Bell Launches Tri-Band LTE Advanced Network, First in North America

Bell has announced today it has launched its tri-band LTE Advanced (LTE-A) wireless network, capable of bringing download speeds of 290 Mbps. The network has launched in Halifax, Hamilton, Oakville and Toronto, which the carrier touts new owners of today’s announced Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note5 can take advantage of.

Blaik Kirby, President of Bell Mobility, said in a statement “Tri-band LTE-A is a turbo boost for data-intensive activities such as streaming HD video, playing graphics-intense multiplayer games, or downloading large business files.”

Further expansion of the tri-band LTE-A network will continue in the future. Bell says its LTE network is now the largest in Canada, offering coverage for 93 percent of the population. Back in February, the company debuted its LTE-A network, capable of 220 Mbps (but in reality gives an average of 12-60 Mbps), now available in over 40 cities nationwide.

Bell tells the Financial Post three bands of spectrum—PCS, AWS and 700 MHz—were combined for their tri-band LTE-A network, which customers can expect average download speeds of 12 to 87 Mbps.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus uses Qualcomm’s MDM9625M LTE modem, capable of max 150 Mbps download speeds. It’ll be interesting to see if the expected ‘iPhone 6s’ coming in September will include a faster LTE modem to take advantage of increased network speeds.