Sources at The Financial Post sources are indicating that Bell Mobility and Telus Mobility are about to announce a partnership to upgrade their networks. The two companies will spend about CAD$1 billion and spend a year upgrading from the current CDMA technology to the next-generation HSPA technology. The upgrade would have several benefits for both companies.
Both companies have been limited by the devices that they can offer to customers. For example, neither the Apple iPhone and the BlackBerry Bold are available in CDMA variants, essentially giving Rogers Wireless Canadian exclusives on these devices. The move to an HSPA network would eliminate this incompatibility.
Bell and Telus would also be able to negotiate roaming agreements with other wireless companies. With a wireless spectrum auction that just wrapped up, a number of new companies may be looking for such agreements and the new network will allow Bell and Telus to compete with Rogers for them.
Such rumours are not new and seem to be gathering momentum. Rumours of Telus switching over surfaced as far back as January 2008. Then, rumours of a partnership between Bell and Telus surfaced last month.