Allows foreign ownership, sets auction rules
The Canadian government has issued several long awaited decisions that will alter that country's telecommunications landscape. It has announced that it will open up greater ownership of Canadian telecom providers by foreign investors. It will also set aside 25 percent of an upcoming auction of prime spectrum for smaller carriers.
LG's Optimus 2X also makes the lineup
Canadian cellular provider Wind Mobile has confirmed that it is set to launch several new smartphones, including Samsung's Galaxy Nexus and RIM's BlackBerry Bold 9790 and the BlackBerry Curve 9360 in white. The announcement marks further expansion of the Nexus into the Canadian market, following on the heels of Rogers, Telus, Bell and Virgin Mobile.
Galaxy Nexus due at Mobilicity on February 6
Canadian provider Mobilicity has revealed over Twitter that it will get the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on February 6. This would be the first provider to bring the handset to an AWS 3G network. Mobilicity doesn't require post-paid contracts.
Globalive said to be attempting to expand reach
Canadian wireless carrier Globalive, which is better known by its subsidiary brand Wind Mobile, is reportedly in talks to acquire competing carrier Mobilicity. An unnamed person familiar with the negotiations told Bloomberg that Globalive is attempting to build its presence in the Canadian market to compete with dominant carriers Bell, Rogers and Telus.
FCC confirms Curve 9380 coming to T-Mobile USA
A new FCC filing has virtually confirmed that the BlackBerry Curve 9380 should reach T-Mobile. After clearing a version with 850MHz and 1,900MHz 3G friendly to AT&T and most Canadian carriers, the agency has greenlit a version with WCDMA band IV, or the 1,700MHz band T-Mobile USA needs for 3G. A needed Safety and Product Information document from the FCC also confirms that there are two models, the REA70UW being the regular GSM version and REB70UW being T-Mobile-friendly.
Nokia Lumia 710 goes through FCC testing
The Nokia Lumia 710 hasn't been officially announced for North America, but a newly discovered FCC listing suggests the company is readying a model for US consumption. The listing reveals support for T-Mobile's 1,700MHz 3G band along with 850MHz and 1900MHz GSM. The FCC documents refer to the handset as the QMNRM-809, which has been used by Nokia in its European paperwork to refer to the Lumia 710.
Google begins Android 2.3.6 rollout for Nexus S
In order to address the issue some users faced with its Voice Search feature, Google has released the Android 2.3.6 update starting with the Nexus S. The frustrating problem would have the feature active itself without any user input, making the devices unusable at times. The news broke on the Google Mobile Help Forum.
Motorola Pro Plus unveiled
Motorola took a second shot at capturing the pro smartphone market away from RIM on Tuesday with the Pro+. Along with a sleeker and more BlackBerry Bold-like shape, it's the first work-level phone from Motorola with Android 2.3. Accordingly, it gets the latest version of the Blur interface and has seen its 3.1-inch display upgraded to a sharper 640x480, twice as dense as the older Droid Pro and XPRT.
Handset pictured with packaging, branding
LG is reportedly ready to ship its Optimus 2X handset through the Canadian wireless carrier Wind Mobile. Leaked images posted on MobileSyrup show the Android 2.2-based device with Wind branding on the startup screen and packaging. Unnamed sources suggest the launch is scheduled for the next few days, however a specific date and pricing information remain unclear.
comScore starts covering Canadian smartphones
comScore on Wednesday revealed some of the first real details of the Canadian smartphone market for the first time. True to expectations, Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM has the largest share in the country with the BlackBerry making up 42 percent of the entire market. The iPhone has a larger share than in the US at 31 percent.
Google Nexus S reaches Canada early
Google's range-topping Nexus S reached Canada for the first time on Thursday as a trio of carriers have picked it up. The Telus version is the definitive model so far and is the first in North America to work on the 850MHz and 1,900MHz bands, beating out AT&T's. It also has one of the lowest superficial prices for the Android 2.3 phone, costing $180 on a three-year plan, but goes up to $550 contract-free.
