Bell Canada today has launched its initial wave of 5G services in the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Montreal.

Access to Bell Canada’s 5G network will be initially free for all Bell mobility customers until March 31, 2021. The cost will be $10 a month for any post-paid Bell mobile plan subscribers after the free trial.

In Bell Canada’s press release, Clair Gilles, president of Bell Mobility, said its 5G coverage is “six times greater than the next largest network”.

On its services page. Bell stated that users can expect up to 1.5Gbps download speeds in Toronto over its 5G service at launch.

In order to access the network, the user needs to have a 5G-ready phone like the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G or the LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen.

With its 5G network now active, Bell has become the second carrier in Canada to feature a 5G mobile service after Rogers. Telus is the only carrier out of the Big-Three telcos without a 5G service.

Bell recently sold 25 datacentres in what analysts suggested was a move to build cash for the 3,500MHz 5G spectrum auction, which has been pushed back from the end of the year to June 21, 2021. It also announced that be working with Nokia and Ericsson to build its 5G network.

In parallel to its 5G launch, Bell announced a $2.7 million partnership with Western University to equip the campus with 5G infrastructure and to develop more 5G innovations.

The launch came just after a month after Bell said that the timing isn’t right to activate its 5G service. On May 7, Bell chief executive officer Mirko Bibic said in an investor relations call reasoned that 5G service and that it didn’t align with consumers’ interests at the moment.

“We are ready with our initial 5G network, but frankly we don’t think that it’s the right time right now to officially launch it for marketing purposes. I just don’t think that customers are paying attention to this right now and that’s not what is top of mind for our customer base. They have other priorities, understandably,” reported RCR Wireless News.

IT World Canada has reached out to Bell for comments.

 

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