Update: MTS goes live with LTE network, launches the Sony Xperia ion

Ian Hardy

August 28, 2012 3:14pm


MTS has brought faster speeds to a few Manitobans today. The regional carrier has flipped the switch on in both Winnipeg and Brandon, but states their coverage will expand in 2013 to include “more communities across Manitoba.” MTS says “peak speeds under optimal conditions” will garner upward of 75 Mbps download, and upload speeds of 25 Mbps – realistically you’ll score around 25 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up.

As for devices, there are currently two of them. First is the Sony Xperia ion. A powerful LTE device that runs OS 2.3 Gingerbread and is promised an upgrade to OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich “soon.” The ion has been priced at $79.99 on a 3-year and ranges to $599.99 outright (check out our review here). Next, there’s the Huawei E397 internet stick.

With MTS’ LTE network now live… expect other carriers to open up service.

Update: Clearly there is some communication issues happening. MTS has posted LTE news on their site as the network has gone live, but we understand that the network is only in beta testing still. The devices have launched though and are available. We’ve reached out to MTS for clarification.

Update #2: We’ve heard back from MTS. Their LTE network is live. Here’s their official statement:

“MTS’s 4G LTE Wireless Network is live. We commercially launched our 4G LTE wireless service in Winnipeg and Brandon on August 28, 2012. We also introduced two new LTE-enabled devices – the Sony Xperia ion Smartphone and the Huawei E397 Wireless Internet Stick – which will work on our 4G LTE service where 4G LTE is available (Winnipeg and Brandon) and elsewhere in Manitoba on our existing 4G (HSPA+) network.”

Source: MTS
(Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)

  • Arkmay

    fingers crossed for the S3

  • Harry

    coverage map? I can see already they are using AWS 1.7/2.1 frequencies so maybe roaming agreements might come along with the robellus in the future but their smart flex stick plan of up to 90$ for 5GB is pretty expensive my telus stick with LTE and NATIONWIDE coverage gets me up to 90$ for 9GB fail MTS

    • EvanKr

      There currently have no information on coverage or plans and pricing, the network itself isn’t live yet.

  • EvanKr

    Wow… Nice job, MTS! I’m actually impressed!

    HOWEVER, they haven’t actually launched LTE yet. I’ve called multiple MTS dealers, and they told me that “(they) currently have an LTE capable phone available, however the network isn’t up and running yet”. They also have no idea in regards coverage and plans.

    Expect the network itself to go live within a few weeks/months by the end of 2012 with more handsets, and likely Rogers LTE tower sharing coverage as well.

    • EvanKr

      EDIT: I just got in touch with the MTS corporate office, apparently the network’s still in beta testing, and is set to go live sometime around November. They are NOT tower sharing with Rogers, the network is totally theirs. Currently, the Xperia Ions are in extremely Iimited supply, and for that reason are priced higher than market value. If you were to purchase one today, you’d be on HSPA+ for the time being.

      Come November, MTS should be releasing a slew of new phones (likely Android, the “new” iPhone and possibly WP8 devices), along with LTE SIM cards and new plans.

      The network should cover the greater Winnipeg and Brandon areas, streatching into the suburbs, no just the city core.

      The rep that I spoke to recommended waiting until November, when more up to date devices will be available, as well as full access to the network.

  • astroboy99

    You are now chatting with Travis.
    Travis: Hello! How can I help you today?
    mike: hi i heard mts lte is now up? any truth to this?
    Travis: It is not fully up, they are testing the network.

  • cynthia

    this is misleading and should be removed – MTS has not launched LTE.

  • Blekdar

    Holy Geez! The 2 yr pricing on the phone is $179.99!
    That is…..shockingly reasonable. Especially considering they’re a canadian carrier. Go MTS on the decent pricing!

    • Bobby

      Agreed 100%
      usually canadian cellular providers offer 2 year plans, but its like almost 80% of the off contract price.

      For example: rogers offers the sony ion for $499 off contract. 2 year contract price? $449.
      what a joke
      and even more hilarious and sad, bell offers the galaxy s3 off contract for $649, 2 year price? $649

      Hope mts keeps that kind of pricing going forward. Great job!

  • Jebus

    I was told by one Rep it was up and running. The rep with him told him it wasnt. They then compared emails from head office and each email was different. One saying it was and one saying it wasnt. Sounds like a communication company has bad communication…

  • Azure

    Interestingly enough, the phone is 700mhz capable on LTE, so once that spectrum auction is held, and the spectrum is built out, this phone would be capable of actually using it.

  • Azure

    They are late to the party, but its nice of them to launch a half decent Android phone. Hopefully the S3 is launched soon as well.

    • Owen Finn

      They aren’t that late – it’s only been a few months since any carrier had LTE in Manitoba…

    • EvanKr

      @Owen,

      MTS is the first to launch LTE in Manitoba, Rogers lists it as “coming soon”, but MTS is the first.

    • Porilaisten

      Actually since Rogers and MTS are in a network sharing/build agreement it’s likely that they’ll launch at the same time.

  • Jimmy

    the MTS buffalo kicks as$

  • Azure

    I meant late to the Android party.

  • Senk

    Rogers has started advertising LTE on billboards in Winnipeg in late July. LTE has to be coming soon.