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Telus and Bell to Switch to GSM? Yes, Please!

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Okay so this story has repeatedly come up the past few week. With the conclusion of the wireless spectrum bidding, reports have surfaced that Telus and Bell are ready to converge and form their own GSM network. We’ve heard this before but it seems as though this rumor is picking up steam.

CBC reported that:

Bell and Telus are looking to switch to either Wideband-CDMA (WCDMA) or High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology, both of which are similar to GSM in how they transmit data, UBS said. Over the past few years, Bell and Telus have seen Rogers run away with signing up new customers, who are attracted to flashy GSM phones — including the iPhone — that are not available to CDMA carriers.

The move would cost the companies a combined $360 million to $480 million, UBS said, while equipment vendors Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks would be the likely candidates to do the work.

It’s too bad that Telus and Bell stuck with CDMA while Rogers went ahead to setup the GSM network in this country. If all three companies were in the GSM fray, Rogers wouldn’t be having so much fun gouging Canadians with their “value” pricing and their confusing press releases/term conditions. Everytime I read a press release or some lengthy “terms and conditions” with one billion asterisks, I get confused like millions of other Canadians. It takes a small army on some obscure online forum to decipher every line by line, like it’s been written in hieroglyphics.

Since I’ve signed onto a 3 year contract with my brand spankin new iPhone 3G I’ve managed to accept the term length. I know that there should be a light at the end of the tunnel. In 3 years time new GSM entrants should be setup in Canada and offer some relief to the atrocious rates Canadians pay, some of the highest mobile rates on the planet.

How do you see the Telus/Bell GSM deal working out? Are we a few steps closer to cheaper cellphone rates?

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