LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks are already live in Canada by a couple carriers. This brings theoretical download speeds of 150 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 70 Mbps. Rogers and Bell, the two carriers currently battling it out for LTE market share, have stated that we can “expected average speeds of 12-25 Mbps”. Clearly having these speeds available to you on your smartphone is an incredible asset, but unfortunately this also comes at a high price – both companies have data plans starting at $45/month for 1.5 GB.
The current combined LTE coverage is in Ottawa, Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph. Montreal and Vancouver will be available later this year and additional rollouts are expected in other cities in 2012. Competing carriers TELUS, SaskTel and WIND have also stated they are testing or will launch their LTE networks in 2012.
So there’s limited coverage and also a limited device selection, mainly internet sticks right now but on the horizon are smartphones, “superphones” and tablets. LTE is no doubt an important step for our wireless carriers, in our latest poll we’re asking you “when LTE comes to your city will you buy?”