According to Bell, its roaming partner networks cover more than 90% of the U.S. national population with 5G service
Bell Canada has taken the opportunity of being labeled Canada’s fastest 5G mobile network in Ookla’s latest network benchmarking report to stake its claim on being the first Canadian carrier to offer 5G roaming in the United States, as well as the expansion of its own 5G network expansion to 28 additional Canadian communities.
The carrier’s 5G services are now available in parts of Manitoba, including Beausejour, Hanover, Ritchot and Rockwood; parts of Québec, including Québec City, Bécancour, Grand-Saint-Esprit and Saguenay; and in Ajax and Frontenac in Ontario.
“Bell 5G delivers unmatched mobile access speeds and capacity, and our accelerated capital investment plan is bringing the country’s top-ranked 5G network to more Canadians every day,” said Claire Gillies, president of Bell Mobility. “We’re thrilled to announce Bell 5G service for 28 additional communities in Manitoba, Ontario and Québec […] while also unveiling the first 5G roaming service for Canadians travelling in the United States.”
The press release points to the easing of Covid-19 border restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, stating that Canadians want to “bring the speed and power of mobile 5G with them.” According to recent press reports, Canada expects to re-open its border with the U.S. to allow U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated to travel in Canada as of August 9. Meanwhile, however, the Biden administration has extended its restrictions on “non-essential” travel for both the Canada and Mexico borders through August 21, as the Delta variant causes a rise in Covid-19 cases across the U.S.
According to Bell, its roaming partner networks cover more than 90% of the U.S. national population with 5G service.
The carrier also recently secured its second hyperscaler partnership, this time with Google Cloud, in which it will host some of its 5G network services on Google Cloud, beginning with its IT infrastructure, network functions and on-premises applications.
Both this partnership, and a previous one with AWS, are part of the operator’s larger multi-cloud vision, a vision that Jeremy Wubs, SVP of product marketing at Bell Canada referenced in a June interview with SDxCentral. He told the publication that the AWS deal is “the first of many 5G MEC announcements,” and that there are plans to combine its networks with a “catalog of the best destinations, whether that’s AWS, whether that’s Google, or Microsoft.”
Bell has demonstrated an aggressive approach to its 5G rollout, announcing a $1.7 billion investment over the next two years to accelerate the rollout of 5G, fiber and rural networks. The financial commitment is in addition to the roughly $4 billion it typically invests annually in network expansion and enhancement. The carrier expects to reach 70% of the Canadian population with 5G service by the end of 2021.