Mobilicity Gearing Up For 4G

by Gaurav Kheterpal on June 15, 2012

Mobilicity is by far the strongest player among Canada’s new wireless entrants. The upstart carrier has an envious retail distribution network consisting of partnerships with 7-ElevenWalmart CanadaHMVZellers, Metro Stores and Brick. In February, Mobilicity reported that it added 63,000 net subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2011 and staked its claim to be the “nation’s fastest-growing new wireless entrant.

Despite those positives, Mobilicity has lagged behind the ‘Big Three’, most noticeably it’s been hurt by the absence of a 4G network. While Rogers was an early mover in the LTE segment, Bell and Telus followed suit late last year. Therefore, it’s imperative that other carriers too join the 4G bandwagon to maintain ‘competition’.

And yesterday, Mobilicity announced plans to upgrade its unlimited 3.5G network to 4G later this year. The carrier claims its 4G network will deliver “enhanced data performance with peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps.”

“We continue to invest in our network infrastructure as demand for our affordable, unlimited data service grows at an incredible rate,” said Mobilicity President and Chief Operating Officer Stewart Lyons. “Mobile broadband is the future; it already accounts for almost 90 percent of traffic on our network and we’re committed to providing a quality user experience.”

Of course, the ideal solution would be to go the LTE route but Mobilicity currently doesn’t have the spectrum and/ or the resources to buy the same. The company’s Chairman John Bitove has been pitching for a ‘Spectrum Screen’ similar to that used in the US to successfully limit carrier holdings and prevent hoarding and monopolies. With his long-standing connections to the Conservative Party, Bitove is considered a seasoned deal-maker with the Harper government.

He blames Canada’s Big 3 carriers’ excessive spectrum ownership as the root cause for the “decades of lack of competition and the free spectrum that were gifted to the incumbent carriers back in the 1980s.”

Of course, the next best option for Mobilicity is to upgrade its HSPA+-enabled network upgrade to 4G.  The carrier claims the upgrade to 4G will enable customers to leverage the full performance of cutting-edge 4G smartphones and browse the web, run apps and watch video clips on their smartphones with enhanced quality and speed.

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

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