Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Canada's Bell Mobility Launches LTE Service

Bell Mobility officially launched its LTE network service in some of Canada's most populous urban areas, including Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph.

Bell Mobility is supporting downlink speeds as fast as 75 Mbps with typical speeds ranging between 12 and 25 Mbps. The carrier expects that as the LTE standard and products evolve, speeds will increase to as fast as 150 Mbps. Bell's 4G LTE network is also the first and only Canadian 4G network to switch to the next fastest speed available when outside LTE areas, either Bell's Dual Carrier HSPA+ providing peak speeds up to 42 Mbps (typical between 7 and 14 Mbps) or HSPA+ offering speeds up to 21 Mbps (typical between 3.5 and 8 Mbps). Bell is offering Dual Carrier HSPA+ to approximately 70% of the Canadian population. Bell offers total HSPA+ coverage to more than 96% of Canadians.

Roll-out to additional Canadian markets will happen this year and through 2012. Bell is focused on an urban rollout first, with the timing of broader rural and remote coverage deployments contingent on the outcome of Industry Canada's 700 MHz spectrum auction.

Key network infrastructure suppliers for Bell's LTE network include Cisco, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks.

Bell noted that it is investing $3 billion per year in its network - more than any other communications company in the country. Bell's total Research & Development investments increased in 2010 (the latest period for which figures are available), surpassing $800 million.

The 4G LTE Sierra Wireless U313 Turbo Stick is available in select Bell stores beginning on September 14; for online purchase for CAD$79.95 on a three-year term (CAD$219.95 with no term contract); and in Bell stores across LTE service areas on September 15. In coming weeks, Bell will add the 4G LTE Novatel Wireless U679 Turbo Stick. 4G LTE flex-rate data plans start at CAD$45 a month for 1.5 GB which automatically adjusts based on data usage.

"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.