Manitobans Getting Ready For HSPA+ Network Courtesy Rogers And MTS

by Gaurav Kheterpal on February 4, 2011

Rogers and MTS Allstream announced Wednesday that March 31 is the official launch date of their new HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access) wireless network that will deliver cellular voice and high-speed wireless data coverage of up to 21 Mbps to 97% of Manitobans.

Though the two provincial giants shared the cost of building the new HSPA+ network, they are in no mood to concede an inch in this high-stake battle for Manitoba supremacy. On one hand, Rogers is luring new customers with the promise of “access to the latest cutting edge devices including iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and tablets”. On the other front, MTS is leaving no stone unturned to promote its “exclusive bundled service offerings that no other service provider in Manitoba can match”.

It surely promises to be an interesting build up to March 31st.

It’s not a mere coincidence that both carriers are launching on the same day. Since MTS and Rogers collaborated closely to build the Manitoba HSPA+ network, it is imperative that the launch dates coincide in order to make it a fair deal for both parties. Good for Manitobans though – I’m glad they are going to have a “choice” of wireless operators in less than a couple of months from now.

It’s also good news for residents of Thompson, Flin Flon and The Pas as they’ll finally have a choice for an alternate carrier beyond the current reign of MTS.

It’s tough to say which carrier has an upper hand in Manitoba. While Rogers already offers service in Winnipeg and southern Manitoba and is expanding into Manitoba’s northern communities besides the impending HSPA+ upgrade, MTS is investing more than $100 million to gain a competitive advantage in urban centers and rural areas throughout Manitoba. MTS also plans to continue its current CDMA wireless network in Manitoba to support existing MTS customers and carry other wireless roaming traffic.

Martin Cash from Winnipeg Free Press believes it would be crucial for MTS to protect its franchise and I couldn’t agree more on that. While a single carrier defines the rules in a monopoly, it’s a different game when competition sets in. Top executives at Rogers and MTS were equally enthusiastic about the new network. Whether they can live up to the expectations of Manitobans remains to be seen.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. >. Follow > by: RSS>, Twitter >, >, or Friendfeed >

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