Virgin Mobile has announced it will team up with Bell Mobility, which owns the Virgin Canada brand, to expand its LTE networks in Canada. The network will provide coverage for an estimated 24 million Canadian citizens. In total, this comprises 70 per cent of Canada’s total population.
Whilst Virgin Mobile has yet to give a detailed breakdown over exactly where it will be expanding to, it did provide a small map with rough guides as to where its coverage will stretch. The map reveals coverage will stretch from Halifax in the state of Nova Scotia to the capital of the state of Quebec, Quebec City. There are also a number of brand new markets in Canada coverage will extend to, including in Saskatchewan and Alberta. As of this writing, only certain parts of Alberta will receive coverage from Virgin Mobile.
Bell Mobility will take charge of the rollout as they own the Virgin Canada brand after buying a 50 per cent share worth $142 million in 2009 to make them the sole shareholder.
Whilst no word has been given on when Virgin Mobile will offer coverage to the remaining 30 per cent of Canadians, mobile users are concerned about how some major parts of Canada have been left out. Most notably, nearly all of New Brunswick won’t have any Virgin Mobile coverage.
Furthermore, Virgin customers have no idea about the reliability of the coverage. The expansion declaration merely speculates on where Virgin Canada will expand its coverage to. It makes no guarantees as to the reliability of this coverage or the speed at which users will be able to transmit data.
For many users, the only option will be to stick with other North American carriers, such as AT&T for now.