Bell Mobility just announced that they’ve begun the first 42 Mbps network upgrade in North America, and will have a Novatel internet stick for sale to take advantage of the speeds starting Novembver 23. Telus is getting the same upgrade since them and Bell are two peas in a pod. The rollout starts in Toronto, and will likely hit other major metropolitan centres across Canada in due time. The big downer with the announcement is that to use the 42 Mbps HSPA+ network, you’ll have to pay another $10/month. I guess they have to pay for those network upgrades somehow, right?
T-Mobile is rumoured to have a similar upgrade planned for next year, and a few regions elsewhere in the world have actively moved in the same direction. Right now, mobile broadband seems to be the most immediate application for these network upgrades, considering even now we’ve got, what, one phone that can even handle 14.4 Mbps?
As impressive as these upgrades are going to be for Bell, I’ll start getting my verbal violence on if they try to pull the same crap as Sprint and T-Mobile do by calling it 4G. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome that we’re squeezing so much out of 3G technology, but if these upgrades are labeled 4G, then when LTE rolls around, they’ll have to call it 5G, and once LTE gets a few performance improvements, the marketers will try to call it 6G, and so on and so forth.
Anyway, we’ll keep an eye out for any proper handsets that make use of this snazzy new tech.