Bell and Telus are only starting to get their 3G deployments going, but today Rogers has announced that most of their network has been upgraded to 3.5G capability, also referred to by the standard's name, 7.2 HSPA. This upgrade doubles the theoretical top speed of their networks from 3.6 Mbps to 7.2 Mbps. That's faster than most home broadband connections in Canada, though of course, real world speeds vary. Rogers CMO John Boynton subtly gloats that they picked the standard that Bell and Telus are now making expensive upgrades to support, and are now another step ahead:
"As we've seen with recent announcements, wireless service providers across Canada and internationally are trying to catch up by making the switch to the HSPA standard which Rogers embraced more than three years ago because of the unique benefits it provides our customers. And with today's national availability of Canada's fastest mobile network, we'll continue to offer the best wireless services and newest innovations to Canadians from Halifax to Victoria."
Alas, the 3.5G speeds are only available with select newer devices, namely: HTC Touch Diamond, the LG Vu T915, the Novatel MC950D Rocket Stick and the Novatel X950D Express card. Along with all other smartphone users, I collectively sigh, but such is the pace of technology. However, if you've had a desire to unwire your laptop with a 3G card or dongle, you can now do it at speeds comparable to landline broadband (first use of the term?), and get the hardware for free with one year activation. 3.5G is currently available in most major Canadian cities, with the promise of 75% population coverage by the end of December.
Finally: Peace to the late Ted Rogers, I apologize for joking about your health a month ago. Thanks for all the connectivity.