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On a conference call held to discuss BCE's better-than-expected 2Q financial results, Chief Executive George Cope confirmed expectations that BCE will launch Solo Unlimited this month after Rogers recently took the company by surprise, launching Chatr.

Cope said Solo Unlimited will be distributed in more than 500 locations by the time it is launched and it will target budget conscious subscribers in cities in an attempt to target a niche part of the market as a way of protecting its existing higher-margin customers. In addition, Solo Unlimited could generate additional revenue from roaming charges incurred by calls made outside the city, Cope said.
 

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Cope also said Solo Unlimited will run on BCE's CDMA network, meaning locked phones and hampering the ability to move between carriers, which makes the absence of contracts somewhat meaningless.
 

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Also, given they are forcing low-end customers onto their old previous-generation network, it seems to suggest that Bell is not interested in playing in the low-end of the market for the long haul.
 

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Also, given they are forcing low-end customers onto their old previous-generation network, it seems to suggest that Bell is not interested in playing in the low-end of the market for the long haul.
Where's the logic in the "not in it for the long haul" comment?

We went through this a year ago when Bell and Telus were building the HSPA network and the rumour mongers were suggesting the CDMA network would be shut down imminently. Maybe, possibly, probably the CDMA network will be shut down eventually but that won't happen for years. For those who thrive on inventing conspitacy theories, maybe they should be speculating in which will disappear first: Bell Canada or the CDMA network? Do we say Bell is not in it for the long haul because Harper government may open the telecommunications sector to foreign ownership? For sure anyone who suggests Wind/Mobilicity are not in it for the long haul are labelled Rogers fan-boys.

Fact is, none of us, and that includes the wireless carriers has anything more than a gerneral idea of what the market place will look like in five years. Meanwhile, subscribers should look for the best deal that meets their needs knowing there are only subtle differences between the carriers. If Solo or chat-r work now, so be it, and worry about what carrier to use in five years, in five years.
 

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"imminently" is your choice of words, and not one one at I've seen anyone else use in prior discussions. Of course, Bell or Telus could never turn off their legacy network in the short term. They need to determine the optimal time to do that, and that will be based on the rate at which their customers upgrade handsets and the rate at which manufacturers gradually phase out CDMA products from their portfolio.

The point I was (trying?) to make is that Bell is forcing discounted customers onto infrastructure that is in the sunset phase of its lifecycle. I can see them using that as an excuse to pull the plug on Solo Unlimited in a few years time once they've quashed their competitors. This would allow them to make it seem like a technology decision instead of an attempt to snuff competition.
 

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Thanks to the dependency of Sprint and more importantly Verizon on the technology, CDMA is alive and well for now. It will be a long time before those two transition completely to 4G networks.

In the meantime Bell using their CDMA network is no different than Rogers using their GSM network. They have this perfectly good network that they're trying to move people off of, but if you're only using calls and text and no data then you won't notice a performance difference. Why not take advantage of the infrastructure they already built?
 

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One difference between Solo Unlimited and chat-r is that Solo's CDMA phones will be locked to the Solo network. Chat-r phones (unlocked) can be used on the Rogers or Fido network while Wind and Mobilicity phones can also be used on Rogers, Fido and chat-r as well as on each other's networks. In the absence of any contracts, the user has a lot of flexibility that Solo users will not enjoy if/when they lay out some cash for a new handset (anyone who has a Rogers or Fido phone lying around can use it without buying a new chat-r handset, just by purchasing a SIM card for $10). It will be interesting to see if Solo offers some other benefit to offset the disadvantage inherent in its technology.
 

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The very fact Bell's new Solo and Rogers' Chat'r have been launched to compete for the low end market (in addition to Chat'r's commercials saying the new guys may drop your call) shows to me that these new services won't be around for the long haul if they're able to crush the new competition regardless of the age of CDMA.
 
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