Bell Mobility has finished what it calls the first phase of its 4G cellular network expansion in Manitoba.

As a result, 70 per cent of the province can access wireless download data speeds of up to 42 Mbps, under ideal conditions, the company said in a news release.

The average download speed will range between 7 and 14 Mbps.

The expansion is based on HSPA+ technology and not the company’s latest, and potentially faster, LTE wireless network.
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Last year incumbent telco Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) launched HSPA+ service on a network built in conjunction with Rogers Communications, while Telus Corp. also started HSPA+ service.

Meanwhile MTS has promised to launch its LTE network sometime this year.

LTE promises download data speeds of up to 100 Mbps, although the first networks around the world using the technology have yet to turn their networks up to that.

Generally, carriers say that LTE devices today can handle download speeds of up to 75 Mbps under ideal conditions, but in the real world customers will see speeds of between 12 and 25 Mbps (or about 10 Mbps faster than HSPA+).

“Bell Mobility is proud to bring our 4G mobile service to Manitobans, who benefit from Bell’s multi-billion investments in broadband network technology, industry-leading R&D spending, and global access to the leading superphones and other mobile devices,” said Bell Mobility president Wade Oosterman.

The company said the next phase of its HSPA+ network build will be completed later this year and extend coverage along Highway 1 from Portage La Prairie west to Brandon.