Rogers rebrands parts of its network to LTE Max with emphasis on 2600Mhz spectrum, launches in over 20 new markets

Daniel Bader

May 1, 2013 2:16 pm


Rogers is rebranding parts of its high-speed network to LTE Max today, which refers to the availability of LTE across two high-frequency bands, AWS (1700/2100Mhz) and 2600Mhz.

Though less of a product launch than a repositioning of its existing assets, the new branding effectively conveys the company’s spectrum advantage over Bell and TELUS. Rogers has launched a three devices in recent months with support for its growing 2600Mhz network, the LG Optimus G, Samsung Galaxy S4 and, today, the BlackBerry Q10. The Galaxy S4 is particularly interesting because, unlike the other two handsets, it supports both AWS and 2600Mhz over LTE, and can switch dynamically between the two based on prevailing network conditions.

An official statement from Rogers confirmed that LTE Max refers to markets that support both frequencies where 40Mhz (2x20Mhz) is available. According to a recent Redboard post, this includes 34 of the company’s 44 LTE markets. Bell also shares a great deal of 2600Mhz spectrum with Rogers, as the companies obtained it as part of a joint Inukshuk Wireless partnership in 2005. Bell has limited its rollout of 2600Mhz spectrum to only a few areas around Canada, and has limited its marketing strategy to just AWS-based LTE.

LTE Max refers to our national network deployment of dual frequency 2600 and 2100 MHz bands, deployment of 2x20MHz spectrum blocks and high concentration of cell sites within LTE coverage area – it isn’t using carrier aggregation. The maximum download speeds for LTE Max are 150 Mbps, but speeds may vary based on device, topography and environmental conditions, network congestion and other factors.

Most LTE-capable devices today are limited to 100Mbps in the downlink based on the UE Cat 3 LTE standard. Qualcomm’s integrated MDM9x15 baseband, which is found inside most modern devices, supports Category 3 LTE; newer devices released later this year will use the company’s newer MDM9x25 baseband with support for UE Cat 4 LTE and theoretical maximum downlink speeds of 150Mbps.

So at the moment Rogers is preempting the industry, attempting to stay ahead of the products themselves. The ability for handsets and mobile internet devices to dynamically switch between Band 4 and 7 depending on network conditions will help stave off congestion and ensure users maintain LTE signals in more places. Until the wide adoption of 700Mhz in Canada, this is likely the best scenario we’re going to get.

Even with the expansion of its LTE network, typical speeds will continue to fall within the 12-25Mbps range, but we’ve seen spikes nearer to 50Mbps on 20Mhz cells such as the one in the above Speedtest photo.

Rogers recently announced an expansion to 44 new markets, more than 20 of which are part of its LTE Max network and available today, mainly in southern Ontario.

Ontario:
– Chatham
– Milton
– Sarnia
– Woodstock
– Orangeville
– St. Catharines, which also includes Fort Erie, Port Colborne, Welland and Pelham;
– GTA North expansion, which also includes King City & Bradford
– GTA West expansion, which also includes Georgetown & Halton Hills
– Kentville
– Brantford
– Collingwood
– GTA Northeast Expansion, which also includes Stouffville & East Gwillimbury
– Oshawa Expansion, which also includes Clarington

Alberta:
– Lloydminster

Nova Scotia:
– Kentville

Via: Redboard

  • silver_arrow

    No 2600mhz is normal LTE that’s whats widely used in European countries it’s not some magical one they came up with. And it sucks at building penetration. We don’t need LTE Max

    • Lukeiphone

      Funny how there is always someone who complains. Good thing or bad thing, someone or the other will always complain. Thank god for democracy where MAJORITY always wins, because the majority is always correct. The reason why I said that, is because the majority of us will be happy with this upgrade. And since you did not read the article, it clearly says that the phone will automatically switch to regular LTE if 2600 is weak or unavailable.

    • You’re_An_Idiot

      Really, dude? You don’t need faster speeds? WTF is wrong with you?

    • Mawhayden

      You sound like some “Experts” of the 19th century who said that trains are dangerous due to it excess speeds… since then, we have had planes too, and now we are beginning to look at the stars… Do you n
      Know what a spacecraft is?

    • JPenguin

      I wouldn’t look a 2600MHz LTE gift-horse in the mouth but I’d agree that we don’t need “LTE Max” branding.

  • hunkyleepickle

    FauxG, lte, lte max….. Next is super duper 4g lte max!

  • TomsDisqusted

    If my phone only supported LTE then that ability to support 2 and dynamically switch between them would be great, but my phone already has that ability: it will switch to 4G on another band if LTE is not available. And the difference between 4G and LTE is not so big that I mind 4G being my backup.

  • Johnathan Drozdowski

    And still no LTE in Winnipeg :(

  • marorun1982

    50 mb pike? I am doing nearly 70 mb here with an HTC one using Telus LTE IN Montreal lol beside rogers outside of Montreal the reception is crap lol

    • James D Paterson

      Yes but you’re in Quebec, so your opinion is automatically null.

    • Chrome262

      Humm wonder if he actually read the end of the article.

    • inmyoffice

      I have used Telus in MTL and my God I did not get anywhere near 70mb. Sounds like a Telus employee.

  • alphs22

    I feel lucky when I get 3 Mbps on Wind. Most of the time it’s around 1-2.

    • Gordon

      Meanwhile with WIND Mobile, I pay $29 a month for unlimited usage. Granted, for someone who consumes a lot of media, I would be hard pressed to recommend WIND. For someone like myself, however, it is a blessing.