Telus plans LTE for early 2012
Telus on Wednesday became the next major Canadian carrier to detail its plans for LTE-based 4G. The provider planned to start deploying the network in the second half of this year with an expectation that it would go live in early 2012. The timing would put it just behind Rogers, which hopes to have active service by the end of 2011.
VimpelCom to buy Wind Mobile for $6 billion
Russian cellphone provider VimpelCom on Thursday announced plans to acquire Canadian cell carrier Wind Mobile. The $6 billion deal would likely conclude in the first half of 2011 and result in the fifth-largest provider in the world, with 173 million subscribers. Egypt-based Orascom is owned by VimpelCom and also has a significant share in Wind.
Nokia C7 leaked for T-Mobile, Wind Mobile
The Nokia C7 flagship smartphone has, once again, been spotted thanks to TMoNews in T-Mobile documents, though this time in the electronic inventory. A Frosty Metal version of the handset will be available at T-Mobile. The Symbian^3-powered phone has also received a ship date at Canada's Wind Mobile, the carrier announced on Tuesday.
Telus to get Nexus S in March
Telus continued a string of high-profile device launches on Tuesday by confirming plans to sell the Nexus S. It would be the first Canadian carrier with the Google-blessed Android 2.3 device and should have it available by late March or early April. Prices haven't been given so far.
Canada court says Globalive, Wind can't run as-is
The Federal Court in Canada on Friday rejected a government exemption that allowed Wind Mobile to run. A judge ruled that the Conservative government violated the Telecommunications Act's rules on foreign ownership by allowing Globalive, which owns Wind, to run the cell carrier with more than a 20 percent share stake owned by a foreign company. Globalive has 45 days to either appeal the verdict or reduce its foreign owner's share.
T-Mobile defers to Apple again on iPhone talk
T-Mobile during its morning media event today in New York City made further indirect allusions to possible iPhone plans. Carrier officials when asked about the option in the post-exclusive US environment didn't confirm or deny plans but instead told the media to "ask Apple." The need to adapt to T-Mobile's 1,700MHz 3G band was cited as one obstacle, although T-Mobile made allusions to 3G chipsets having "evolved" to support many more cellular frequencies and thus covering both AT&T and T-Mobile users.
iOS 4.3 beta reveals 3rd iPhone 4 and Verizon iPad
Further discoveries in the iOS 4.3 beta have revealed that Apple's fifth-generation iPhone and second-generation iPad will come in native editions for Verizon along with camera functions. Mirroring the iPhone 3,1 and 3,2 entries that represent the iPhone 4 for GSM and CDMA respectively, device listings now exist for iPhone 4,1 and iPhone 4,2 as well. The appearance suggests Apple plans to synchronize its iPhone launches rather than stagger GSM and CDMA by a wide margin.
Rogers starts shared data and talks PlayBook
Rogers at its TabLifeTO conference this morning unveiled new data sharing plans intended for tablet and modem owners. Those with more than one device on the network can pay for a new data plan or add-on that attaches the extra device to a single pool of bandwidth. Basic pricing starts at $15 extra per device for a bring-your-own option tied to an existing plan, such as an iPad, while those buying from Rogers at the same time can pay $20 extra per month to add on the device while still claiming its hardware discount.
Bill 133 would require phone unlocks on contracts
A proposed new law in Canada could lead carriers and phone manufacturers to have a mandatory unlock in place under certain conditions. Bill 133 in the province of Ontario would require that carriers unlock a phone for free if users either pays full price for the device or their contract expires. Carriers would at the same time have to let customers end a contract in 30 days and could only make changes mid-contract with permission.
Nokia to ship E7 on December 10 in select markets
Smartphone maker Nokia on Monday announced using Twitter that its E7 smartphone will ship on December 10 in some, unspecified markets. A quick glance on Nokia's USA site doesn't have any details related to this news, so the phone is likely to arrive in Europe first. Like the flagship candybar N8, the device uses Symbian^3 and an aluminum shell but adds a tilting display and a hardware QWERTY keyboard.
