BlackBerry Forums Support Community               

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-04-2009, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Model: 8830
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Bell Mobility (Canada)
Posts: 95
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Bell/Telus HSPA/HSPA+ Network Coverage

Please Login to Remove!

Bell and Telus have apparently upgraded hundreds, if not thousands, of their towers in Canada to implement HSPA/HSPA+ coverage on 850/1900 MHz, coast to coast. In Newfoundland the new HSPA network seems actually bigger then the old CDMA 1x/EVDO network!

HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) is a mobile communications protocol related to UMTS, which in turn is closely related to GSM/EDGE, which is derived from GSM.

Bell, up to now a committed CDMA carrier, has just introduced several inexpensive phones and smartphones that support HSPA, have a SIM card and are claimed to work in over 200 countries, which would indicate that they are dual-mode handsets and also support regular GSM, at least on non-N.American GSM frequencies (900 and 1800 MHz). It is common for UMTS handsets to also offer GSM support.

I had a closer look at the cheapest of those new phones, Nokia 2730 ($29.95 at Bell). It's your typical GSM phone, it works on GSM networks worldwide and on four UMTS frequencies:

Operating frequency (WCDMA is a different name for UMTS)
- Quad-band GSM 850/900/1800/1900
- WCDMA 900/2100 and GSM 850/900/1800/1900
- WCDMA 850/1900 and GSM 850/900/1800/1900
- Automatic switching between GSM bands
Data network
- CSD
- GPRS class B, multislot class 32
- EDGE class B, multislot class 32
- WCDMA 2100, maximum speed PS 128/384 kbps (UL/DL), CS 12.2 kbps

(ref: http://europe.nokia.com/find-product...specifications)

Below are a few screenshots with coverage maps from Bell's website. For comparison they show both old CDMA 1x/EVDO coverage and the new HSPA coverage.

Nfld:

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/545...2009185557.png
http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/165...2009185629.png

Northern Quebec:

http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/9...2009190018.png
http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/6...2009190039.png

Southern Ontario, Southern Quebec, Maritimes:

http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/2...2009190118.png
http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/1...2009190213.png

Northern Ontario (poor HSPA coverage):

http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/3...2009190312.png
http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/3...2009190345.png

http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/1...2009190421.png
http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/1...2009190438.png

Manitoba and Saskatchewan (only Winnipeg has HSPA):

http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/3...2009190642.png
http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/7...2009190707.png

Alberta and BC:

http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/8...2009190959.png
http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/606...2009191048.png

Northwest Territories and Yukon:

http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/7...2009191242.png
http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/6...2009191257.png

Nunavut (only CDMA 1x in Iqaluit, no HSPA):

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/8...2009191604.png
http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/3...2009191703.png
__________________
BB 8830, OS 4.5.0.169, DM 5.0.0.11, Bell Canada BIS, Windows XP-SP3

Last edited by Kirkx : 12-04-2009 at 08:38 PM.
Offline  
Old 12-04-2009, 10:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montreal
Model: 9780
PIN: 271A36CC
Carrier: Rogers
Posts: 120
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

But the thing... you just put EVDO coverage.. the HSPA is in burgundy and there is more coverage than EVDO
Offline  
Old 12-05-2009, 11:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Model: 8830
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Bell Mobility (Canada)
Posts: 95
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Froussy, there are two links for each region, the link for HSPA is just underneath the link for EVDO. The links are close to each other to make the page layout more clear, eg. for Alberta and BC:

link ending with "0959.png" - 1x/EVDO
link ending with "1048.png" - HSPA/HSPA+

HSPA definitely has poorer coverage then EVDO, at least for now, even in Alberta, the best covered province in Canada. From Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to Alberta border there is no HSPA available at all, except for the city of Winnipeg. This is 2000 km stretch without HSPA, where EVDO is mostly available. The only place where HSPA coverage seems to be better than 1x/EVDO is Newfoundland.

It looks like they really did quite amazing job, creating a huge new network in just about a year. Once they upgrade Manitoba, Saskatchewan and N.Ontario, CDMA dinosaur in Canada can be finally laid to rest.
__________________
BB 8830, OS 4.5.0.169, DM 5.0.0.11, Bell Canada BIS, Windows XP-SP3

Last edited by Kirkx : 12-05-2009 at 11:28 AM.
Offline  
Old 12-06-2009, 06:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Model: 8830
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Bell Mobility (Canada)
Posts: 95
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Although technically speaking, the new network is called HSPA, for the end user without background in telecommunications engineering, it looks and feels like GSM because you use exactly the same phones and smartphones as the ones sold by GSM carriers all over the world, like Nokia 2730, BB Bold 9700, or iPhone 3G, all now available at Bell.

Bell and Telus invested millions of dollars in this new network, according to some estimates in the business press, a few billion, and they didn't do it to keep paying for maintenance of both CDMA and HSPA networks that mostly overlap each other. This is most likely the end of CDMA in Canada.

If you shop for a new phone or smartphone with Bell or Telus, you need to do some investigative work, study all the frequency bands, especially if you do lots of travelling, both in N.America or overseas. Bell must have huge inventory of now mostly obsolete CDMA handsets and they will be trying to push them on unsuspecting customers for the next few months. CDMA phone is only required if you need coverage in those places in Canada where the new HSPA network is not available yet, and also in some parts of the USA, everywhere else in the world you need a GSM phone.

