Canadians Leap to LTE

11:15 AM -- Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T) and BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) (NYSE/Toronto: BCE) are the latest CDMA operators to defect to the so-called 4G technology, Long-Term Evolution (LTE). (See Telus Commits to HSPA, LTE.)

As a first step to LTE, Bell Canada and Telus will deploy a new 3G high-speed packet access (HSPA) overlay network, through the extension of an existing network sharing arrangement, because the operators say this will make for a smoother migration to LTE.

Nokia Networks and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. will provide the HSPA network equipment, which is good news for the vendors, as both are looking to increase their presence in North America.

Telus's CTO, Ibrahim Gedeon, darn near told us in an interview earlier this year that the operator was going to do this when he said that, while Telus would not deploy a 2G GSM network, it had not ruled out a 3G HSPA overlay network. But Friday's announcements show that Telus actually had a bigger project in mind -- cooperation with fellow CDMA operator Bell Canada to build the HSPA overlay network to pave the way for LTE. (See Telus CTO: 2G GSM's a No-Go and Telus Follow-up.)

The Canadian operators aren't the only ones that have abandoned their CDMA roots. Verizon Wireless and KDDI Corp. are the most notable CDMA operator names so far that have also made similar moves to LTE for 4G. (See Verizon Goes LTE and KDDI Goes LTE.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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