Bell’s CDMA Wireless Network to Shutdown April 30, Prepaid Balances Get Extension

Bell has announced its legacy CDMA wireless network is set for a complete shutdown on April 30, 2019.

The company started to wind down their CDMA network in 2017 (after making announcements in 2016), as its LTE wireless network coverage expanded. Bell says their 4G LTE network now covers over 99% of the Canadian population.

Bell says existing CDMA customers in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic provinces have been told they will be moving to the company’s 4G LTE network by the end of April.

“Bell is proud to welcome our CDMA customers to Canada’s best national mobile network. The Bell LTE network always sets the standard in wireless speed, capacity and quality and will continue to evolve as we prepare for the introduction of 5G wireless,” said Stephen Howe, Bell’s Chief Technology Officer, in a press release.

The following regions will see the end of the CDMA network:

Rest of Quebec
Newfoundland and Labrador
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia

“Our Network team looks forward to leveraging efficiencies from our CDMA shutdown, including repurposing existing site structures, fibre connections and power systems, to further enhance our industry-leading LTE network,” added Howe.

Bell had started updating its online support pages back in January of this year, noting a complete CDMA shutdown was coming on April 30.

As of March 27 (the previous date was set for Feb. 14), prepaid customers on the CDMA network were no longer able to top up their balances. These existing balances on the legacy network will expire on July 27 (it was extended from June 14) this year. But, Bell says if prepaid CDMA customers switch over to a new 4G LTE compatible phone before the balance expiration, their funds can be transferred over.