Telus and Bell keeping their CDMA network – for the “foreseeable future”
December 1, 2012
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It has been nearly three years since Bell and Telus upgraded their mobile (cell) networks into the global standard, commonly known as HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) along with HSPA+ (HSPA plus or “Evolved HSPA”). Prior to upgrading their networks, these two carriers commonly use the CDMA standard, developed by Qualcomm (one of the pioneers of mobile phone technology).
As the CDMA standard (along with 1X, CDMA2000 and EV-DO) is considered to be the “old standard” thesedays by technology analysts, many mobile phone carriers wanted to make sure that their customers can be able to use their mobile (cell) phones across the world. That’s what GSM, HSPA and LTE come into play. While the CDMA technology doesn’t use SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards, the worldwide GSM/HSPA/LTE uses them. Rogers AT&T (now known simply as “Rogers Wireless”) and Fido (until that company was bought out by Rogers in late-2004) were the first carriers to operate a GSM-based network back in the mid-1990s that allow customers to use their phones around the world. Now, they operate an HSPA/HSPA+/LTE network. After a wireless spectrum auction in Canada back in 2008, these companies (along with Bell, Telus, MTS and Sasktel) all provide an HSPA network to allow customers to roam freely throughout the world.
Many of the new carriers also have HSPA already equipped. An example of that is WIND Mobile, Mobilicity and Videotron (in Quebec with a few portions of Ontario – mainly in the Ottawa/Gatineau area and as far as Clarence-Rockland, Ontario, Canada). However, there’s one particular new carrier that doesn’t use the global standard and decided to get a spectrum at a very cheap price (and yes, it’s running CDMA Technology along with the so-called “G-band” spectrum) – Public Mobile.
Public Mobile offers unlimited plans in the Greater Toronto and Greater Montreal areas. It wasn’t until when a roaming agreement was since with Telus in March 2011 and Bell back in September 2011, in which that enables Public Mobile subscribers to roam their phone across Canada – but at a pay per use rate (the only way to cover the pay-per-use charges whilst outside of Public Mobile’s “Unlimited” coverage area is loading up a certain amount of money in a so-called “E-wallet”). Most recently, the new carrier has signed a roaming agreement with Sprint in the United States, in which it enables users who have Android-powered smartphones to use the Sprint cellular network – at a reasonable price (unlike the other competitiors – who basically charge like $5 ot $10CDN per MB).
Still with Bell and Telus now, and it seems that one of the issues that will keep their CDMA-powered cellular (mobile) phone network is many factors which include, but not limited to:
- Roaming agreements with carriers in the United States which still operates the CDMA network (notably Verizon and Sprint in the USA. Most recently, Verizon has already made plans to shut down its 2G/3G CDMA network by 2021 as stated on this link.)
- Many areas of Canada still normally rely on CDMA networks, even though the Analog(ue) networks (technically known as AMPS, D-AMPS, etc.) have been shut down. Rogers was the first to shut down its Analog(ue) network back in mid-2007. A year later in 2008, Bell and Telus followed suit.
- Many businesses still utilise the CDMA network for many “mission-critical” applications.
It won’t be a while until Bell and Telus will announce when the D-day will come for it’s CDMA/EVDO networks. The only thing that only will tell is – time.