Rogers recently held a conference call ahead of its earnings call and you knew your pals at BGR would have all the goods for you. The most interesting topic covered? LTE! That’s right Verizon, your buddies north of the border aren’t just going to sit back and relax while you go all 4G on us. Here are some key points regarding LTE from the Rogers call:
- Rogers’ LTE network is currently ahead of its development schedule
- Recent tests have yielded 50 Mbps download speeds without any sort of optimization (woo!)
- Speeds at launch are expected to reach 70 Mbps
- The initial launch of the Rogers LTE network will take place in Vancouver and the surrounding area, in time for the 2010 Olympics (February 2010)
- The service will launch with a USB stick – Rogers is still talking to vendors – but it has no plans to have any 4G-enabled handsets available at that time
- The Rogers 4G network will expand outside of the Vancouver area during Q2 2010
- Rogers will have 4G phones available by the end of Q2 2010 as it extends its 4G network
- Rogers noted that its 3G launch was a mess but it is taking measures to ensure that 4G goes much smoother
Beyond LTE, Rogers discussed its cable business and the fact that it is currently running near capacity. At the same time, it knows it needs to expand upon its available HD content so Rogers wants to merge its three internet systems – cable internet, 3G and its Portable Internet system. The process will be slow going however as the current 3G system can’t handle the additional load but by Q3 2010 Rogers will have a stable and widely-deployed 4G network that will be more than capable of picking up the slack. As that time Rogers plans to move its cable internet network over to the LTE network in order to free up cable for more HD.
This migration will obviously take a bit of time as it must be staggered to avoid major outages, but Rogers cable customers should at least be happy to know that Rogers is working hard to beef things up and give you a more up to date service offering. Beyond that, Rogers will be dishing out dual-network modems — cable and 4G — and you know you can’t wait to get your hands on one of those puppies. This will allow Rogers to slowly move its internet service from cable to 4G, eventually shifting everything to 4G and using cable as a seamless backup in case of outages.