The other week, Bell announced that they were first to deploy their newly bought 700Mhz spectrum in Upper Hamilton. Steve Punter
, HC - No "i"
and myself drove to Hamilton to check it out
and indeed, Bell had 700Mhz running though it was only on a handful of towers and not every single tower.
We learned a few things. First off, Bell only owns a 6Mhz paired channel (effectively 5Mhz) of spectrum in that market which they can use to deploy LTE. What this means is that the maximum speed on that band is 37.5Mbps. Just to compare, Bell uses a 10Mhz channel on AWS (Band 4) which is capable of speeds of up to 75Mbps while they use a juicy 20Mhz channel on 2600Mhz (Band 7) which can go up to 150Mbs. So, their 700Mhz is never going to be as fast as the rest of their spectrum.
Secondly, since 700Mhz was only running on a fraction of Bell’s towers, their deployment is probably more so that Bell can say that they were first to do it or “Yes we have it”.
Not long after Bell’s announcement, Rogers announced
that they also deployed 700Mhz and in bigger markets; Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. Rogers also reminded us that they own 2x the amount of 700Mhz spectrum that the competition has. Does that mean it’s twice as fast?