Telus set to launch first 4G, Gingerbread devices in Canada

Telus Mobility has announced plans to launch its first smartphone supporting up to 21 Mpbs download speeds within the next two months.

The phone is the Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate 4G, which is nearly identical to the current model of the same name that Telus currently sells supporting 3G+ speeds. Telus recently upgraded its network to dual-cell HSPA technology, which gave it a speed boost to a theoretical 21 Mpbs download, up from 14 Mpbs. Telus is marketing its newly-upgraded network as being a “4G” network.

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In typical use, owners of the new Galaxy S Fascinate 4G can expect to get 10 to 11 Mpbs download speeds, according to Hugh Dyke, manager of marketing mobile communications for Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. In a speed test run using an app on the device inside Telus’ Toronto headquarters, the device achieved a download speed of just faster than 4 Mbps.

“This is about three times faster than a first generation smartphone,” Dyke says. “You think about all those emerging video services that people will use online, this allows you to take full advantage of them.”

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Pricing is not available for the device at this point, but Telus says there will be no premium for access to the 4G speeds. The 3G+ version of the device is currently available for $49.99 on a three year term with a voice and data plan from Telus, to $529.99 with no contract.

The device will launch running Google’s Android 2.2 Froyo OS, and will later be upgraded to run 2.3 Gingerbread, Dyke says. The device includes a front-facing camera and comes pre-loaded with Qik, a videoconferencing app.

Telus bringing Nexus S to Canada

Samsung is also launching the Google-branded Nexus S phone with Telus. This four-inch touch screen Android device will launch in the next 30 to 60 days with Android 2.3.

The device has a contoured Super AMOLED screen, shaped slightly like a boomerang, for an ergonomic shape.  It will also have a near-field communications (NFC) chip that will enable “bumping” phones to exchange contact information or other data, Dyke says. NFC could also be used as a mobile wallet function in the future.

The phone will support voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services like Fring or Skype on WiFi or Telus’ 3G+ network.

Brian Jackson is a Senior Writer at ITBusiness.ca. Follow him on Twitter, read his blog, and check out the IT Business Facebook Page.

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