LTE iPhone May Hurt Carriers with Developing Networks

by Jeff Wiener on April 26, 2012

With the news that Apple’s annual WWDC event sold out in a matter of minutes is simply the latest proof that everyone is waiting with bated breath for news (any news) about the next iteration of the iPhone, which will likely sport LTE capability. But while everyone is going gaga over the iPhone, I happen to think there should be a few companies at least that should temper their enthusiasm, carriers on both sides of the border who are lagging behind in their LTE network development.

As companies like Bell, Rogers, and Telus here in Canada and most notably Sprint Nextel down south slowly rollout their 4G LTE networks (forget all the hype of HSPA+, I’m talking about true 4G LTE) the next iPhone could actually significantly hinder their competitive edge; the data demand of the new device likely having the “AT&T effect” on these respective networks, straining them to their max and exposing embarrassing flaws.

With that said, when the next iPhone is released count on wireless carriers to once again brag about their expansive and powerful LTE networks, but the question remains, what will Sprint, Bell, Telus, and Rogers have to brag about?

Now don’t get me wrong, the four carriers I just mentioned are all working diligently to develop their LTE networks across their respective countries, but it doesn’t take an expert to recognize that Bell’s LTE covers only a select few metropolitan areas, Roger’s LTE coverage map barely shows a blip regarding 4G LTE, Telus’s coverage map has about three dots indicating LTE coverage, and Sprint is sorely lagging behind the Big Two, AT&T and Verizon, in America.

The battle here in Canada will look significantly different from the one that will take place in the U.S., as the Big Three Canadian carriers, all of whom sport paltry LTE coverage compared with what both Verizon and AT&T have been able to accomplish down south, will fight to be the least futile, each making claims that their respective companies have the best coverage compared to their equally futile opponents.

That said though, the competitive edge in the Canadian market currently goes to Telus in my mind, as it has created a rollout plan that should have most of the country covered by the time the new iPhone hits store shelves later this year. It will be interesting to see, though, just how much strain the new LTE iPhone will put on all three of these Canadian networks, as consumer awareness and appetite for all things LTE is growing exponentially.

In the States it looks like Sprint may be hurt the most by the new iPhone, as most analysts agree that the company’s 4G LTE development simply won’t be far enough along to lure potentially customers, given that both AT&T and Verizon have already thrown a veritable LTE blanket across the nation.

But don’t expect any of these companies to admit that they’re worried, meaning that all you’ll hear leading up to the impending release of an LTE iPhone is just how fast and comprehensive each company’s network is, but we’ll have to wait and see if such propaganda proves true.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jeff April 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Good day. I stumbled upon this blog while looking for some information for an important project I’m embarking on. Please I need an expert assistant to give me some information for this project. I need to know why the New York bell allows its competitors to use all its facilities at such low rates as it doesn’t seem fair to me. I also want to know in what ways this situation might change in the next 10 years.
Please help me with some information, its extremely important. Thank you

RogersMelanie April 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Hi Jeff,

Melanie here from the Social Media Team at Rogers. Was reading your post and I just wanted to send you some more info about our LTE network.

We are currently the fastest and largest LTE network in Canada and reach nearly 12 million Canadians. This represents 35 per cent of the population and it will expand to nearly 60 per cent by the end of the year.

I’ll be sure to keep you updated on all things Rogers LTE. Definitely exciting times ahead.

Cheers,
@RogersMelanie

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