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Thread: Bell no longer advertising DC-HSPA+ coverage?

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    Post Bell no longer advertising DC-HSPA+ coverage?

    Bell seems to be aggressively updating their coverage map. So I check up on it once and awhile. Now it seems like they aren't advertising DC-HSPA+ anymore, plus they've updated their HSPA+ coverage (I guess) to be a bit more accurate showing the no signal areas.

    I've been noticing their adding more coverage (HSPA+ / LTE ) slowly along the highway and in towns in Northern Ontario which is pretty good.
    My theory is that they're converting spectrum over from DC-HSPA+ for LTE-A coverage usage instead. I'm probably wrong, but it seems most likely. It seems LTE-A is live on the west coast now too. Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Victoria, Penticton.

    http://network.bell.ca/en/coverage/
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    Last edited by Robellustron; 08-07-2015 at 01:21 AM.

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    I just did a speed test and got about 15mbps on 3G, which is slower than what I've gotten before . LTE in the same areas can hit like 180 Mbps using LTE A.

    So I'd say they're refarming 3G spectrum for LTE quite heavily .

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    Hmm you could be right MysteriousAnon, I used to see DC-HSPA+ and could tell from the map that the cottage was only on HSPA+.

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    I think it's just Bell simplifying things on their website. DC-HSPA+ is still very much active. I think Bell and Telus are using spectrum from their EVDO shut-down for LTE. I doubt they've started re-farming their HSPA+ spectrum but maybe I'm wrong or perhaps only in select locations.

    I ran a speedtest on my Telus iPhone 6 the other day in an area where I didn't have LTE coverage (but had HSPA+) and I was able to pull 24 down/4 up

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    What spectrum would they be refarming? 1900/850? Don't they gave a metric shitton of that?
    People fight too much on this forum. Can't we all just be friends?

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    definitely 1900 if they're refarming HSPA. 850Mhz LTE is band 5 LTE which no one currently has in Canada I believe

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    @Toolcube
    Makes sense, because I noticed in Samsungs service menu I was posting a picture in my friends group chat and I noticed I was using DC-HSPA+. I also noticed before Bellus switched their coverage maps, that DC-HSPA+ coverage expanded significantly. It makes sense they'd be refarming some of their legacy EVDO networks.

    @MysteriousAnon
    I think Telus has some 850 LTE in Vancouver. I remember seeing a forum post either on the Bell or Telus forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by toolcube View Post
    I think it's just Bell simplifying things on their website. DC-HSPA+ is still very much active. I think Bell and Telus are using spectrum from their EVDO shut-down for LTE. I doubt they've started re-farming their HSPA+ spectrum but maybe I'm wrong or perhaps only in select locations.

    I ran a speedtest on my Telus iPhone 6 the other day in an area where I didn't have LTE coverage (but had HSPA+) and I was able to pull 24 down/4 up
    Correct, nothing is changing with DC-HSPA+. They just changed coverage maps but DC-HSPA is here to stay for a while still.

    Quote Originally Posted by savbers View Post
    What spectrum would they be refarming? 1900/850? Don't they gave a metric shitton of that?
    PCS (1900MHz) is the main one being refarmed as they can get 10+10MHz LTE on it in most places (in addition to the other technologies using it).

    For CLR (850MHz), that is mainly being used in the lower mainland and Vancouver Island in BC. that is 5+5MHz as they have another 5+5MHz running HPSA+. I wouldn't be surprised if CLR starts to get used in many rural areas for LTE as it probably would not need a new antennae like MBS (700MHz) would. In any case more and more areas will start to see CLR re-farmed for an additional 5+5MHz coverage and capacity LTE layer over the next 2ish years.

    PCS (mainly 10+10MHz) seems to be the main one being re-farmed for additional capacity currently and will continue to spread, but DC-HSPA will stay on PC as well. BRS (2600MHz) will likely begin to see a much more widespread deployment for capacity in urban areas (especially Telus' areas) starting later this year and next year.

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    Speaking of BRS, I wonder if Bell and Telus could combine each of their 20x20 licenses and implement 40x40 LTE-A in certain locations?


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    Quote Originally Posted by toolcube View Post
    Speaking of BRS, I wonder if Bell and Telus could combine each of their 20x20 licenses and implement 40x40 LTE-A in certain locations?
    No, or at least not at this point in most areas. Currently intra-band CA in Band 7 only works with contiguous spectrum and Bell and Telus only have 20 or 30MHz contiguous spectrum in areas outside the territories due to the location of Bell's pre-auction holdings.

    If they make a deal with other carrier (mainly Rogers) they could have 40+40MHz aggregated, but that isn't very likely. Also, uncertain is if the Bell-Rogers compact preventing Bell from sharing its pre-auction BRS holdings with Telus is still in effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by toolcube View Post
    Speaking of BRS, I wonder if Bell and Telus could combine each of their 20x20 licenses and implement 40x40 LTE-A in certain locations?


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    I think the difficulty in doing this is that the DoC could then view all of the Bell and Telus spectrum as a single entity and thus limit them both on how much spectrum the combined entity would be allowed to hold, or to bid on in future spectrum auctions. This from something I read about Telus buying spectrum in the last auction, and no, I can't provide a link.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears as though in BC and AB, Telus is the primary spectrum and tower provider for Bellus, while in ON eastward it is Bell that is the primary provider for the Bellus network. While Bell has some towers it uses in BC and AB, and Telus has a chunk of towers in ON and eastward, they are not quite the same as full coverage. Don't know how many of those towers are still CDMA.






