Bell, Telus provide new iPhone competition in Canada

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Rogers Wireless, Apple's exclusive iPhone partner in Canada, is gaining new competition from its formerly CDMA-only rivals in a move that could foreshadow changes in the US market affecting AT&T and Verizon.



Apple originally launched the iPhone 3G in Canada exclusive to Rogers and its Fido subsidiary because the company was the only GSM/UMTS provider in the country. As with the US, Canada's mobile service providers are split between GSM and CDMA service, with Rogers/Fido playing the part of AT&T while the other two major providers, Bell and Telus, sell CDMA/EVDO service like Sprint and Verizon Wireless.



However, Bell and Telus are now rolling out a new HSPA (high speed packet access) 3G overlay that will enable both providers to sell the iPhone. HSPA is included in the 3GPP UMTS standard. Both Bell and Telus are adopting the new overlay as in interim step towards new LTE networks planned for deployment beginning sometime in 2011. Neither company will supply GSM/EDGE 2G service.



Bell is already listed by Apple as an iPhone mobile partner; Telus' new HSPA service is set to launch tomorrow. The new competition will provide an alternative to Roger's exclusive lock on the iPhone, which has been criticized for its unusually high prices and poor service.



CDMA/EVDO Migration to 3GPP



The move follows a global trend away from Qualcomm CDMA/EVDO networks. Last year, Australia's Telstra shut down its CDMA network in favor of exclusive UMTS service. Other providers, like China Unicom and Canada's Bell and Telus, have added UMTS service to their existing CDMA networks and plan continue to operate both until next generation LTE becomes a reality.



As other providers made similar moves toward 3GPP standards (which include UMTS/HSPA and LTE), Qualcomm decided to drop its efforts to introduce its own "Ultra Mobile Broadband" competitor and join the 3GPP in supporting LTE. That has left the remaining CDMA operators to decide between incrementally adding support for UMTS/HSPA or jumping directly to LTE.







In the US, Verizon has announced plans to begin deploying LTE beginning next year in addition to operating its existing CDMA/EVOD network, while Sprint is backing the unique WiMAX for its next generation data network.



After a series of carrier-exclusive iPhone introductions in most countries worldwide, Apple has demonstrated a desire to make its phone as broadly available on as many partners as possible; subscribers in Australia and Canada now have four or five options, thanks to carrier defections from CDMA.



As mobile providers all make the transition to today's UMTS/HSPA and tomorrow's LTE, Apple's ability to sell a single iPhone model globally will continue to expand.



The company's existing contract to exclusively sell the iPhone in the US with AT&T ends next year, opening the possibility of a new iPhone 3G/LTE model capable of working both on today's GSM/UMTS existing providers as well as CDMA providers now making the shift to LTE, such as Verizon in the US.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    Keep breaking the exclusive deals. Hope this will be a coming sign of the end of AT&T's exclusive deals.
  • Reply 2 of 39
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 533member
    Contrary to the article title, there is no competition here, at least not yet. Bell has not offered any better price on the iPhone or any better plans. In some cases, the plans are worse than Rogers.
  • Reply 3 of 39
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Are you Canadians still stuck with ludicrous 36 month contracts?



    It's an unbelievably long time given how much advancement there's been in mobile phones since 2006 which is when some Canadians would have signed contracts they are still locked in to.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jabohn View Post


    Contrary to the article title, there is no competition here, at least not yet. Bell has not offered any better price on the iPhone or any better plans. In some cases, the plans are worse than Rogers.



  • Reply 4 of 39
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 533member
    Yes, three years!

    I'm actually a year and a couple of months into a 3-year contract, and I don't even have the original phone anymore. I just bought a new one outright.
  • Reply 5 of 39
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jabohn View Post


    Contrary to the article title, there is no competition here, at least not yet. Bell has not offered any better price on the iPhone or any better plans. In some cases, the plans are worse than Rogers.



    Apple sets the phone prices, but you are right about the plans.
  • Reply 6 of 39
    iPhone will get HSUPA in the next revision. (2010)

    Then it will go HSPA+, which has good carrier support worldwide. (2011)
  • Reply 7 of 39
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Rogers Wireless, Apple's exclusive iPhone partner in Canada, is gaining new competition from its formerly CDMA-only rivals .... The new competition will provide an alternative to Roger's exclusive lock on the iPhone, which has been criticized for its unusually high prices and poor service. ...



    It's already been said, but yeah, not really competition and so far Telus and Bell are providing less service for quite a bit higher prices.



    I pay about $70.00 a month for 6GB from fido and all the basic phone stuff. Telus is offering 1GB for $100.00 a month.
  • Reply 8 of 39
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Are you Canadians still stuck with ludicrous 36 month contracts?



    It's an unbelievably long time given how much advancement there's been in mobile phones since 2006 which is when some Canadians would have signed contracts they are still locked in to.



    36 month contracts didn't arrive in canada with the iphone. they've been around since before motorola's startec...
  • Reply 9 of 39
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by retroneo View Post


    iPhone will get HSUPA in the next revision. (2010)

    Then it will go HSPA+, which has good carrier support worldwide. (2011)



    I wouldn’t count on that. So far, the iPhone has HSDPA in the form of 7.2Mbps down/384Kbps up. The next stop may be HSUPA which will give a faster uplink, which I hope, but it may even be 7.2Mbps again or the 14.4Mbps downlink. We’ll get into HSUPA long before we get to the maximum for HSDPA downlink so I’ll skip to it.