    • arahman21

      Or ~1MBps if on H+. For the network they got access to, their data speed is quite decent.

  • ThisGuy

    “conveys the company’s spectrum advantage over Bell and TELUS”

    I dont know about Telus, but Bell also has 2600. You guys wrote a story about it!

  • JPenguin

    I think it’s rather lame that Rogers needs to brand this as LTE Max, it’s definitely going to give the impression that it’s “better” than regular LTE while that’s really quite subjective. Yes, it will be faster in ideal conditions but those ideal conditions are now more difficult to achieve (i.e. worse building penetration means speeds which might be great outdoors or line-of-sight become crap once indoors or out of line-of-sight).

    The poor branding just means more people are going to be confused about the real impact, the Rogers sales people won’t always be able to explain what “LTE Max” really is and in some cases the consumer won’t fully understand it either. And since it’s Rogers coming up with the branding it’s unlikely that anyone else will adopt the same terminology so we’re going to end up with a proliferation of a million different “branded versions” of LTE, I for one don’t look forward to commercials selling “only available on ‘s SuperMAX 4G LTE FAST Network!”

  • Alexander Do Rio

    Hello. Question for you all if you know.
    My Samsung galaxy s4, top of the screen says what network I am connected to. Usually it sais 4g but sometimes it goes back to h (I’m guessing hspa or hspa plus) and sometimes it goes back to 3g. When on the 4g I get 50 dl speeds so I am happy.

    But I dunno why it does not ever say I am on lte. Only 4g. I am in Montreal. Anyone experience anything similar or know something about this?

  • Tim3Tripp3r

    Unfortunately when you live on Vancouver Island it don’t matter if Rogers had LTE-1000G because it isn’t going to be deployed in this decade – Bell/ Telus show the island some LTE love but Rogers so far in last place they think they are winning :-(

    • Grant Jeffrey

      Don’t worry. If you look at the coverage map, they’ve put a lot of “coming soon” all over the straight of Georgia and the Saanich inlet. My guess is that their priority is to cover the ocean before the island.

    • TheShader

      LOL, yeah to get the tourist ferry crossing ‘roaming dollars’ which is profitable for all those folks; which is why the Olympics got all the network upgrades first leading up to 2010.

      Seriously though, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are treating the island the way most people treat Manitoba, they’re waiting for 700Mhz to make it cheaper to cover more area and not have to supply fibre to more towers. I foresee alot of building/upgrading the moment that auction finishes

    • Grant Jeffrey

      Yeah, but at least people in Manitoba get awesome plans in the meantime.

  • Mike

    Orangeville finally gets some love. And I have speed tested around 61 mbps on the network so bravo to them. Very happy

  • ffsdgasfdg

    At least if you buy the Galaxy S4 you can get AWS and 2600 MHz LTE. As well as part of 700 MHz when it rolls out.

  • Alexander Do Rio

    Thank. You :-)

    • Somebody

      Factory reset your phone, i had same problem when i bought Note2, i was catching LTE but displaying 4G.
      Factory reset should fix it.

  • Guyyyyyy

    screw 2600mhz, waiting for 700mhz in november!

  • TheShader

    I get over 50Mbs on my Bell and Telus devices here in Alberta already, I want further reach not more metro fluff; I don’t need 50Mbs vs 30Mbs (Gamecentre streamed NHL games full HD output from my devices via HDMI with just HSPA+ better than Shaw cable @ GF’s place [no macro-blocking of player benches]).
    I need further distances (like on the way to any local ski hill) and support for better in-building support. Rogers doesn’t have much coverage-wise outside of the metro areas here, and I wonder how much of a pipe they have to the towers for a bunch of people streaming 10s of Mbs at a time. Rogers likely has good capacity out east, but likely nada west of Sudbury.

    I don’t care about the 2600Mhz spectrum, I want the 700Mhz NOW !!

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s always good to add, but c’mon, does anyone really care about getting 150Mbs to their tiny-cpu’ed on their power-strapped mobile devices? I’d rather get consistent 20Mbs in more places. The main advantage of LTE is not experiencing the lunchtime Facebook/YouTube crunch you get on HSPA where you can’t even check email because everyone is checking their social feeds.

  • hardy83

    Maximum download speeds of an amazing 150Mbps.

    Of course if you know anything Canadian Internet marketing, you’ll know that you’ll never get 150Mpbs, and you’ll be lucky to even get close to half that, or a third.

    Because for some stupid reason, companies like Bell and Rogers are allowed to advertise speeds they get in labs, and don’t have to have an average/realistic CONSUMER speeds in their ads! Just because they say “up to”….Stupid!

  • Name

    it is a freaking cell phone, not a computer, why so fast ?
    it is stupid, my pc with a 10mb/s is way fast enough…

  • lorax1284

    Excellent! Now they can penalize you for going over their extremely low throughput maximums even FASTER!

    • jsebean

      With LTE they should offer 50.GB minimum.

  • wasdalltheway

    Telus LTE is plenty fast on AWS, getting around 35-40 mbps. Rogers LTE MAX will prob get 5 mbps because their coverage sucks.

  • Orang Yousefian

    I live north of toronto at yonge and stoufville road and my phone is an htc raider , and on my speed test,net app on may 5th at 11.56 pm i got 51.49 down and 21.06 up link , yeeeee haaaaaa .

    • crapshoot

      It better work well in southern AB with galaxy s4 or i no be happy