When we reported that Bell's LTE network would be deploying "soon," the company happily obliged by launching it less than two weeks later. Beginning today, the Canadian carrier will have its next-gen services available to a limited number of markets, including Toronto, Waterloo, Hamilton, Guelph and Mississauga. The deployment will spread over the course of the next year, though no specific plans were mentioned aside from the obvious expansion to urban areas first, followed by rural and remote coverage as determined by the outcome of the country's upcoming 700MHz spectrum auction. Sadly, the only device available at launch -- contrary to our original report -- will be the Sierra Wireless U313 Turbo Stick, available online today for $80, though "smartphones and tablets" should be expected to arrive later this year. Head to the presser for more details.

[Thanks, gjac0m]
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Bell to launch 4G LTE network in Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph tomorrow

Bell first to offer next generation LTE data speeds to country's largest wireless market and leading Canadian innovation centres

MONTREAL, Sept., 13, 2011 2011 -- Bell Mobility today announced the launch of its next generation 4G LTE wireless network service in areas of Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph tomorrow. This state-of the-art network will offer the fastest mobile Internet speeds available to some of Canada's most populous urban areas, including the Waterloo region innovation hub and the country's largest wireless market in the Toronto area.

"LTE is the next step in ensuring Bell continues to deliver the best networks in the world to Canadian consumers and businesses, backed up by the newest data devices and the leading mobile services and content available. LTE will deliver amazing data access speeds - at least three times faster than the Bell HSPA+ network originally launched less than three years ago," said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility.

With super-fast Internet and data access speeds for both business users and consumers, 4G LTE from Bell offers HD quality online TV and video; wireless video conferencing and chat with quality previously available only on wireline or high-speed Wi-Fi connections; unprecedented mobile download times for apps, large attachments, presentations and apps (with VPN compatibility for secure file access); and mobile gaming on a whole new level, with stand-out graphics and video quality.

Bell's 4G LTE roll-out will bring coverage to additional Canadian markets this year and through 2012. Bell is focused on an urban rollout first, with the timing of broader rural and remote coverage deployments contingent on the outcome of Industry Canada's 700 MHz spectrum auction.

Bringing next generation 4G LTE first to Canada's top wireless markets and technology innovation centres also underscores Bell's commitment to the continued growth of the country's national wireless ecosystem.

"We partner with mobile technology start-ups, developer communities and established innovators across Waterloo and the GTA - they're a big part of the more than $800 million in R&D spending that Bell invests in Canada each year," said Stephen Howe, Bell's Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO). "We're happy to help accelerate innovation with the fastest wireless network technology commercially available."

Customers can buy next generation Bell LTE/HSPA+ Turbo Sticks now, which allow users to connect their laptops to the 4G LTE network, and will be able to purchase LTE/HSPA+-capable smartphones and tablets later this year.

LTE offers fastest mobile Internet access
LTE (short for the 4th Generation "Long Term Evolution" mobile standard) offers data speeds as fast as 75 megabits per second (Mbps) and typical speeds ranging between 12 and 25 Mbps. As the standard and products evolve, speeds are expected to increase to as fast as 150 Mbps.

Bell's 4G LTE network is also the first and only Canadian 4G network to switch to the next fastest speed available when outside LTE areas, either Bell's Dual Carrier HSPA+ providing peak speeds up to 42 Mbps (typical between 7 and 14 Mbps) or HSPA+ offering speeds up to 21 Mbps (typical between 3.5 and 8 Mbps). Bell introduced Dual Carrier HSPA+ to North America and now offers the high-speed service to approximately 70% of the Canadian population. Bell offers total HSPA+ coverage to more than 96% of Canadians.

Bell network innovation and investment
Developed in partnership with leading network infrastructure suppliers Cisco, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks, Bell's 4G LTE network provides a world-class wireless platform that will stimulate innovation and foster strong economic growth in Canada's mobile hubs and centres of wireless excellence.

Bell is committed to investing in Canada's network infrastructure, driving more new capital investment - $3 billion per year - than any other communications company in the country. Bell's total Research & Development investments increased in 2010 (the latest period for which figures are available), surpassing $800 million.

Bell has rolled out internationally renowned wireless networks, supporting the rapid growth of smartphone usage and mobile Internet, Mobile TV and other data services, and new fibre network services such as Bell Fibe TV and Fibe Internet. Bell is also launching a new Fibre to the Home network across the Québec City region - Canada's largest urban FTTH build - and to new condominium buildings, apartments and housing developments across Québec and Ontario.

LTE products and pricing
The 4G LTE Sierra Wireless U313 Turbo Stick is available in select Bell stores tomorrow, September 14; 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 on September 15. In coming weeks, Bell will add the 4G LTE Novatel Wireless U679 Turbo Stick. 4G LTE flex-rate data plans start at $45 a month for 1.5 gigabytes (GB) which automatically adjusts based on data usage. For more details, please visit Bell.ca/LTE.

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Bell begins rolling out LTE network today to trial markets