Telus Unlocks Phones And Promises Faster Speeds

Telus has come out with a ton of news. First they announced that their customers will have the option to unlock their phones:

The move will allow customers of Vancouver-based Telus to use their phones with replaceable SIM cards on local plans in other countries. This means a person could fly to England with his BlackBerry and buy local minutes or data plans there. This has not been possible with some “locked” phones, which are common in Canada and function only on the carrier’s own network or on its chosen roaming partners outside the country.

So what’s the catch? Here it is:

Unlocking a Telus phone will cost $50 and be available after a minimum of 90 days of service (this condition is likely to make sure that a customer doesn’t get a subsidized phone and then move the phone to a new network without paying off the original subsidy).

Now Rogers and Fido customers have been able to unlock their phones since last year. But this move by Telus will up the stakes and force Bell and other carriers to do the same. We’ll see who’s next in line to unlock their phones.

The other big news is that Telus is upgrading their network to 4G:

Telus says its advanced wireless network is being upgraded in March to allow faster Internet speeds for its mobile laptop users.

Telus said Tuesday users on the upgraded fourth-generation network will need an Internet card to take advantage of the faster speed.

Interesting. I’m guessing that this is a response to Rogers recently announced LTE trials. Does that mean that Rogers will have to move up their timetable to keep up with the competition? We’ll see.

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