MTS HSPA+ Network going live March 31st

Originally MTS had a targeted completion to launch their new HSPA+ network at “end of 2010″ but unfortunately pushed it back until “the first quarter of 2011″. Finally some great news has arrived for those MTS customers who have been waiting and waiting as a confirmed date of March 31st has been announced as the go live date (this date also marks the last date in Q1).

MTS has invested over $100 million into the new HSPA+ network, customers could reach peak download speeds of up to 21mbps, roam in more than 200 countries (thanks to Rogers) and cover 97% of Manitobans. It’s currently not known what handsets MTS will offer… but Rogers did help them build out the new network and in the agreement it gives MTS access to their handset lineup (could see BlackBerrys, Androids, iPhone)

Kelvin Shepherd, President of MTS said “All of us at MTS are incredibly excited about bringing this next generation of wireless service to our Manitoba customers, which will give them faster data speeds as well as access to the best available national and international roaming. We offer Manitoba residents the broadest and most flexible bundling capabilities, the best dealer distribution network and superior customer service – all under the MTS brand that they have come to know and trust.”

The advantage that MTS is looking to gain over their competition is bundling their services together. They currently offer TV, Internet, Home Phone and Home Security. In the release it stated that “Also coming soon to MTS wireless customers across the province is the opportunity to sign-up for new, exclusive MTS bundled service offerings that no other service provider in Manitoba can match, making MTS’s wireless offers even more attractive”. It also seems that MTS will be coming out with an app of some sort that will give customers the ability of “controlling your Ultimate TV PVR with your MTS smartphone”.

As for the current CDMA network, MTS will still hold on and continue to sell and support devices and believes “the combination of HSPA+ and CDMA uniquely positions MTS to have the widest array of wireless solutions for Manitobans”.

Congratulations MTS! Big step forward and Manitobans I’m sure are incredibly thrilled about this news.

More here at MTS

Update: Reading over the HSPA+ support states that MTS will support unlocked devices: “Any unlocked devices (i.e. devices that are not tied to a specific carrier) will work with MTS SIM cards (on the MTS HSPA+ network). However, carriers such as Rogers, Bell and Telus lock their devices to work with only their SIM cards and these devices will not work with a MTS SIM card. Similarly, MTS intends to lock our devices to our SIM cards. Hence our devices will not be usable on another carrier’s network.” [thanks Lee]