BlackBerry Bold 9780 gets early video comparison
A newly posted preview of the yet to be announced BlackBerry Bold 9780 has suggested the phone may be much better in practice than the Torch. Quick tests by BGR support beliefs that it may be using a more recent if still 624MHz Marvell ARM chip and that the doubled, 512MB of RAM may go great lengths to improving its speed, even versus a software-upgraded Bold 9700. The 9780 boots in less than half the time of the 9700 and at least superficially isn't affected by the slowdowns that plague the Torch.
Nokia E7 becomes first Symbian3 business phone
Nokia capped off its Nokia World news with its first Eseries pro phone to use Symbian^3. The E7 takes the aluminum shell of the N8 but adds a sliding, tilting display that reveals a QWERTY keyboard underneath. Its trick design preserves the N8's four-inch, 640x360 AMOLED, now with the outdoor-friendly ClearBlack panel of the C6 and C7, without adding significant bulk.
Videotron mobile launches with iPhone hints
Quebec's regional carrier Videotron today launched its cellphone network with a hint that Apple was developing a version of the iPhone that would work for its own network, Wind Mobile and for T-Mobile USA. An executive VP with the carrier hinted that Apple was developing a version for the 1,700MHz AWS band that all three carriers share. Subscribers could "expect an announcement in the coming months," he said.
Zone-based plans offered for various cities
Chatr Wireless has announced its foray into the Canadian market with unlimited talk or text service and no term contracts. The provider is offering zone-based plans in major cities, a similar strategy to that of Canadian carrier Wind Mobile.
Moto Milestone, Hero at Telus get paid apps
Without any noticeable fanfare, Telus today became the second Canadian carrier to get paid apps in the Android Market. Commercial apps had previously been limited to Rogers but can now be bought on devices like the HTC Hero or Motorola Milestone in all categories. Apps are sold in the currency values of the developer's home country and, without paid Canadian apps, are usually in US dollars.
Google Nexus One gets official 850MHz 3G
Google today officially updated the Nexus One to support the 850MHz 3G band. The new version puts the range-topping Android device on AT&T's 3G for the first time and also supports use on Bell, Rogers and Telus in Canada. Appropriately, Google now says it's shipping the Nexus One to Canada for the first time and is also selling the original model with 1,700MHz 3G, which should support Wind Mobile.
Also lacks ports of rival machines
The first-generation iPad has a variety of gaps in its hardware and software, observers note. Aside from lacking enterprise features, the tablet is also incompatible with T-Mobile, the only other GSM-based carrier in the US after AT&T. The iPad supports 850, 1,900 and 2,100MHz 3G bands, which while compatible with many worldwide networks excludes T-Mobile's 1,700MHz band. For the same reason, the device does not support Canada's Wind Mobile.
Docs leak shows Google still on usual model.
An alleged slip of documents tonight hints that Google's Nexus One will still cling to a traditional phone model and could actually be more expensive than its rivals in the long run. While it would remain true that Google would sell the phone itself for $530 unsubsidized, Gizmodo sees through a website prototype that the search pioneer would still sell the high-end Android phone for $180 on a two-year contract with T-Mobile, much like any other high-end smartphone. Those who cancel service before three months of service are up would have to pay the full $350 difference if they intend to keep the phone.
Rogers, Fido users get tethering reprieve
Rogers sent word this afternoon that it would extend a promo offering free tethering on its data plans. Previously set to expire at the end of the year, the deal will now last through at least May 3rd of next year. The offer continues to apply to any Rogers or Fido smartphone data plan with at least 1GB of bandwidth, including the iPhone, Android devices and any other phone that allows sharing its 3G connection with a computer.
WIND starts with Bold 9700 and low prices
Canadian provider WIND Mobile formally launched today and became the fourth major cell carrier in the country. The company pitches itself as the antithesis of typical cellphone carriers and promises none of the hidden costs of incumbents like Bell or Rogers, such as activation or service access fees. It also makes a point of offering phones and devices without contracts; while device prices are higher, it lets customers switch providers without an early termination fee.