Strike up the band! Rogers, Canada's preeminent GSM provider -- and only, considering that they own Fido -- has launched its first HSDPA handset: the Samsung A706. While the actual live network is still tiny -- covering only a small portion of one province -- the implications are far larger; the fact that handsets are now on sale may point to growth of said network in the near term. The SYNC-ish A706 rolls out the gate with quad-band GSM / GPRS / EDGE support, dual-band 850 / 1900 HSDPA connectivity, typical lush Samsung screen at 320 x 240 pixels, and a 2 megapixel cam. This marketing focus for this handset will be tying it into Rogers' Vision plans, whereby users can stream TV at a fairly decent 1.8 Mbps. Cost on a 3-year plan is $85 CDN, and if you are quick to get in line, Rogers is throwing in unlimited video calling for the length of the contract.

[Thanks, Treatz and JP]

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Rogers launches its first HSDPA handset, the Samsung A706