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    Bell no longer advertising DC-HSPA+ coverage?

    Sheytoon explained it best in another post. The Bellus MOCN arrangement splits the country up in terms of build-out and cell site/tower ownership. One carrier owns and manages all sites in a particular city (e.g. Bell in Toronto), so if another carrier that's part of the MOCN agreement (e.g. Telus) has sites in Toronto (i.e. not their city of "ownership"), then those sites are likely all CDMA/EVDO and not HSPA+/LTE. You're correct with the split-up...Telus owns and manages all sites in BC and AB. Bell owns "most" sites in the East with the exception of certain parts of Ontario and Quebec. I think the Windsor area in Southern Ontario is all Telus but I could be wrong.

    As far as Bell and Telus being viewed as a single entity when combining spectrum, aren't they pooling all of their HSPA+ spectrum and some of their LTE spectrum (e.g. 15MHz band 4)?


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    Quote Originally Posted by ABWagner View Post
    I think the difficulty in doing this is that the DoC could then view all of the Bell and Telus spectrum as a single entity and thus limit them both on how much spectrum the combined entity would be allowed to hold, or to bid on in future spectrum auctions. This from something I read about Telus buying spectrum in the last auction, and no, I can't provide a link.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears as though in BC and AB, Telus is the primary spectrum and tower provider for Bellus, while in ON eastward it is Bell that is the primary provider for the Bellus network. While Bell has some towers it uses in BC and AB, and Telus has a chunk of towers in ON and eastward, they are not quite the same as full coverage. Don't know how many of those towers are still CDMA.

    Quote Originally Posted by toolcube View Post
    Sheytoon explained it best in another post. The Bellus MOCN arrangement splits the country up in terms of build-out and cell site/tower ownership. One carrier owns and manages all sites in a particular city (e.g. Bell in Toronto), so if another carrier that's part of the MOCN agreement (e.g. Telus) has sites in Toronto (i.e. not their city of "ownership"), then those sites are likely all CDMA/EVDO and not HSPA+/LTE. You're correct with the split-up...Telus owns and manages all sites in BC and AB. Bell owns "most" sites in the East with the exception of certain parts of Ontario and Quebec. I think the Windsor area in Southern Ontario is all Telus but I could be wrong.

    As far as Bell and Telus being viewed as a single entity when combining spectrum, aren't they pooling all of their HSPA+ spectrum and some of their LTE spectrum (e.g. 15MHz band 4)?
    As for licenses, each company holds its own licenses, but they are pretty much all subordinated to each other (here is Industry Canada's list of subordinations and other spectrum transactions). This means that they can essentially combine spectrum (from the end-user's perspective) into larger contiguous blocks.

    BC with the exception of the far north is Telus. Bell has some HSPA towers in the lower mainland due to the Olympics and wanting roaming revenue. AB and MB are all Telus. SK is SaskTel. ON is Bell outside of Ottawa. QC varies depending on area. Atlantic provinces and territories are Bell. There are a few PCS CDMA towers left in the major metros from the other carrier, but those are getting decommissioned as the CDMA networks go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robellustron View Post
    seems LTE-A is live on the west coast now too. Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Victoria, Penticton.
    Kind of strange that they have the LTE-A coverage in Penticton before Kelowna which is a much larger metro population (about 125,000 vs. 35,000 for Penticton). It seems kind of pointless though when their LTE is so weak.

    I wish they would either increase their signal strength in Penticton or install another tower. The map would lead you to believe you get good coverage but really I've never seen the LTE any higher than 3 bars. At the south end of Penticton where I live, the signal gets worse and by the time I'm in my apartment it's down to 1 bar and often no signal. The problem is the closest towers are in the middle of the city or way across on the other side of the lake so I live kind of in the middle of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabohn View Post
    Kind of strange that they have the LTE-A coverage in Penticton before Kelowna which is a much larger metro population (about 125,000 vs. 35,000 for Penticton). It seems kind of pointless though when their LTE is so weak.

    I wish they would either increase their signal strength in Penticton or install another tower. The map would lead you to believe you get good coverage but really I've never seen the LTE any higher than 3 bars. At the south end of Penticton where I live, the signal gets worse and by the time I'm in my apartment it's down to 1 bar and often no signal. The problem is the closest towers are in the middle of the city or way across on the other side of the lake so I live kind of in the middle of them.
    Maybe they wanted it to be live for PeachFest? PCS LTE went live in Kelowna just before Center of Gravity, so CA is coming very soon to Kelowna if it isn't live already. I only have a Cat 4 phones, so can't test it.

    As for coverage, bars say hardly anything about a signal as it is all arbitrary. The quality of reception also varies by phone as well with Motorola, Blackberry and Nokia having some of the best, followed by Sony. Apple is mediocre to poor.
    You mention going to no coverage, but you should fall back to 850MHz HSPA+ or Band 17 LTE.

    Assuming you are on the on the north side on Skaha Lake somewhere between 97 and Lakeside, your two closest towers would be at the airport and at Skaha and main. I'm in Kelowna and equidistant from 3 towers, roughly the same distance away from your two (if my assumed area is correct) and get 1-3 bars LTE depending on the part of the building I'm in and which band I am connected to on HSPA+ it is 4-5.

    If service is that bad for you, you could always switch to Rogers, which would have a tower closer to you, but then again they only have 2 towers in Penticton vs Telus's 6

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