Bell’s 5G network launched two weeks ago in Montréal, the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, using the company’s AWS spectrum.
While Bell initially said 5G network access would be a “free bonus” only until March 31, 2021, the wireless carrier now says it will no longer charge customers for access next year.
A Bell spokesperson told iPhone in Canada in a statement, “5G access is now included at no additional charge for customers with 5G-capable devices.” Currently, 5G devices from Bell include the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G series, LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen and Motorola Edge+.
The move by Bell appears to match Telus, which launched its 5G network one week later but offered 5G access at no charge. When pressed on the matter, Telus reiterated, “We currently have no plans to implement a charge for 5G access.”
Early speed tests of the Bell 5G network by customers saw download speeds of up to 490 Mbps, with one customer burning through 6.5GB of data in a matter of minutes.
Bell launched its 5G network with hardware from Ericsson and Nokia, while Telus mentioned Samsung as one of its early 5G network partners. Both companies shunned Huawei, although Bell did mention they would “consider working” with the Chinese company if the federal government allowed it.
That leaves Rogers as the only wireless carrier from the Big 3 with a 5G network charge, set at $15/month in 2021. Given both Telus and Bell are not charging for 5G, $15/month will be a tough sell for Rogers to customers next year. We’ve reached out to the company to see if they will be matching Bell and Telus. Stay tuned for updates.