Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Is Bell Mobility Planning an Expansion Into Saskatchewan?

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At a time when cellular subscribers across Canada await new competitors to provide cell service, meanwhile in Saskatchewan one of the new carriers arriving soon is actually one of the long time established cell carriers just about everywhere else in Canada.  Undoubtly many in land of the living skies have seen the commericals advertising for the iPhone on Telus and Bell on CTV and Global broadcasts including locally produced newscasts.  While Telus offers cell phone service in Saskatchewan, they are not able to offer the iPhone because the only GSM/HSPA network in the province is owned by Rogers, which Telus will not enter into a roaming agreement with.

Bell has never entered the Cellular market in Saskatchewan because of the network infrastructure sharing agreement they signed with Sasktel years ago.  The telco's share each other's networks in exchange they don't compete in each others service areas.  It could be argued that Bell has already effectively ended that agreement since their satellite TV services competes against Sasktel Max.  Bell mobility has brought in sideline revenue selling cell phones to affiliated carriers such as Sasktel and MTS, as Bell moves from CDMA to GSM/HSPA that's revenue that killed off as long as the regional carriers choose to stay on CDMA.

If or more likely when Bell mobility starts putting up towers in Saskatchewan, Telus is likely to share a GSM/HSPA network, so that Telus can offer their full lineup GSM/HSPA handsets.  Bell and Telus can bring a much better varitey of cell phones, smartphones, including the iPhone, Motorola Milestone (GSM varient of the Droid) and most other Android based smartphones that Rogers doesn't already offer.  Bell is a member of the Inukshuk alliance which offers WiMax based broadband service in the rest of Canada.  Bell mobility entering Saskatchewan will finally mean WiMax will finally come to the province.  Many from other provinces may have horror stories about high prices and poor customer service they get from Bell, but at least it competes against the high prices and poor customer service that we get from the service providers we have now.

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