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Vidéotron launches mobile service in Canada, lots of smartphones in tow; iPhone in the cards?

Chris Ziegler

Canada's Quebecor has launched mobile service through its Vidéotron brand today, adding another start-up to an increasingly confusing array of new players challenging the country's legacy wireless giants, Rogers, Bell, and Telus. Like Mobilicity, Public Mobile, and WIND Mobile, Vidéotron uses AWS spectrum to offer 3G service, and the selection of devices at launch is surprisingly decent: you've got access to the Nexus One, Motorola XT720, Garmin A50, and BlackBerry Bold 9700, alongside a bunch of lower-end offerings and a data card. Though the carrier's network is restricted to Quebec, roaming deals are in place that should allow them to offer service "almost 95 percent of the country."

Perhaps the juiciest thing to come out of the launch today, though, happened during the Q&A session of the launch press conference, where one of the company's executive vice presidents apparently noted that Apple is in the process of manufacturing an AWS-compliant iPhone and that we should "expect an announcement in the coming months" regarding Vidéotron's launch. That certainly lends credence to recent rumors that T-Mobile USA is preparing to offer the iPhone -- like Vidéotron, it uses AWS 3G -- but just as with the perpetual Verizon rumors, we're going to hold off on calling this one gold until we see the units on a store shelf.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

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