Telus to build 4G LTE network from late 2011

TORONTO (Reuters) – Telus Corp will begin building a next-generation wireless network in major Canadian cities in the second half of the year, the telecom company said on Wednesday.

Its mobile broadband network will use long term evolution (LTE) technology, a popular choice for carriers worldwide as they upgrade existing 3G data networks to accommodate booming demand for data from consumers using smartphones and tablet computers such as Apple’s iPad.

Western Canada-focused Telus teamed up with Montreal-based BCE Inc, which operates under the Bell Canada brand, to deploy a shared national 3G HSPA+ wireless network in 2009.

Telus did not make clear if it would build its own LTE infrastructure across the country or would team up with Bell again.

Telus said the LTE network, which offers faster Internet speeds, will use advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum bought in a 2008 government auction.

The company said deployment to rural parts of Canada will depend on whether it can buy lower frequency airwaves set to be auctioned in 2012.

In the 2008 auction, new entrants were allowed to bid for airwaves set aside so as to encourage competition.

Telus, Bell and Rogers Communications control around 95 percent of the wireless market in Canada.

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; editing by Rob Wilson)

Telus to build 4G LTE network from late 2011