Rogers Rolling Out HSPA+ In Canada…. That’s 21Mbps! That Means Nothing To Canada!

It seems that Rogers is getting really aggressive lately. After announcing netbooks with embedded 3G wireless, and giving their Internet users 50 Mbps speeds, Rogers has announced that they will become the first telco in North America to roll out HSPA+ which will give users speeds of up to 21Mbps anywhere they can get a cell signal:

Starting in August, Rogers will progressively increase wireless network download speeds up to 21 Mbps in the Greater Toronto Area, and expand quickly over the coming months to other cities across the country. Rogers Wireless customers – who today already experience the fastest wireless data speeds in Canada – will experience peak wireless download speeds that are as fast as any available in the world. Rogers is the first wireless provider in North America and only the sixth carrier in the world to launch HSPA+ at peak speeds of 21 Mbps, putting Canada on top of the world in technology and innovation and once again, bringing leading-edge technologies to Canadian consumers first.

While this is cool for Canadians and a pretty big coup for Rogers, there is one thing that stops me from jumping up and down. Canada has some of the highest cellular phone rates in the world. So it really doesn’t matter how fast my cellular data connection goes if I can’t afford it. How high are Canadian cell phone rates? Here’s an example of what the rest of the world pays. While on a business trip to Germany last year, I sat beside a guy on a high speed train from Aachen to Frankfurt Airport who had a laptop with embedded 3G (7.2Mbps which is faster than my DSL connection at home). We got to talking and I asked how much he was paying for that connection. He was paying 35 Euros a month for unlimited cellular data access to the Internet. That’s about $50 USD for an UNLIMITED connection. I can’t think of many telcos in Canada who have unlimited plans that are that reasonable (if they have them at all). Oh yeah, his connection was live even when the train went into tunnels at 250 + Km/h. As an aside, my Blackberry was working in said tunnels as well, which is not the case in Canada. So it shows how evolved the cellular infrastructure is in Europe as well as the fact that their rates are far more reasonable.

Perhaps this will be solved when Globalive jumps into the fray? One can only hope. But until then, enjoy those high speeds…. If you can.

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