Rogers is expanding its 4G HSPA+ network out to the Maritimes with an $80 million investment. The investment will help expand the network to cover 94% of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island which includes almost one million more people. Customers across all parts of the region will benefit from faster data speeds and stronger signal strength. Work on the wireless network will begin later this month and new coverage areas will be announced throughout the construction period, which will continue throughout 2012.
RIM has some decent PlayBook news coming out of Mobile World Congress including confirmation that we will see two new variants of the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook in the second half of 2011. These new PlayBooks support LTE and HSPA+ high speed wide area wireless networks. After this announcement, we now have confirmation that there will be four PlayBook variants with support for WiFi, WiFi +WiMax, WiFi + LTE and WiFi + HSPA+. In addition to the WiFi and 4G connectivity, each tablet can also support:
1. Bluetooth tethering
2. Mobile hotspots (ie. a MiFi™, smartphone or other portable device equipped to act as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot)
3. BlackBerry Bridge
See the press release below.
Continue reading ‘RIM Confirms BlackBerry 4G PlayBooks with LTE and HSPA+ Support’
Virgin Mobile Canada have launched their HSPA+ network piggybacking on the Bell infrastructure. The network has expected download speeds of up to 21.6 megabits per second and uploads of up 5.76. Virgin Mobile are also offering the BlackBerry Bold 9700 at $149.99 with a 3 year contract or $549.99 without contract.
The above video is Neville Ray, SVP of Engineering and Operations, T-Mobile USA, discussing their strategy with respect to rolling out HSPA / HSPA+ networks and services in the USA. This demonstrates that several major carriers, now Rogers included, will be rolling out these networks in the near future.
Rogers have just announced the debut of their HSPA+ network in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). This is incredible news for mobile Internet users, as they can now get access to speeds roughly equivalent to 3.75G with a mobile Internet stick.
From a BlackBerry perspective, this isn’t immediately pressing news. Back when Rogers announced their 3G network, called HSDPA and announced April 2nd, 2007, it took RIM around a year and a half to release a BlackBerry that was capable of taking advantage of the network: the BlackBerry Bold.
From the Press Release: “Rogers has begun the Canada-wide deployment of the 21 Megabits per second (Mbps) high-speed HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access Plus) wireless network, following the successful expansion and doubling of speed of its high-speed network to 7.2 Mbps last year. Starting in August, Rogers will progressively increase wireless network download speeds up to 21 Mbps in the Greater Toronto Area, and expand quickly over the coming months to other cities across the country.”
The question is: will RIM even bother to make a device that utilizes the HSPA+ network? Currently, 3G seems to satisfy the needs of the market. We know that RIM has plans to make LTE compatible BlackBerry devices, which could mean we’ll skip HSPA all together.
What applications do we envision with an HSPA+ enabled device?
[Special thanks goes out to RogersDude69]
3G Americas, a wireless industry trade association, is reporting that UMTS/HSPA technology has grown in a big way over the past year, adding over 100 million subscriptions in the twelve months ending in Q3 2008.
“As evidenced by the subscriber growth numbers, the GSM family of technologies continues to provide the four key ingredients for mobile wireless success: Coverage, Technology Performance, Devices and Applications,” stated Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. “The UMTS/HSPA mobile broadband technology achieved a total of 262 million subscriptions at the end of September 2008, continuing in its ranking as the leader in high speed mobile broadband technology worldwide.”
To date, there are 39 commercial UMTS/HSPA networks in the Americas region in 19 countries. Worldwide, there are more than 256 commercial UMTS/HSPA networks in over 100 countries. Without these networks, our BlackBerry Bolds Around the Word map (which is in sore need of an update) would be a lot less full.
Big news for Canadians came out last week regarding their choice of wireless carriers, as it seems that within a few years, Canada will be a fully GSM country. Both Bell and Telus have announced their intention of launching HSPA GSM service by 2010, with the intention of moving towards an eventual 4G LTE network. Both Bell and Telus plan to layer the upcoming HSPA networks over their CDMA networks, in the hope that the transition to GSM technology will be as painless as possible for their customers.
“Bell’s transition to the global 4G LTE standard with a combined EV-DO and HSPA network path aligns us with more than 30 major carriers worldwide planning a similar move to LTE,” said Stephen Howe, CTO for Bell. “This broad global technology ecosystem will mean a fast, efficient and cost-effective network transition to 4G LTE, and access to the broadest possible range of next-generation phones and data services.”
Bell and Telus’ shift to GSM will likely bring about a major shake up in the Canadian wireless market. With all three carriers having access to the latest and greatest devices, consumers should benefit from the resulting price point war over voice and data services. Post a comment and let us know if you think an all-GSM Canada is a win-win for consumers and carriers
not named Rogers.
(via RCR Wireless)