Bell Joins LTE Bandwagon, Launches 4G LTE Network in Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph Tomorrow

by Gaurav Kheterpal on September 14, 2011

The LTE race is now well and truly on in Canada. Rogers launched its LTE network in Ottawa and Toronto in July and August respectively. And in a move that’s expected to juice up the competition in this high-stake segment, Bell yesterday announced the launch of its next generation 4G LTE wireless network service in areas of Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph.

The Bell LTE network will go live in these areas later today. Though Rogers gained an early mover advantage in Ottawa and Toronto, Bell stands to gain an upper hand across large cities throughout southern Ontario, beating Rogers to market by a considerable distance.

Of course, from a consumer perspective, this is a win-win situation with two companies claiming to provide “world class” LTE infrastructure, consumers will be able to compare LTE apples and apples rather than their current comparison of LTE apples and HSPA oranges.

“LTE is the next step in ensuring Bell continues to deliver the best networks in the world to Canadian consumers and businesses, backed up by the newest data devices and the leading mobile services and content available. LTE will deliver amazing data access speeds – at least three times faster than the Bell HSPA+ network originally launched less than three years ago,” said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility.

Bell says its LTE network would offer “HD quality online TV and video; wireless video conferencing and chat with quality previously available only on wireline or high-speed Wi-Fi connections; unprecedented mobile download times for apps, large attachments, presentations and apps (with VPN compatibility for secure file access); and mobile gaming on a whole new level, with stand-out graphics and video quality.”

As for devices, the company is offering next generation Bell LTE/HSPA+ Turbo Sticks which allow users to connect their laptops to the 4G LTE network. LTE-enabled smartphones and tablets are expected to be available later this year. The carrier plans to offer LTE in “additional Canadian markets this year and through 2012.”

LTE delivers mobile broadband at speeds several times faster than the HSPA+ technology, that’s used by Telus. As the fourth generation of wireless networking, LTE promises users speeds up to 10x faster than the current 3G network, ostensibly making one’s wireless connection as fast as many users wired home Internet connection. But even though LTE boasts increased data transfer speeds, that doesn’t mean anything if the networks aren’t capable of handling the data traffic itself, a problem that will only continue to get worse.

As FP points out, there are no LTE-enabled smartphones available in Canada so the big fight is all about creating the right customer perception. The report also raises question marks over the Bell – Telus alliance as the two companies have shared costs and equipment for a decade. Telus plans to launch LTE in Western Canada early next year.

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

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