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Old 11-17-2009, 11:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bell / Telus Switching from CDMA to GSM

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There is lots of excitement in Canadian business press about Bell and Telus switching from CDMA to GSM. For American members of the forums, let me explain that this technology change (some would call it a downgrade) is due to the fact that Rogers, the only Canadian GSM provider, was getting all roaming fees from residents from outside of N. America visiting Canada, and Bell and Telus were getting nothing. Also, lots of Canadians were walking over to Rogers because their phones wouldn't work when they go for business/vacations overseas, as most of the world outside USA and Canada is using GSM.

While business types can only see the bottom line, from the technical perspective it would be interesting to know how Bell and Telus are actually going to implement the switch. Are they going to install a new GSM hardware on every tower across the country, offer every customer a free GSM phone and then flip the switch? Apparently their GSM infrastructure is actually already in place, but then again, I got this information from the business newspaper, so it's hard to tell what it really means.

Then there is an issue of northern Canada (Northern Ontario, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut), where there has never been any GSM network, only CDMA. There are some very small communities, like three gold mines (Hemlo) in the middle of the wilderness half way between Wawa and Marathon along Hwy 17 in Ontario, probably with just one CDMA tower, and many more places like that. Are they all going to be switched to GSM just like large metropolitan areas, or is Bell/Telus going to offer dual CDMA/GSM phones if you need coverage in those places.
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Last edited by Kirkx : 11-17-2009 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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From what I understand they aren't switching TO but ADDING.
I.e. they've added the HSDPA network, and are selling phones that can use it (9700), but they are still CDMA and are still selling phones that are CDMA.
It was implemented ahead of the Winter Olympics, for all the people likely to be roaming. (Which Rogers probably couldn't handle on their own).
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirkx View Post
There is lots of excitement in Canadian business press about Bell and Telus switching from CDMA to GSM. For American members of the forums, let me explain that this technology change (some would call it a downgrade) is due to the fact that Rogers, the only Canadian GSM provider, was getting all roaming fees from residents from outside of N. America visiting Canada, and Bell and Telus were getting nothing. Also, lots of Canadians were walking over to Rogers because their phones wouldn't work when they go for business/vacations overseas, as most of the world outside USA and Canada is using GSM.

While business types can only see the bottom line, from the technical perspective it would be interesting to know how Bell and Telus are actually going to implement the switch. Are they going to install a new GSM hardware on every tower across the country, offer every customer a free GSM phone and then flip the switch? Apparently their GSM infrastructure is actually already in place, but then again, I got this information from the business newspaper, so it's hard to tell what it really means.

Then there is an issue of northern Canada (Northern Ontario, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut), where there has never been any GSM network, only CDMA. There are some very small communities, like three gold mines (Hemlo) in the middle of the wilderness half way between Wawa and Marathon along Hwy 17 in Ontario, probably with just one CDMA tower, and many more places like that. Are they all going to be switched to GSM just like large metropolitan areas, or is Bell/Telus going to offer dual CDMA/GSM phones if you need coverage in those places.
GSM Phones will not work on Bell and Telus. 3G HSPA phones will.
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It'll be tough for Bell and Telus, Rogers has been developing their network for years. It will definately take some fine tuning.
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