Rogers Communications has announced that it will begin offering a 2600MHz-enabled Long Term Evolution (LTE) smartphone, a version of the LG Optimus G, from November 2012, which it says will be Canada’s first 2600MHz-capable LTE handset. John Boynton, Rogers’ chief marketing officer, declared that ‘by offering Canadians the first 2600MHz-enabled LTE smartphone, the LG Optimus G, we are allowing faster connections to download large files on the go, give sport fans every second of the game on their smartphone or let commuters maximise their travel time.’ However, the cellco did not initially clarify whether or not it will be offering 2600MHz LTE network capabilities alongside its existing 2100MHz 4G coverage, or whether the handset announcement was a pre-emptive move to pave the way for future multi-band services. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that Rogers holds legacy wireless broadband spectrum in the 2.5GHz-2.6GHz, 2.3GHz and 3.5GHz frequency ranges accumulated via its now-defunct ‘Inukshuk’ WiMAX joint venture with Bell Canada; the JV was dissolved in December 2011 with Rogers and Bell splitting spectrum equally, and Rogers switched off its fixed/nomadic WiMAX service in March 2012. The exact quantity of 2.5GHz-2.6GHz spectrum Rogers is entitled to will be decided via a licence auction to be held by H1 2014, or within a year of the 700MHz concession sale expected in H1 2013, GlobalComms adds.
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