Bell Mobility, Canada's leading wireless carrier, has signed an estimated US$126 million (C$160 million) multi-year contract with Nortel for equipment to enable the country's fastest and most advanced wireless data network, which is expected to deliver services at speeds up to six times faster than what is currently available.
The network, to be powered by Nortel's CDMA2000 1X and 1xEV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) third generation (3G) wireless technology, will help enhance the user experience by enabling such services as video mail and messaging, wireless gaming and content streaming at speeds close to high-speed wireline connections.
"Nortel is making it possible for us to deliver on our commitment to offer subscribers the latest and most advanced wireless services available today," said Almis Ledas, vice president, corporate development, Bell Mobility, a wholly owned division of Bell Canada. "The EVDO network will offer Canada's fastest wireless experience and deliver leading-edge innovation to the market to revolutionize the way Canadians use their mobile devices."
With what is expected to be the first commercial deployment in Canada of a next generation wireless data network using EV-DO technology, Bell Mobility customers will be able to download data on their mobile devices at speeds up to 2.4 megabits per second with average speeds of 300-500 kilobits per second. Bell Mobility announced its intention to build the EV-DO network in December 2004, and the company plans to offer initial EV-DO services in select markets in 2005.
Under the new agreement with Bell Mobility, Nortel will provide CDMA2000 1X radio base stations, base station controllers, switching platforms and other related equipment. Nortel will also supply Bell Mobility with CDMA2000 1xEV-DO equipment for initial deployment in Toronto and Montreal.
Nortel CDMA equipment is designed to support EV-DO through simple upgrades to existing hardware, which simplifies Bell Mobility's migration from 1X to EV-DO. This approach provides a cost effective and rapid method for enhancing the end user experience by delivering advanced wireless services and applications.