Mobilicity latest telco to announce 4G roll out

Mobilicity has become the latest Canadian telecommunications company to announce upgraded wireless speeds to 4G, with a release issued yesterday.

The new entrant into the wireless scene says its network, based in Canada’s urban centres of Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver, will soon be operating at top download speeds of 21 Mbps. The upgrade will move Mobilicity’s current “3.5G” network to 4G status using HSPA+ technology.

Most of Canada’s big wireless carriers have launched 4G networks, but not all of them are using the same technology. Rogers Communications announced its Ottawa-based 4G network in mid-2011. It uses Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology for its network, which is technically capable of up to 150 Mbps download speeds.

Telus Mobility was the first to claim a 4G network in Feburary 2011 after upgrading its HSPA+ network, shared with Bell Mobility, to Dual Cell or DC-HSPA+ technology. This is technically able to support maximum speeds of 42 Mbps download. But now Telus has announced its plans to roll out an LTE network. It will hire 900 workers in Ontario and invest $650 million in the province to build out the network.

Wind Mobile, another new entrant to Canada’s wireless scene, announced its 4G network in October of last year. Like Mobilicity, it also runs a HSPA+ network capable of maximum 21 Mbps download speeds.

Canada’s next wireless spectrum auction will divvy up the 700 MHz spectrum that is ideal for high-bandwidth networks and also better at penetrating physical barriers. The rules have set a portion aside for the newer players, like Mobilicity and Wind, to allow them to bid without competition from the incumbent carriers.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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