The following set of frequencies will get your GSM handset working mostly everywhere, but not all GSM handsets support all frequencies, so check what you really need before you buy:

GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 1900 MHz - USA, Canada, parts of S.America
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 900, 1800 MHz - everywhere else
UMTS/HSPA: 800, 850, 900, 1800, 1900, 2100 MHz - varies between countries
__________________
BB 8830, OS 4.5.0.169, DM 5.0.0.11, Bell Canada BIS, Windows XP-SP3

Last edited by Kirkx : 12-06-2009 at 08:01 PM.
Offline  
Old 12-07-2009, 10:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
BlackBerry Extraordinaire
 
Noodle22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: British Columbia
Model: 8520
OS: 5.0.0.509
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Rogers
Posts: 2,021
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I wonder what they are going to do for their CDMA customers when they fully migrate over.

Do you think they'll give them all early upgrades or free phones? I doubt it. They probably won't get rid of their cdma network for at least 3 years or so though.
Offline  
Old 12-08-2009, 12:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Model: 8830
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Bell Mobility (Canada)
Posts: 95
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I'm curious too. For now, they are just trying to avoid the term GSM, in their marketing campaign it hasn't been used even once. They hope that most customers are not very technically sophisticated and will do whatever sales reps tell them to do.

With CDMA, three year estimate sounds reasonable, although, considering how slow Bell was to replace analogue hardware with 1x in N.Ontario, it can be much longer than that. They will probably do the necessary maintenance around big cities, but if some hardware goes bust in Happy Valley Goose Bay or other remote place, they will simply retire it and offer customers a discount on a new GSM phone.

Another interesting issue is Manitoba and Sask., they have their own carriers (MTS and SaskTel), which for now are sticking with CDMA, we will see for how long.

I have also fund Bell and Telus forums on CrackBerry site, much bigger traffic than here:

Bell - http://forums.crackberry.com/f160/
Telus - http://forums.crackberry.com/f109/
__________________
BB 8830, OS 4.5.0.169, DM 5.0.0.11, Bell Canada BIS, Windows XP-SP3

Last edited by Kirkx : 12-08-2009 at 01:40 PM.
Offline  
Old 12-08-2009, 08:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
BlackBerry Extraordinaire
 
Noodle22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: British Columbia
Model: 8520
OS: 5.0.0.509
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Rogers
Posts: 2,021
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I'm curious about MTS and Sasktel as well, how will their users use the network outside of the province once CDMA is gone? I was actually browsing Sasktel's website today to see if they were gsm or not, I've never seen such a plain webpage haha.

To be honest, you sound like a dealer. Do you work for Wireless Wave perhaps? The general consumer isn't as informed as you.
Offline  
Old 12-09-2009, 12:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Model: 8830
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Bell Mobility (Canada)
Posts: 95
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

No, I'm not a dealer, but I travel a lot, both for business and pleasure, including Canada's North, so I was aware for years how weired the coverage was in Canada. Then I also started going overseas and when my CDMA phone was stubbornly dead no matter which country I went, I decided to take a serious look at all those technical standards.
__________________
BB 8830, OS 4.5.0.169, DM 5.0.0.11, Bell Canada BIS, Windows XP-SP3

Last edited by Kirkx : 12-09-2009 at 12:17 AM.
Offline  
Old 12-09-2009, 09:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
BlackBerry Extraordinaire
 
Noodle22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: British Columbia
Model: 8520
OS: 5.0.0.509
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Rogers
Posts: 2,021
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

It is good you are so educated about this, it's not normal for most consumers.

Are you going to migrate your phone over to one of their new ones?
Offline  
Old 12-09-2009, 07:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Model: 8830
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Bell Mobility (Canada)
Posts: 95
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Not yet, I'll keep watching the coverage maps, I need N.Ontario, and Manitoba, Sask. occasionally too. I've seen on other forums people actually migrating back to CDMA, not because of coverage but because they had some connectivity issues. The new network doesn't seem to be as stable as the old one at this point. Anyone jumping in at this early stage is a guinea pig. These technical quirks should be worked out in a matter of two three months.
__________________
BB 8830, OS 4.5.0.169, DM 5.0.0.11, Bell Canada BIS, Windows XP-SP3
Offline  
Old 12-10-2009, 09:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
BlackBerry Extraordinaire
 
Noodle22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: British Columbia
Model: 8520
OS: 5.0.0.509
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Rogers
Posts: 2,021
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

That's the good thing about Rogers, they've been working on it for about 7 years now. I have never had network issues with Rogers.

I think it will take them more then a couple months to get it up to the point where Rogers has it, they'll definately be working on it.
Offline  
Old 12-10-2009, 03:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Model: 8830
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Bell Mobility (Canada)
Posts: 95
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

The only problem with Rogers has always been relatively small size of their network. Rogers phone will work in Varna (Bulgaria), Dunedin (NZ) and Abu Dhabi (UAE) , but it's dead in Dryden, Ontario, just 400 km east of Winnipeg. It's kind of funny.
__________________
BB 8830, OS 4.5.0.169, DM 5.0.0.11, Bell Canada BIS, Windows XP-SP3
Offline  
Old 12-10-2009, 11:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
BlackBerry Extraordinaire
 
Noodle22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: British Columbia
Model: 8520
OS: 5.0.0.509
PIN: N/A
Carrier: Rogers
Posts: 2,021
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Yeah, Bell and Telus both have better coverage in some of the small areas, Rogers coverage is mostly in the more condensed areas.

I live in the lower mainland, I've never had a problem with coverage where I live, so it's not something that matters to me. And a Rogers phone will work in most countries based on that carriers coverage that they have an agreement with.

Only time I don't have coverage is going through the canyons between Burnaby and Prince George
Offline  
Closed Thread


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On





Copyright 2004-2014 BlackBerryForums.com.
The names RIM and BlackBerry are registered Trademarks of BlackBerry Inc.