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Canadian cellular firms face new competition from Freedom Mobile’s LTE networks

Canada has lagged behind the U.S. a little when it comes to competition between its cellular companies. A company called Wind Mobile was supposed to bring that competition when it launched in 2009, but that never really happened. If you wanted a large LTE network, you pretty much had to stick with either Bell, Rogers, or Telus. That could be changing now that Wind Mobile, which has since been renamed Freedom Mobile, is finally launching its first LTE networks.

The first networks will launch in Toronto and Vancouver on November 27. There will initially only be two compatible phones — the LG V20 and the ZTE Grand X4. Sorry, iPhone and Pixel users, your flagship device won’t be supported.

While central Toronto and Vancouver will be the only two areas to support the new network at launch, greater Toronto and Vancouver will get the new network in spring 2017. LTE roaming in both Canada and the U.S. will also be ready at some point early next year. Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa will all get the new LTE network by summer 2017, and the rest of Freedom’s 3G areas, such as Ontario, will get the new network by the time fall 2017 rolls around.

All this is great for customers, but it won’t necessarily immediately put Freedom back in the game — the company will still face heavy competition from Canada’s three major networks, all of which have a much wider range of compatible phones to their name. As new flagship devices get released, they’re likely to support Freedom’s frequencies, but until then Freedom is at a pretty serious disadvantage. Once Freedom is done with its rollout and a few more compatible phones are released, we could certainly have another competitor in Canada on our hands.

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