I never thought I would see the day where Canadians would get to choose between more than one GSM provider. Yes, I know that we already have access to both Rogers Wireless and Fido, but when one firm effectively owns the other, it’s like choosing between Coke and Sprite; different flavors, same company. The cellular landscape in Canada may soon be a-changing, though.
There are rumors that Telus Mobility may be transitioning their CDMA-based cellular network to one based on GSM technology, getting them to be more in line with the international standard. As you know, much of the world operates on GSM, with only a few select countries — Canada and US among them — still using CDMA technology.
Among the motivations to switch to GSM, Telus says that they will be able to offer subscribers a bigger selection of mobile devices and, perhaps more importantly, they’ll be able to cash in on a big slice of that lucrative international roaming fee pie. As it stands, we could very well be experiencing a hybrid EVDO/HSDPA network operated by Telus before the end of the year. The changeover would cost about $500 million.
Naturally, a Telus spokesperson declined to comment.