Canadian wireless operator Rogers Communications is the country’s first operator to offer a 4G LTE network.
The announcement came amid celebrations featuring street dancing and a flash mob arranged by Rogers.
Rogers move is focused on being the first to market with 4G LTE capabilities since it can now advertise its speeds at four to five times faster than its competitors’ networks. Rogers network will not support any smart phones on LTE technology, yet will provide fast LTE wireless service for the company’s Rocket-branded USB modems for notebook computers. The company plans to offer Samsung and HTC 4g LTE smartphones before Christmas. Canada’s Research In Motion (RIM) is working on a 4G version of its tablet device, the PlayBook.
Canada’s other major carriers, which include Telus and BCE Inc. announced plans to launch LTE services. Bell Mobility is testing LTE in Montreal and Hamilton, yet as not made an announcement about commercial availability. Other carriers, like Wind Mobile, have gained significant momentum in the Canadian marketplace, offering competition to carriers like Rogers Communications.
Across North America, carriers like Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T offer 4G LTE in certain markets, with expansions currently taking place and planned to complete later this year.
Rogers 4G LTE coverage is currently in the country’s capital region, Ottawa, with some coverage in to the neighbouring province of Quebec. Rogers plans to expand its 4G LTE network to 21 more markets by the end of 2012 with larger markets like Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver to be added this fall. Rogers pricing starts at $45 per month for 1.5 GB of used bandwidth, to a maximum of $90 for 9 GB; Rogers says each additional GB after 9 GB adds $10 to subscribers’ monthly bills.