The rumours had been floating about for a while. Bell and Telus finally confirmed them today when they announced a network sharing agreement as the two companies begin to roll out HSPA overlays on top of their CDMA networks. The two companies also confirmed that HSPA will help them transition more smoothly to 4G LTE technology down the road.
“This technology evolution is a win for Canadian consumers. TELUS’ investment in next generation wireless services will give our clients more wireless functionality including; international roaming, fast network speeds and a compelling selection of globally-compatible handsets and devices,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO.
The move to HSPA (and LTE later) will allow the two companies to better compete against Rogers Wireless. The move will not only allow them to offer a wider complement of mobile phones (like the Apple iPhone) but also collect international roaming fees from traveling customers.
The two companies will have their HSPA networks up and running by early 2010. LTE deployments will begin after that. Both will continue to support their CDMA networks but the days of CDMA are now numbered in Canada.