Bell Canada Sets up New Security Solutions Business

OTTAWA (CP) - Bell Canada is launching a new subsidiary to deal with the security needs of large public-sector and business customers across the country, a market that the company estimates was worth $1 billion last year.

Bell Security Solutions Inc., which will begin with more than 200 people and grow to 400 by the end of 2005, will be based in Ottawa and have offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.

The company, an indirect subsidiary of BCE Inc., which owns Bell Canada, will focus on dealing with security-related needs - ranging from unwanted e-mail, or spam, to serious threats like computer viruses.

Charles Salameh, president of Bell Security Solutions, said that today's security industry is ``quite fragmented'' but his company ``has a mandate to establish Bell as a premier network and security provider from coast-to-coast.''

Bell estimates the market targeted by the new subsidiary is expected to grow rapidly and reach $1.5 billion by 2007, a 50 per cent increase from 2004.

In trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday, BCE shares fell 10 cents to close at $29.32.