Rogers lights up Canadian LTE network

Canadian operator Rogers has flipped the switch on its LTE network, bringing the next generation mobile network to the capital Ottawa. The network will be extended to Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal by autumn, and it plans to increase the roll-out to an additional 21 markets during 2012.

The operator will be using the AWS frequencies of 1.7GHz and 2.1GHz with 2x10MHz of bandwidth. In a blog post announcing the launch Rogers said that the maximum downloads speeds on the network would be 75Mbps, but it admitted that these are theoretical, and that typical speeds would be between 12-25Mbps. By contrast, Verizon Wireless in the US quotes speeds of between 5-12Mbps.

Rogers also claimed that, “as device selection evolves, maximum theoretical download speeds will increase to up to 150Mbps”, which refers to potential use of 2x20MHz of bandwidth.

The first device on the network will be the LTE Rocket USB data stick and customers are able to reserve one though the Rogers reservation system. The operator said that LTE enabled handsets will be made available later in 2011, and would come from HTC and Samsung, but did not specify and exact release date.

The operator is launching for with a four tier pricing strategy, starting at at C$45 for up to 1.5GBs a month, rising up though C$60 and C$75 packages, with 3GB and 6GB limits respectively, to a C$90 package that will include 9GB of data.

Roger’s has chosen to launch its LTE service using the strapline “Beyond 4G”, having forced itself into a corner by mimicking many US players strategy of naming its HSPA+ service as 4G, after initially stating that it would not do so.

In a blog post it justified the move stating that the naming convention, ”aligns with the most recent definition of 4G from the International Telecommunications Union, which says 4G is any technology that shows a substantial level of improvement to previous 3G networks.”

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