Bell launches initial 5G network in the GTA, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal

The carrier's 5G access is $10 a month but is being offered for free until March 31, 2021


Montreal-based national carrier, Bell, has launched its initial 5G network in the Greater Toronto Area, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton.

“Bell 5G customers in Montreal, the GTA, CalgaryEdmonton and Vancouver will have access to enhanced mobile data speeds and faster response times, as well as seamless connections to Bell’s national LTE network,” the carrier said in a press release. 

The carrier’s 5G access costs an additional $10 CAD per month on any Bell Mobility postpaid plan, but is currently being offered as a free bonus until March 31, 2021. Bell outlines that it already carries several 5G-enabled phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen and Motorola Edge+.

“Customers on Bell’s 5G network will see a boost in speeds, and in the next few weeks we’ll be tuning the network and improving it continuously,” Claire Gillies, the president of Bell Mobility told MobileSyrup in an interview. 

“As we look at the future of what 5G promises, it changes every aspect of how we live and how we work. When we talk about early 5G, we’ll see improvements in AR/ VR and mobile gaming,” she said. 

In terms of the future, she notes that the improved speeds and lower latency that comes with 5G networks will enable and support smart cities.

The carrier notes that its 5G service will expand to more centres across the country as the wireless technology grows in speed capacity. Bell says its initial 5G network currently uses AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) band spectrum.

Bell is officially partnered with Ericsson and Nokia to build its 5G network. However, Bell has noted that it’s multi-vendor strategy involves several partnerships, and that could include Huawei. The government has yet to decide whether Huawei will be allowed to participate in the rollout of 5G, but Bell says it would be interested in working with the company.

“Should the government allow Huawei’s participation, we would absolutely consider working with them again,” Gillies said. 

The carrier has also partnered with Western University in London, Ontario to create an advanced 5G research centre. Bell is investing $2.7 million into the project and will deploy 5G network equipment and infrastructure throughout the campus.

Toronto-based national carrier Rogers launched its initial 5G network earlier this year in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal in partnership with Ericsson. Vancouver-based Telus, the remainder of the Big Three, has yet to launch its initial 5G network, but is also partnered with Nokia and Ericsson.

It’s important to note that the benefits of 5G in Canada won’t be immediate, as the government has yet to auction 3500MHz spectrum, which is considered vital for 5G services. Analysts have said that the first generation of 5G is expected to deliver speeds that will be similar to the most updated 4G networks.

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