The third of Canada's big three carriers is finally launching their LTE network. Starting tomorrow, TELUS will be offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and LG Optimus, both with LTE connectivity. Not far behind that is the Samsung Galaxy Note, which is due to drop on February 14 with a $199 pricetag on contract. We had caught a glimpse of the LG Optimus LTE bound for TELUS last week, but now everything is super-duper official.
The TELUS LTE network will cover all of the major centers, and a few of the smaller ones. Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa are the biggies, but Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Hamilton, Belleville, Quebec City, Halifax, and even Yellowknife will have coverage as well. By the end of the year, TELUS aims to douse 25 million Canadians with delicious LTE service. Target speeds will be in the average of 12 - 25 Mbps, and capping out at 75 Mbps.
So what took TELUS so long? Rogers kicked off LTE in Canada in the summer, and Bell followed up in November. It doesn't seem like the competition has much of a head start in coverage, and TELUS actually seems to be nailing a few markets that the other two haven't touched yet. However, Rogers and Bell do have a lead on devices, and in a country where three-year contracts are the norm, getting customers first counts for a lot. During a back-to-school preview event, TELUS had explained that they wanted to do things best before doing things first, which I can certainly appreciate. My time on the Rogers LTE network in Ottawa with the Galaxy Note has been a little spotty; hopefully TELUS can deliver on their talk and provide a bit more stability in 4G performance.
TELUS didn't mention any pricing for the new handsets, but we'll be finding that out soon enough.
Update: Was just told by the PR fairie that the LG Optimus LTE will cost $629.99 outright and $99.99 on a three-year term.