It’s a headline I never thought I’d read – Telus considers dumping is ‘Betamax’ of wireless networks. Apparently executives are taking a look at how feasible it is to move from the current CDMA standard to the more widely used GSM. As a Telus Mobility subscriber this is exciting news! I’m not holding my breath though.
The idea "has been presented at the board level and is being actively considered," said one source familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified. The source cautioned that there were no guarantees Telus will go ahead with a changeover, which analysts say could cost about $500 million.
The Rogers network is the only GSM one in Canada at the moment, with both Telus and Bell operating on CDMA. There are significant advantages to being on GSM – most new phones are launched for it first (such as the RAZR and iPhone) and Telus could get a cut of the roaming fees that Rogers collects.
Seems to me that if they were going to do this, they should have done it years ago. The article points out that "4G" networks are on the way, though no one knows how many years it will be until a standard is adopted. It would suck if Telus switched to GSM, only to have to build out a 4G network soon thereafter.
UPDATE (10/6/2009): The new HSPA+ network built by Telus and Bell will be live in November, when both carriers will start selling the iPhone.