Bell, Telus prep high-speed networks

MONTREAL — BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) will launch its new, advanced wireless network on Wednesday, levelling the playing field on network capabilities between Bell, Telus (TSX:T) and Rogers (TSX:RCI.B).

MONTREAL — BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) will launch its new, advanced wireless network on Wednesday, levelling the playing field on network capabilities between Bell, Telus (TSX:T) and Rogers (TSX:RCI.B).

Bell’s launch will come a day before Telus (TSX:T) launches its new network, making each of the two major cellphone players able to carry Apple’s sought-after iPhone.

The only Canadian carrier that has been able to offer Apple’s touchscreen smartphone until now has been their rival Rogers, (TSX:RCI.B), a cable, wireless and Internet company.

CEO George Cope called the launch of Bell’s new network the most significant technology announcement for the company in 25 years.

“Wireless is still without a doubt the fastest growing area of telecom,” Cope told a luncheon speech, adding it will remain so for the next 10 years.

Bell and Telus will join Rogers in having HSPA networks (High Speed Packet Access), allowing faster Internet downloads of music, video and software applications.

Cope said after his speech that Bell supports a recent CRTC decision that ruled new cellphone company Globalive didn’t meet Canadian ownership and control requirements.

“It’s just absolutely clear that we all have to live under the same rules,” he said.

Cope noted there are other new cellphone players to contend with, such as Quebecor’s Videotron (TSX:QBR.B) and competitors DAVE Wireless and Public Mobile, all expected to be up and running in the coming months.

“No one would be mistaken that there’s not new competition coming to the Canadian wireless industry,” Cope said.

With Toronto-based Globalive sidelined, analysts say there will still be price cutting, but maybe not as much as consumers would like.

Analyst Carmi Levy said Rogers, Bell and Telus will be able to hold the line on pricing for as long as they can.

“Prices will come down over time but probably not as fast as Canadians would like because of that,” Levy said, referring to the CRTC decision on Globalive.

“You still only have three major, national players,” said senior vice-president of strategic consulting for Toronto’s AR Communications Inc.

“The competitive landscape isn’t any different today than it was last week.”

Analyst Duncan Stewart said prices usually come down in the 12 months before new players get into the cellphone market and in the year they are up and running.

Prices will likely come down about 10 per cent in that two-year period, said Stewart, director of research and analysis at DSAM consulting in Toronto.

“They’ve already come down a bit but not as fast as most consumers would like,” he said.

After that, there is price stability and then one of the new players usually cut prices, other competitors follow suit and eventually someone gets bought out or folds, Stewart said.

“Then prices go back up. It’s about a five-year cycle.”

Just Posted

Police say a woman in the Red Deer area may be in danger

Public’s assistance is urgently requested

Cannabis legalization won’t impact one Red Deer pot dispensary

Nothing changes for Compass Cannabis Clinic in Red Deer despite legalization

Cannabis retail store will open later in October in Red Deer

Two cannabis stores coming to downtown Red Deer

Neighbours drop opposition to Red Deer County communications tower

Communication tower to be located in Balmoral Heights

Legal cannabis comes with many unknowns: Red Deer County councillors

Councillors question how rural municipalities will be able to enforce cannabis regulations

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunchbags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown on… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

B.C. man accused of swimming naked in Toronto shark tank arrested in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Police have arrested a B.C. man who is… Continue reading

Most Read