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Discussion Starter #1
With the launch of Telus & Bell's new HSPA network, there seems to be quite a few questions on whether a particular phone will work or not.

In order for your unlocked phone to work on Telus & Bell's new network, the phone must have the following frequency support:

UMTS/HSPA 850MHz and/or 1900MHz

Ideally your phone should support both frequencies to get the best coverage.

Bell & Telus do not have the GSM/EDGE network to fall back on like Rogers/Fido do, and they do not support HSPA on the 2100MHz frequency. That means if you cannot get an HSPA (3G) signal, you will have no service on these phones.

Hope this clears up any confusion.

(To the mods: Perhaps this might be a good topic to put a Sticky on - at least until the confusion dies down)
 

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Does that mean it is not advisable to use an unlocked Rogers/Fido phone on Bell network, as I would imagine their HSPA coverage area cannot be as extensive as Roger's GSM + HSPA coverage?
 

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Theoretically, the Bell/Telus HSPA+ network has as much or more coverage as Rogers, but not necessarily in all the same places. Most of Sask/Manitoba and some Northern Ontario areas are no coverage, along with lower speed data in areas around Ottawa. However, the new network does appear to be in need of some tuning.
 

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Rogers HSPA+ reaches something like 28% of Canadians, around 80% with regular HSPA, wheras the Bell/Telus new HSPA+ network reaches 83%, with another 10% being covered with regular HSPA.
 

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Rogers HSPA+ reaches something like 28% of Canadians, around 80% with regular HSPA, wheras the Bell/Telus new HSPA+ network reaches 83%, with another 10% being covered with regular HSPA.
But Rogers still has GSM for places not covered by HSPA/HSPA+, no?
 

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Does that mean it is not advisable to use an unlocked Rogers/Fido phone on Bell network, as I would imagine their HSPA coverage area cannot be as extensive as Roger's GSM + HSPA coverage?
Bell and Telus have a larger CDMA network than rogers' GSM network, and the vast majority of Bell and Telus' networks are covered by HSPA+. There will be some people (like me) that will frequent areas that do not have HSPA coverage and will stick with CDMA, while the majority of Bell and Telus' customers can switch to HSPA and will never have coverage issues.

Bottom line is that Bell and Telus' HSPA coverage can easily be considered as good as rogers' GSM + HSPA coverage, some areas will be better and some worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Snagged this image from another forum (with permission). Clarifies what I indicated before, though in a much easier to understand format. (thanks jpaik for the suggestion).



As long as the phone you are looking for has a frequency listed in green and is unlocked, you're good to go
 

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Overall, Bell/Telus' HSPA network has far more coverage than Rogers 3G, but they did neglect Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northern Ontario.

In Newfoundland, it's excellent. Virtually the entire island (at least areas where people actually live) are covered with HSPA+ whereas Rogers only has HSPA in St. John's and EDGE around the St John's metro area and in Clarenville. Belus is much better around the Maritimes in general.
 

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Thanks for the network information

I am looking a replacement for my HTC Touch Pro, and was hoping for the HD2.

So far Telus doesn't have it and there aren't a lot of options for an unlocked HD2's, Telstra (Australia) appearently has it on the 850MHz frequency but without 1900 MHz support...

So I wait...:(
 

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Unlocked, but what about the PIN on a BB

Using the TELUS website, I have confirmed that a Blackberry Bold 9000 WILL work on the new network, (ebay seller sent me the IMIE # to check) but if it's previously used, but unlocked, so new 3G sim can be installed, can it still be set to work with BIS?
What's this I hear about the PIN being associated with the original carrier?

Should I be looking for a NEW never used, unlocked BB 9000 or 9700 then?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I can't see an issue, as long as the original seller has had their provider release the PIN (should generally happen when the phone is deactivated). Otherwise, what would be the point of getting a used BlackBerry unlocked in the first place?

Although, there is one caveat - if the phone is reported stolen, some carriers will block the PIN (even ones like Bell who usually don't do IMEI blocking). If that happens, there really isn't much you can do.
 

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I'm currently with Telus with a basic CDMA phone and was shopping the internet for a cheap 3G that has wiifi so I don't have to enter into a more expensive contract. The telus rep told me that I have to get a phone that is 3g+ compatible and that 3g alone without the + will not work. Anybody able to offer some insight?:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The big issue is that Telus & Bell have been saying that they've had a "3G" network for quite some time (with their CDMA handsets that use EV-DO Rev. A for data connections). Now that they are using HSPA on the new network, it is leading to some confusion if they just label it "3G" as it really is.

Bottom line though: If the phone supports HSPA/UMTS/WCDMA frequencies of 850MHz and 1900MHz you are good to go. Of course, a Telus rep would want you to buy the phone from them as that's where they make a commission (handsets and long-term contract renewals).
 

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And make sure it is UNLOCKED.
I picked up a gently used ROGERS Blackberry Bold 9000 (Telus only sells the Bold II 9700) but the specs are as BGY11 quoted above, so after an inexpensive eBay unlock code, slipped in the TELUS SIM card from the Nokia E71 I had purchased for HSPA and after a quick authorization call to get the data plan for Blackberry, working like a charm.

Just because they use a SIM card for the 3G+ HSPA network, doesn't mean that all GSM phones will work.

BUT is seems like the HSPA phones will work on a GSM network.

So you can roam globally onto GSM depending on agreements, but GSM subs coming to Canada will likely roam onto Rogers Network.

Some T-Mobile phones are on different bands and some from other countries as well.

Think of HSPA as a SUPERSET of GSM.

Also if you are planning on a lot of DATA and Hi Speed is on the wish list, double check the phones data speeds.

The network itself is rated to around 21 or 22 MBs, but many of the current phones top at at 3 to 7.

Maybe the very latest will reach top network speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well put Moose57! Unlocked is a must. All HSPA phones will fall back on GSM/EDGE if required, provided the carrier offers support for it (which Bell & Telus don't).

On a random note, it looks like Bell has a roaming agreement with AT&T in the States for HSPA devices. Sadly my Omnia II did not like AT&T at all (several call drops/garbled calls even in an area with supposedly good signal).
 

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Thanks for the info. So just to be crystal clear...the phone must have all of the following: HSPA/UMTS/WCDMA frequencies of 850MHz and 1900MHz? and is wiifi a reasonable thing to find with these phones?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Not all the HSPA phones have Wi-Fi, but a good number of the smartphones do have it.

As for frequency support, having both frequencies is preferred. If it only supports one or the other frequency, coverage will be limited. There is no specific map to show which towers are using 850MHz and which ones are using 1900MHz.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That phone will not work on Telus or Bell since neither provider has GSM service - they use HSPA, which that phone does not support.

It should work on Rogers though if the phone is unlocked, since Rogers does have a GSM network using some of the supported frequencies.
 
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