s cable-turned-wireless operator, Videotron Ltee., the network is perhaps a stake in the ground in the city’s core. Moreover, it is a useful “retention” tool that helps Bell keep customers satisfied, analysts say.

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