IT managers and network admins who have given Apple’s iPhone the green light in enterprise environments will get an increased choice of providers if, as a published report states, the popular devices will become available through Bell and Telus next month.
The Globe and Mail on Monday reported Canada’s two largest incumbents would offer iPhones over their next-generation high-speed network, although Apple, Bell and Telus refused to comment. The deal would end Rogers Communications’ exclusive carrier relationship for the iPhone in this country, which has been in place for more than a year.
EDITOR’S NOTE: On Tuesday morning Bell and Telus issued press releases confirming that they will sell iPhones on their new HSPA Plus-based network. No details on pricing and plans were released.
Offering iPhones would be a signifcant way to show off the benefits of the HSPA network overlay Bell and Telus will be putting on their networks to compete with Rogers, which uses the GSM wireless standard rather than CDMA. The iPhone is a GSM device.
News of the rumoured deal and network upgrade came as a surprise to Apple iPhone watchers such as 9to5Mac.com.
“You hear that AT&T? The Canadians will be riding a 21Mbs network next month! We’re fumbling along on 3.6Mbs – if we are very lucky,” wrote blogger Seth Weintraub. “That’s two generations we’re behind.Vancouver (home of the 2010 Olympics which will also showcase the carriers’ 3G network) is looking pretty nice right about now.”
While ostensibly a consumer product, application vendors of every variety are trying to create offerings that will appear to enterprise IT departments. Netsuite, for instance, recently offered its flagship enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software for the iPhone, and the most recent iPhone 3.0 update included features such as support for LDAP directory services.
Other Canadian service providers, have been trying to cash in on iPhone-related business opportunities. In June, Cogeco Data Services launched a new One Zone plan that gives users of Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPod unlimited WiFi Internet access for $5.00 per month.