Bell Canada starts deploying 3800 MHz spectrum in Toronto

Bell is also using spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band to provide 5G

Canadian telco Bell announced the deployment of 3.8 GHz spectrum in select areas of Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo, the telco said in a release.

The company noted that the acquisition of spectrum in the 3.8 GHz band in 2023 is allowing it to add high-capacity airwaves critical to the advancement of 5G.

In addition to deploying 3.8 GHz spectrum, Bell and Samsung said they are performing testing to demonstrate the optimal use of this spectrum. Right now, the pair has utilized five Component Carrier aggregation (5CCA) on a Samsung Galaxy S24 series device. The 5CCA technology allows the device to access 3.8 GHz spectrum, together with Bell’s other available 5G spectrum.

During the field test, download speeds of over 2 Gbps were achieved, which Bell confirms are the fastest mobile speeds recorded to date in Canada in the field.

“Our commitment to innovation reaches new heights today as we begin deploying [3.8 GHz ] spectrum, which will offer customers access to the country’s fastest mobile technology yet. It’s a significant milestone in the evolution of next-generation communications in Canada, and we are extremely proud to lead the way, delivering the latest technology and best experience to our customers. Moreover, we’re thrilled to be working with Samsung as we look to further accelerate 5G and unleash future advancements,” said Stephen Howe, chief technology and information officer at Bell.

In December, Canada shared the results of its mid-band 3.8 GHz spectrum auction, in which Telus Communications walked away with the most licenses, having secured 1,430 licenses for nearly $620 million. Next in line was Bell Canada, which was awarded 939 licenses for $518 million, followed by Rogers Communications Inc., which invested $475 million for 40.5 MHz of 3.8 GHz spectrum, spanning 860 licenses, and Quebecor’s Videotron, which secured for 305 licenses for roughly $300 million.

Bell also offers 5G services via spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band. Bell began deploying 3.5 GHz wireless spectrum in the summer of 2022, introducing its “5G+” service to areas across Ontario, Atlantic Canada and Western Canada. Bell now offers 5G+ coverage to nearly 51% of the Canadian population.

Bell first announced the launch of its commercial 5G service in the country in June 2020. The carrier’s 5G service was initially available in Montréal, the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

In 2020, Bell Canada selected Ericsson 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) technology to support its nationwide 5G mobile and fixed wireless access deployment. The carrier started the construction of its 5G network in 2021, using equipment from Finnish vendor Nokia.

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