It may be cold 10 months of the year, but Northern Canadians still take their phones out of their pockets like the rest of us.
TELUS has answered the call of those in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, and will soon roll out service to select areas in Nunavut, as well. The provider aims to offer its HSPA+ service to 99% of the Canadian population, including most habitants of the Great White North, and will extend its current plans, promotions and upgrade policies — with identical pricing — to those prospective customers.
Until now, Bell has been the only provider in Canada with meaningful penetration in Northern Canada, offering LTE in Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Hay River and Fort Smith, and HSPA+ in many other regions.
TELUS will also open two retail stores via Petron Communications, an authorized dealer of its products, in the two cities largest cities in the Canadian north where, shortly afterwards, TELUS Learning Centre will also commence.
The announcement is being celebrated by both carrier and prospective customers, and TELUS hopes to ride the good will by donating $25 per signup to one of two charities in Yellowknife or Whitehorse. The campaign will run until May, 2014.
HSPA+ service will be available in 24 communities in the north, and Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Hay River and Fort Smith can expect LTE service, too.
TELUS will begin signing up customers on September 6th in the new regions.
As both promotion and warning, the end of the press release has a sentence — “TELUS plans to continuously progress its track record in this regard as long as the company is able to obtain the necessary wireless spectrum in near-term and future Industry Canada auctions,” — that sums up the conundrum carriers face in the looming 700Mhz spectrum. The spectrum, which will be auctioned in January, 2014, is excellent for rural areas as it travels farther and through more obstacles than the current 1700/2100Mhz frequency used by the incumbents to date.