Bell, Telus team up to deploy nationwide HSPA network

13 Oct 2008

Canadian CDMA-based mobile network operators Telus Mobility and BCE’s Bell Mobility have confirmed that they are teaming up to share the anticipated USD1 billion rollout cost of new wireless networks based on high speed packet access (HSPA) technology, despite the prevailing gloom in the global economic market. According to Wade Oosterman, president of Bell Mobility and chief brand officer for Bell Canada, the two firms will split the rollout costs 50:50 as they look to drive revenue growth by keeping pace with technological advances amid intense competition. Neither Telus nor Bell have disclosed how they intend to finance the network but have confirmed that Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and China’s Huawei Technologies will build the national infrastructure, which will include additional software, hardware and cell towers. The build-out will extend the two cellcos’ existing 3G coverage (based on CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev A technology) and once completed, will ‘emulate a single national network’ while allowing the companies to pursue their own business strategies, says Darren Entwistle, president and chief executive officer of Telus. The duo hope to have the HSPA network in place by early 2010, and are mindful that they are playing catch-up to their GSM-based rival Rogers Communications which has a two-year lead on them where HSPA is concerned.

Bell previously teamed up with Rogers to build a national pre-WiMAX wireless broadband network – but it has indicated it will not continue on the mobile WiMAX development route and will instead opt for LTE (long-term evolution) 4G mobile technology in the future.