Samsung Galaxy S20 5G Series smartphones will be available to the Canadian public in stores next month – the first 5G-capable phones to hit the market, according to network operator Bell Canada which began offering S20 5G handsets for pre-order yesterday. Bell announced that the Galaxy S20 5G, S20+ 5G and S20 Ultra 5G models were scheduled for delivery on 6 March. Claire Gillies, President of Bell Mobility, declared: ‘Bell is very excited to bring the first 5G-capable smartphones to our customers as we prepare to launch initial 5G service.’ Jennifer Safruk, Vice President, Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics Canada, added: ‘Putting the first 5G device in consumers’ hands will ensure that Canadians are ready to experience the speeds and performance that 5G networks will offer.’ (Update: Bell’s major nationwide mobile rivals Rogers and Telus are also offering the same range of Samsung Galaxy S20 5G devices for pre-order, with the same availability date, 6 March.)
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month Bell inked its first commercial 5G network equipment supplier agreement, with long-time partner Nokia, announcing its intention to ‘deliver initial 5G service in urban centres across Canada as next-generation smartphones come to market in 2020’. It also indicated plans to expand coverage and increase 5G speeds via Canada’s 3.5GHz spectrum auction scheduled for Q4 2020. Bell has yet to release a commercial 5G network launch date, while rival operator Rogers gained a head start in 5G rollout terms in January when it announced it had begun deploying 5G access infrastructure in downtown Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal in partnership with Ericsson, initially using 2.5GHz spectrum ahead of expansion planned later in the year via 600MHz frequencies (note that Bell did not participate in April 2019’s 600MHz auction as it deemed its existing lower-band resources to be sufficient). Reportedly, some sections of Rogers’ 5G network are ready for service, awaiting commercial devices to be authorised for user access.