Toronto Star - Bell's new network too fast for many phones

(14-Sep-11) Bell Mobility Inc. has launched a super-fast wireless network in southern Ontario, but users will have to wait until smartphones are available that can take full advantage of the leading edge infrastructure.

At this point, modem sticks are the only means to connect laptop computers with the fourth generation Bell network that is based on the long-term evolution standard. Wade Oosterman, president of Bell Mobility, said tablets and “superphones” will be available on the network in addition to the sticks before the end of the year.

Even then, analysts expect a limited selection of largely Android devices, pointing out that limited battery life has limited development of LTE-capable handsets. They also note that costs of the data plan Bell is offering via its modem sticks can add up dramatically.

The LTE Sierra Wireless U313 Turbo Stick sticks are available for online purchase for $79.95 on a three-year term ($219.95 with no term contract); and in Bell stores across LTE service areas, which include Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph. Oosterman called the cities key centres of the “wireless ecosystem.”

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