The HSPA network buildout partnership between rival Canadian CDMA operators Bell and Telus – announced last October – is ahead of schedule, with Bell announcing yesterday that its HSPA services will be launched next month. Both operators had initially planned a launch deadline of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver next February. Bell promises to serve 93 percent of Canadians in almost 20,000 cities and towns from November. No similar statement has yet been published by Telus, although the operator is unlikely to be far behind Bell in its own launch.
The HSPA network sharing deal used equipment from Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks and was reported to be worth a total C$1 billion. The move will see Bell and Telus, Canada’s second- and third-largest operators, respectively, offering mobile services based on the same technology as market-leader Rogers Wireless. Both Bell and Telus have also outlined plans to move to LTE technology for their ‘next-generation’ mobile communication networks. In separate but related news, Bell today issued a short statement announcing it will provide the iPhone from next month (competing with Rogers), whilst unconfirmed reports also link Telus to the same deal.