Rogers To Launch LTE Network In Ottawa This Summer

by Gaurav Kheterpal on June 9, 2011

In April, Rogers announced the plan to roll out its new LTE network in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver by the end of 2011. The carrier then announced it will reach Canada’s top 25 markets by the end of 2012. Yesterday, Rogers declared that it will launch fourth-generation LTE wireless services in Ottawa this summer, making the nation’s capital the first Canadian city to experience LTE connectivity.

Rogers claims its LTE network will have speeds that are three to four times faster than its existing network. The carrier also unveiled the first LTE enabled device – the “LTE Rocket” stick made by Vancouver-based Sierra Wireless.

Telus is planning to roll out its own LTE network in 2012 while Bell has also announced that it’s also testing the technology. In the past, Bell staked its claim as “Canada’s ’fastest and best’ network“. Rogers believe the launch of its LTE network would settle the “best and fastest” debate for good. The ‘Need for Speed’ game amongst Canada’s ‘Big Three’ is well and truly on and Ottawa is all set to serve as the initial battleground for this high-stake LTE battle.

Rogers will initially launch LTE using its existing spectrum and will over time deploy LTE in multiple bands. The carrier has literally turned Ottawa into a ‘LTE trial playground‘ every since it started field trials with Ericsson in October last year. “LTE will redefine the connected experience for our customers across Canada, changing the way we work, play and communicate. Rogers remains committed to bringing these innovations to Canadians first, beginning with Ottawa this summer and markets across the country soon after.,” John Boynton, Rogers’ executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, said in a release.

Boynton says the network is ‘ready’ and his team anticipates a smooth LTE rollout in Ottawa this summer. However, he refused to comment on what speed customers will be promised. LTE Coverage will extend across the Ottawa River to Hull, Que., and the Gatineau area and down as far as Arnprior. Outside the LTE area the modem will drop to the Rogers’ HSPA+ network.

The Sierra Wireless Rocket Stick costs $169.99 without a contract or $79.99 on a 3 year contract. Rogers customers in the Ottawa area can now reserve their LTE Rocket stick through the Rogers Reservation System. It’s almost certain that LTE-enabled wireless handsets won’t be available in time for the Ottawa launch but these are expected to arrive by the end of this year.

Rogers declined to disclose the exact launch date for its LTE network.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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