Virgin Mobile Canada’s HSPA+ Network Arrives

by Jordan Richardson on February 1, 2010

With news about Apple’s big release gobbling up all the tech news on both sides of the border, Virgin Mobile Canada’s rather quiet release of its new HSPA+ network is kind of refreshing.

The launch of the network means that Bell, Telus and Rogers will have to face up to some extra competition, as Virgin Mobile Canada’s HSPA+ network will really push Canada’s Big Three when it comes to smartphones and the ever-popular 3G plans. The competition offered by Virgin is something many Canadians have been waiting for.

Virgin will be doing a little creative sharing with Telus to reach 93% of Canadians and will offer 21.6Mbps download speeds and 5.76Mbps upload speeds. Of course, whether those speeds will actually work in practical application remains to be seen.

Still, Virgin Mobile Canada is set to uncork some truly wicked phones for consumers. They’ll be offering up the iPhone 3G and 3GS alongside the BlackBerry Bold 9700 alongside their standard lineup of Samsung and LG products.

To get in on the fun and the subsidized prices, Virgin customers will have to sign up to those all-too-Canadian three-year contracts. Smartphone plans start at a reasonable $50 a month, with an included 500MB of data and 200 anytime minutes. There are other smartphone deals for the more, shall we say, discriminating of customers and those run anywhere up to $100 a month.

So with a sharing deal with Telus and prices that are comparable to those offered by Bell, will Virgin Mobile Canada be set to convert the Big Three into a Big Four? It’s probably too early to say, but news of Virgin’s HSPA+ network does mean that Virgin customers can finally make the move away from CDMA in relative comfort.

This isn’t an earth-shattering announcement, of course, but this news does give Bell, Telus and Rogers a reason to take notice of Virgin Mobile Canada and it does mean that quick network access won’t be the only deciding factor when it comes to Canadian wireless customers.

The official launch of Virgin’s HSPA+ network is set for February 2.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Identi.ca, or Friendfeed

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