Telus launches super-fast LTE network in Vancouver

Telus (TSX:T) customers in Vancouver can now experience the kinds of wireless speeds that Rogers customers have had since October 2011, with the launch of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless network.

The network goes live Friday in Vancouver.

It will also be available in Calgary, Edmonton, the Greater Toronto Area, Kitchener, Waterloo, Hamilton, Guelph, Belleville, Ottawa, Montreal, Québec City, Halifax and Yellowknife.

LTE works on 4G enabled smartphones and tablets and has download speeds that are typically four times faster than 3G networks. Users can get the same kind of streaming quality for movies and games that are currently only available on high-speed Internet.

The one hitch is that LTE only works on 4G-enabled devices. In other words, you won’t be able to connect that new iPhone 4S you bought to Telus’ LTE network.

Telus is unveiling a number of Android-based smartphones and devices that will work on the new network: the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE tablet, and the Galaxy Note and the LG Optimus LTE smartphones.

Telus will also sell a Novatel mobile Internet key, which can be used for laptops. Telus customers with LTE can also watch Optik TV on their devices.

“Our commitment at Telus is to provide Vancouver residents the best customer experience, and the launch of our 4G LTE service with broad coverage here and in 13 other metropolitan centres across Canada underscores that commitment,” said Chris Langdon, Telus’ vice-president of consumer products and services.

“We’re listening to our customers, and we are working hard to continue giving them clear and simple pricing with no surprises while enjoying the speed and reliability of the Telus network.”

Vancouver is the only city in B.C. where LTE will be available for now. Other cities across B.C. and Canada will be added in the coming months. When Telus customers travel outside Vancouver, their devices will switch over to the existing HSPA+ system.

Rogers (TSX:RCI) was the first major Canadian telecom to launch LTE in Vancouver at the end of September. (See: “Rogers beats Telus to the LTE punch” – issue 1145; October 4-10, 2011.)

Nelson Bennett