    After we get into HSUPA we have a maximum of 84.4Mbps down/5.76Mbps up, with this spec even being increased by 3GPP. This is all before we even get to HSPA+/Evolved HSPA which now has lower maximum bandwidth over HSDPA on the downlink.



    If we could double the 3G radio’s bandwidth while maintain ing chip size and power usage every year and have the internal HW and network scale accordingly it would still several years before we could even reach the current theoretical speeds. But history shows us that is not feasible, though I’m glad we have such a future-forward map to guide us.
  • Reply 10 of 39
    From how I read the article, it makes it seem that Telus and Bell's iPhone will only work in small pockets across Canada as it'll not be compatible with either Edge or CDMA networks. Can anyone confirm/deny/clarify my understanding?
  • Reply 11 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Are you Canadians still stuck with ludicrous 36 month contracts?



    It's an unbelievably long time given how much advancement there's been in mobile phones since 2006 which is when some Canadians would have signed contracts they are still locked in to.



    Meanwhile, we wacky Americans are stuck with 2 year contracts that are equally absurd.
  • Reply 12 of 39
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Meanwhile, we wacky Americans are stuck with 2 year contracts that are equally absurd.



    I?d say it?s 33% less absurd.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I wouldn?t count on that. So far, the iPhone has HSDPA in the form of 7.2Mbps down/384Kbps up. The next stop may be HSUPA which will give a faster uplink, which I hope, but it may even be 7.2Mbps again or the 14.4Mbps downlink. We?ll get into HSUPA long before we get to the maximum for HSDPA downlink so I?ll skip to it.



    After we get into HSUPA we have a maximum of 84.4Mbps down/5.76Mbps up, with this spec even being increased by 3GPP. This is all before we even get to HSPA+/Evolved HSPA which now has lower maximum bandwidth over HSDPA on the downlink.



    HSDPA (3GPP Release 5) ends at 14.4Mbit/sec. The only devices out there that support it are HSPA+ devices, which support 21Mbit/sec anyway.



    Like many countries, we have a 21Mbit/sec HSPA+ network (3GPP Release 7) network in operation. The carrier, Telstra says that 42Mbit/sec will be enabled on the network before years end and we can expect 58Mbit/sec next year before the final upgrade of 168Mbit/sec on HSPA+.



    HSPA+ will be supported by many more carriers at any given stage than LTE. LTE still at this late stage has no proven voice capability - and there are two options for it which carriers are undecided on. LTE won't offer handsets any advantages until 2012-2013 timeframe.



    Of course these speed figures are irrelevant for handheld devices, however they do increase the capacity of the air interface.
  • Reply 14 of 39
    Bell Mobility, in my experience, is perhaps the worst company in the history of the world in customer service, innovation and technology. Apple will ultimately be embarrassed by this relationship. buyer beware
  • Reply 15 of 39
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    It's good news for Bell and Telus customers who until now had to switch to Rogers if they wanted to get raped. Now they can experience the magic of rape right from their original providers as the big 3 continue to "compete"!
  • Reply 16 of 39
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,608member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ecking View Post


    It's good news for Bell and Telus customers who until now had to switch to Rogers if they wanted to get raped. Now they can experience the magic of rape right from their original providers as the big 3 continue to "compete"!



    Exactly. I love the way telus include the 'Voicemail 10' feature FOR FREE in the smart phone package. Normally with Telus you get to receive three - yes 3 - voicemails (you have to delete to receive another). For an additional $7 per month you get the magic 'voicemail 10' which allows you ten - yes, that's right - 10, voice mails. 7 dollars per month for up to 10 voice mails! When I questioned this the Telus sales guy guessed it was a data storage fee by which reckoning I should be paying several thousand (wild guess) dollars per month for my Google account.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I?d say it?s 33% less absurd.



    It's absurd that you complain about a 2 year contract when you had a choice not get a contract and just pay list price for the device.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    And by competition, you mean multiple carriers all charging pretty much the same price, with the same length contracts (3 Years!), with fairly similar data caps and E.T.F's?



    The only thing this makes 'better' is that Bell/Telus are putting up new towers (that they are sharing) so Roger's is less likely to be overloaded (and I'm sure lots of people in the US wishes this would happen just to lessen the overload on AT&T's network).



    The carriers up here only 'compete' using the very loosest definition...
  • Reply 19 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I?d say it?s 33% less absurd.



  • Reply 20 of 39
    expatexpat Posts: 110member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Are you Canadians still stuck with ludicrous 36 month contracts?



    It's an unbelievably long time given how much advancement there's been in mobile phones since 2006 which is when some Canadians would have signed contracts they are still locked in to.



    Yup, and they're strict about it. I went to Bell today to try and get in iPhone. When I was in the States I was with Sprint, and they would usually let you trade up for a new phone if you signed a new plan. You wouldn't get the phone like a new customer would if you were still in a contract, but you wouldn't have to pay full price.



    On the other hand, I'm halfway through my 3 year plan, so I either had to drop $800 for the phone, I could get a new 3 year contract and get the iPhone for the intro cost, but have to pay $340 to cancel my current contract, or get the new phone and keep my old plan until it runs out. Crazy. I know I'm in a contract, but I've never heard of a carrier setting up obstacles that would make it hard for someone to buy a phone and get on a higher cost plan. For a company that charges for basic features like voicemail, texting and nationwide long distance, I thought this would be rather simple.
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