Bell Canada is instating a new executive to oversee its operations in Alberta and B.C., a move that provides some insight as to the telco’s plans for Western Canada.

Bell made the announcement yesterday that Paul Healey will be president of its western Canadian region, and that Randy Reynolds, former Bell West CEO, will retire.

In his new role Healey will take charge of wireless operations in the western provinces, as well as offerings for business customers and Bell’s retail store operations. According to Stephen Wetmore, group president, national markets at Bell, Healey is charged with ramping up enterprise IP services.

“Our facilities in these two provinces are state-of-the-art and will allow us to offer hosted IP services to business customers,” Wetmore said in a statement.

Industry observers have been wondering when Bell would ramp up a hosted, business-class IP service to compete with Telus Corp.’s IP-One, which is offered in Bell’s own backyard, Ontario and Quebec. Analysts have said that it makes sense for Bell to start such a service in Alberta and B.C., where the telco operates as a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) and faces less stringent regulatory rules than it does in its incumbent area, Ontario and Quebec.

Wetmore pointed out that Bell has invested $1 billion in Alberta and B.C. Late last year Bell said it would spend $650 million to buy Manitoba’s telco MTS out of Bell West, of which MTS owned 40 per cent.