Canadian Operators Switch to WCDMA - Plan LTE Rollout
Published on: 12th October 2008
Canada's two CDMA operators, Telus and Bell have confirmed recent rumours and jointly announced plans to build a WCDMA based overlay on their existing networks. The companies also confirmed a long-term migration path to LTE based services.
Bell says that it will continue to support, and expand, its existing CDMA/EVDO network while it rolls out the WCDMA/HSPA network. Telus said that it plans to support its CDMA and Mike (iDEN) customers for the foreseeable future.
"Bell's transition to the global 4G LTE standard with a combined EVDO and HSPA network path aligns us with more than 30 major carriers worldwide planning a similar move to LTE," said Stephen Howe, Senior Vice President, Wireless Network and Chief Technology Officer for Bell Mobility. "This broad global technology ecosystem will mean a fast, efficient and cost-effective network transition to 4G LTE, and access to the broadest possible range of next-generation phones and data services."
Telus and Bell have had a network infrastructure sharing deal since 2001 - although that was focused on boosting coverage in 2001.
The companies have chosen Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei as infrastructure providers for its national network overlay.
For 2009, Telus said that it expects that its total wireless capital requirements including those related to the HSPA build-out will be temporarily higher than historic levels at approximately $750 million.
Rogers Wireless is the country's other GSM based network operator, and new entrant, Globalive Communications is expected to announce which wireless technology it will use for its network shortly.
Figures from the Mobile World subscriber database notes that of the incumbent operators - Bell Mobility ended the first half of this year with 6.33 million customers, compared to 7.68 million for Rogers Wireless and 5.83 million for Telus.
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