Monday, November 2, 2009

GSM Droid Confirmed For Germany, Canada Next?

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Since the official announcement of Motorola's Droid launch on Verizon there have been rumours of a Droid for GSM networks will be surfacing soon.  O2 Germany and Motorola have confirmed that the GSM version of the Droid dubbed the Milestone will be available on November 9th.  While this doesn't mean anything for Americans on AT&T or T-Mobile because of Motorola's exclusivity agreement with Verizon, Canadians will have a reason to hope that it's no longer a question of if the Droid will come to the Great White North but when.

The Droid coming to GSM means that Rogers will be able to offer the phone as well as CDMA carriers Telus and Bell.  The CDMA Droid is most likely to end up with Telus because most of the models of phones that Verizon carries get carried by Telus.  Bell on the other hand carries Sprint's phone lineup.  Having a GSM version of the Droid means that Rogers can and will offer the Droid to Canadians.

The GSM version of the Droid will also be HSPA network compatible so that Telus or Bell could offer the GSM/HSPA version of the Droid to get expected data hungry customers that the Droid would attract onto their new networks, while Voice call users would stay on CDMA.  While this may be a good way to manage their wireless networks, won't be a good move to provide service to those in Manitoba and Saskatchewan since the only networks that aren't owned by Rogers are CDMA only.  The best way for Telus to offer a national launch of the Droid is to pick up the CDMA version. (Subscribers of MTS and SaskTel are out of luck on this one since these regional carriers carry the phones the big carriers don't want anymore.)

Forbidding some kind of exclusivity agreement with one carrier can and should give Canadians choice of cellular carrier.  Not just now but in the future when the new carriers, Wind Mobile, DAVE Wireless and Public Mobile launch their cell phone services next year.  This oddly reminds me of ten years ago when people could flock to Bell, Rogers, Telus, Clearnet or Fido to get a Motorola StarTac.  Times change but sometimes what's old can become new again.

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