SaskTel testing LTE ahead of February launch

Saskatchewan full-service operator SaskTel has begun LTE mobile broadband trials for its employees as the first phase of testing its new 4G network ahead of a commercial launch scheduled for early February 2013. SaskTel says it will launch LTE in nine cities in its home province using its 2100MHz wireless spectrum before a planned expansion to communities including Estevan, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Swift Current, Weyburn and Yorkton using 700MHz frequencies it expects to win in an auction in the first half of 2013.

Thanks to TeleGeography for the article

Bell has another stab at Astral takeover

Telecoms and broadcasting group Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) and broadcaster Astral Media have submitted a revised merger proposal to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecoms Commission (CRTC), addressing the regulator’s concerns over the level of ownership concentration in certain market segments created by the proposed takeover of the media group. The revised deal is worth a similar amount to the original proposal, around USD3.4 billion, but is subject to approval by the CRTC and the Competition Bureau. The CRTC will launch a new public consultation on the application, reports the Montreal Gazette.

Thanks to TeleGeography for this article

Telus’ sales climb 6%, wireless data revenue jumps 23

Canadian telco Telus Corporation’s third quarter 2012 revenue increased by 6% year-on-year to CAD2.8 billion (USD2.8 billion), while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 5% to CAD1.0 billion. Growth was primarily generated by a 7% increase in wireless revenue and a 12% rise in wireless EBITDA, resulting from data revenue jumping by 23% due to continued smartphone adoption. Wireline revenue growth of 4% was driven by a 14% increase in data revenue supported by strong TV and high speed internet growth. In the three months ended 30 September Telus added a net 116,000 new post-paid wireless customers, 42,000 new pay-TV subscribers and 26,000 broadband internet customers, partially offset by a fixed line net loss of 39,000. Its total wireless subscriber base of 7.56 million was up 5% year-on-year, while ARPU increased by 1.5% to CAD61.42. The Telus TV subscriber base of 637,000 rose 41% y-o-y and broadband customers grew 7% to surpass 1.3 million.

Thanks to TeleGeography for this Article

BCE’s revenues up 1.5%, wireless sales rise 7%

Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) has reported net income attributable to shareholders of CAD569 million (USD569 million) in the third quarter of 2012, down by 11% from CAD642 million a year earlier, with the decrease in profitability attributed to lower tax expenses in the year-earlier period. Revenues rose by 1.5% to CAD4.98 billion, helped by wireless and media revenues climbing by 7% and 25% respectively. Bell’s mobile division added a net 148,500 post-paid subscribers in the three months ended 30 September 2012, 17% more than in the same quarter of 2011, and double the number of net quarterly post-paid additions reported by rival Rogers Communications. Bell’s wireless ARPU jumped to CAD57.30 in 3Q12 from CAD55.01 twelve months earlier, while its proportion of post-paid users with smartphones climbed to 60% at the end of September, up from 43% year-on-year.

BCE’s CEO George Cope told analysts in an earnings call that it was premature to write off the group’s attempted CAD3.4 billion takeover of broadcasting group Astral Media, despite it being disallowed by the telecoms regulator last month, as he said the company is waiting for a response on the matter from the federal government

Thanks to TeleGeography for this Article

Mobilicity switches on 21Mbps services

On 30 October 2012 Canadian mobile operator Mobilicity launched a commercial upgrade to 21Mbps HSPA+ data speeds on its W-CDMA/HSPA network, which has been in operation since May 2010. Customers can access the upgraded speeds by signing up for a ‘Premium Data’ 20GB add-on costing CAD20 (USD20) per month, although modem users need to first purchase a Huawei E366 ‘Premium Data Stick’ priced at CAD79.99

Thanks to TeleGeography for this article

Rogers confirms 2600MHz LTE availability across its 2100MHz footprint

Following its recent announcement that it was launching a 2600MHz LTE-compliant handset on its network, Canadian cellco Rogers has confirmed that customers buying the special version of the LG Optimus G from 13 November can enjoy 4G coverage in the 2600MHz band in every city where it offers its 2100MHz LTE service, and in some areas at higher theoretical peak data speeds. A statement from Rogers relayed by MobileSyrup reads: ‘The Rogers LTE 2600MHz bandwidth is in all markets where we offer LTE AWS 2100. In most markets where 2×20MHz (2600MHz) is available, the LG Optimus G is capable of theoretical maximum speeds of up to 100Mbps. In smaller LTE markets that have 2×10MHz (2600MHz), the LG Optimus G can reach theoretical max speeds of up to 75Mbps.’ Both Rogers and rival Bell own 2600MHz spectrum in markets across the country left over from their WiMAX joint venture Inukshuk network, which was shelved early this year, and the two cellcos have begun using the higher frequencies to augment their LTE 2100MHz mobile broadband coverage, although Bell has reportedly so far only switched on 2600MHz services in selected large cities.

Thanks to TeleGeography for this Article