Bell customers on their CDMA network don’t have a lot of time remaining. Based on documents from sources Bell will “begin the decommissioning of its CDMA service” nationwide, starting on January 31, 2017, with a complete shutdown by April, 2018.
Alberta, BC and the Gaspé region of Québec, which has just under 40,000 customers, will see the CDMA network decommission starting January 31, 2017, which will affect all voice, text and data services over the 1XRTT network.
Five months later, Saskatchewan’s CDMA service will see the network shut down, affecting 3,000 total customers. By April 2018, Ontario, Quebec, the Atlantic provinces and Fort Nelson in BC will be affected by decommissioning of the CDMA network, which consists of just under 420,000 customers.
A couple years ago, the company had planned to shut down the network by January 1, 2017, but that looks to have changed since then.
Bell states if customers want continued service, they will be required to migrate to HSPA+ or LTE capable devices.
TELUS announced back in June it plans to shut down its entire CDMA network by January 31, 2017:
CDMA technology is reaching the end of its service life. Following the launch of newer, faster and more reliable wireless networks – HSPA in 2009 and LTE in 2012 – our major equipment suppliers have been steadily decreasing the production and support of the CDMA equipment we require in order to maintain the network. To ensure the best possible experience with no disruption of service once we can no longer purchase CDMA equipment and maintain that network, we have been communicating to customers in order to move them to our newer 4G networks.
We will shut down the CDMA network on January 31st, 2017. After this, customers will no longer be able to use their CDMA phones. CDMA phones are older devices that do not use SIM cards.
Back when the iPhone 3G first came to Canada in summer of 2008, Rogers had the upper hand with its GSM network, while TELUS and Bell were on the outside looking in, with their CDMA networks at the time. TELUS and Bell finally launched a shared HSPA+ (and LTE later) network in late 2009, to support the new iPhone 3GS (boy it feels weird saying 3GS).