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Rogers Communications Inc. said today it will launch its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in 2011. Rogers will launch commercial LTE network services in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa in 2011 with the top 25 markets across Canada coming online in 2012.

Rogers customers will experience speeds that are between three and four times faster than HSPA+ with peak download rates of up to 150 Megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 70 Mbps.

LTE will deliver lower latency than HSPA+ which means a better experience for customers using highly interactive applications like multi-player gaming and rich multi-media communications. It will deliver more usage capacity which means more users can access the network at top speeds without affecting overall network performance.

Rogers will initially launch LTE using AWS spectrum and will over time deploy LTE in multiple bands to ensure the best possible experience for customers. Rogers has selected Ericsson as its supplier in commercial deployment.
 

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Nice to see the incumbents finally making use of that AWS spectrum. Also nice to see the Canadian carriers keeping pace with their American counterparts. Hopefully they'll be able to keep their networks cross-compatible.
 

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LTE and 4G are supposed to use VoIP, instead of the traditional digital cell phone systems. So, since they're now providing VoIP, will they extend it to 3G smart phones? Android 2.3 already support SIP VoIP and soft phones are available for earlier Android versions as well as iPhone. Also, do they now have IPv6? It's pretty much required for LTE & 4G and I've noticed Rogers making some noise about IPv6 lately.
 

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VOIP over LTE is done at a level that the end user won't see. To the average user it will seem no different than using an HSPA phone. You will still be billed by the minute, because consumers prefer that.

Initial devices will only be data sticks, but the first Rogers LTE phones might actually use HSPA and/or GSM for voice. The HTC Thunderbolt on Verizon, for example, uses LTE for data but CDMA for voice.
 

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I wonder if they can really deliver those speeds that they mentioned or is LTE really more hype than anything else.
 

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Much like other wireless technology (such as Wi-Fi) the speeds Rogers is advertising are theoretical maximums - not actual speeds you will get. That said, based on Verizon's LTE network, speeds will be noticeably faster than HSPA+
 

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Theoretical speeds is the euphemism Rogers et al uses to BS consumers.

Typical HSPA+ throughputs are typically about one-fifth what Rogers advertises so, while LTE will be a significant step up, I doubt LTE will be anywhere near what it advertises.
 

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VOIP over LTE is done at a level that the end user won't see. To the average user it will seem no different than using an HSPA phone. You will still be billed by the minute, because consumers prefer that.
In yesterday's newspaper, there's a Rogers ad for "Wi-Fi calling" that's aimed at business users. It offers unlimited calling and doesn't use the wireless phone minutes.

I assume it uses VoIP, but it doesn't mention how it connects to the Rogers network. Also, it's for BlackBerry only. If this does use VoIP, then it's not much of a problem to tie a smart phone to the cell network

Incidentally, I have set up VoIP PBXs for businesses. With those, it's a simple matter to set up a "ring group" to have calls go to mulitple phones. It makes no distinction between WiFi phones and ethernet.

Since Rogers has a VoIP home phone service, from a technical perspective, adding smart phones is a trivial matter. Whether or not they wish to offer such a service and how much they'd want to overcharge for it is another matter. With such a service, you could have your home phone, smart phone and traditional GSM phone all work on the same number.
 

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jamesk ,the wifi calling is simply a rebranding of rogers talkspot which has been out for years. it uses YOUR OWN wifi, to divert voice and data traffic over your own wifi tunneled back to the core network, bypassing the gsm/3g towers. thats all its doing, its not voip, it does not compete with voip, and its been around for years this technology, its not new. it also is not just for blackberry, i have a motorola and a nokia that work with this service. it uses your minutes or not depending on what plan you choose, please make sure not to confuse this.
 

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^^^^
Actually, according to what I've read on several sources, it's any WiFi that you have access to, including coffee shops etc. Given that it works over WiFi, it has to be some protocol that works over IP. Whether it's SIP or proprietary is another matter. It uses UMA to make the connection. Since it's using IP, you can be anywhere that can be reached via the Internet. Also, this article on GAN contains this:

The original Release 6 GAN specification supported a 2G (A/Gb) connection from the GANC into the mobile core network (MSC/GSN). Today all commercial GAN dual-mode handset deployments are based on a 2G connection and all GAN enabled devices are dual-mode 2G/Wi-Fi. The specification, though, defined support for multimode handset operation. Therefore, 3G/2G/Wi-Fi handsets are supported in the standard. The first 3G/UMA devices were announced in the second half of 2008.
However, without more details, it's hard to determine what Rogers is prepared to offer. It's certainly doable from a technical perspective.


Update: Further searching turned up this white paper from Rogers, which includes:

To understand how Wi-Fi calling works, think of it as creating an IP extension of the carrier’s wireless network. Essentially, the Internet becomes a transport medium for voice calls. When a dual mode handset encounters a Wi-Fi access point that it recognizes, it establishes an IP connection with the access point. The handset then establishes a session with the UMA Network Controller (UNC), which serves as the gateway between the Internet and the wireless network.
 

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I've seen an ad for it in he Metro newspaper a few days ago. It definitely is exciting to see LTE in Canada this soon.

I just hope the monthly fee and data cap (which will be inevitable) will be reasonable; maybe even competitive to landline internet access (at least on the data side). if they'll keep having plans of 500MB on their LTE network, it simply wont work. No point in having ~50mbps speeds if you can reach your cap in 5 mins, at least thats what I think :p
 

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Questions:

So correct me if I'm wrong but at this point its meaningless right because there are no devices right?

If I'm right, would anyone know if they were on LTE or not?
 

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ahh didn't see that the data sticks were available now.

But pragmatically, its safe to say that for anyone who does have the new data stick today, this is a non-event?

Is there a surcharge for LTE data sticks? (not the stick itself but the data plan?)
 

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According to the Rogers site there are specific LTE plans. Not sure if those are the rates for new customers only or if an existing data stick user that migrates will get those rates.
 

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So correct me if I'm wrong but at this point its meaningless right because there are no devices right?
At the moment, they're offering a Rocket Stick for LTE. My Nexus One has an indicator that shows when 3G is available, so perhaps there will be something similar for LTE/4G capable phones.
 
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