Skip to main content

Wind Mobile rebrands Freedom Mobile, launches LTE network in Toronto, Vancouver

It's Freedom Mobile time!
Canada's Wind Mobile has rebranded Freedom Mobile as it looks to move into a new phase of maturity under new owner, Shaw Communications.
The upside is this: while the orange-and-blue branding remains intact, Wind's transition to Freedom Mobile decouples it from the often-controversial global Wind Mobile brand, and allows Shaw to move beyond the "new entrant" moniker into something that resembles a true competitor to the flanker brands of incumbents like Rogers, Telus, and Bell. It was no coincidence that Public Mobile (under Telus), Fido and Virgin have all been offering extremely competitive 4GB plans in recent weeks.
Freedom Mobile's AWS-3 powered LTE network will launch in Toronto and Vancouver on November 27, rolling out the Greater Toronto and Vancouver areas by spring of next year. Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa will receive LTE by next summer, and Freedom's entire network will be awash in high-speed wireless by the fall of 2017.
To start, the company is offering two phones that run on its LTE network, the LG V20 and ZTE Grand X 4, which is coming in the days ahead. A single LTE plan will also be offered, a $40 promotional piece that includes 6GB of LTE data, unlimited calls to Canada and the U.S., unlimited global texting, reduced roaming rates, and voicemail/call display.
Shaw is calling Freedom Mobile's LTE network "traffic-free" because it runs on AWS-3 spectrum, which is completely unused across Canada right now. Indeed, only T-Mobile has rolled it out in parts of the U.S., and sparsely at that. To get a bit technical, Freedom's LTE network is actually a hybrid of AWS-3 and AWS-1 depending on the location: the former in the GTA, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton; the later in Eastern Ontario, which needed to be re-farmed after Videotron purchased all of the AWS-3 spectrum in that area.
The company says that peak speeds will be 180Mbps at 64QAM, which isn't quite as fast as the carrier aggregation-enabled LTE-Advanced speeds we're used to seeing from Bell and Rogers, but it's a considerable jump from Wind Mobile's 3G days. Freedom says that it is still planning to upgrade its 3G networks across Canada to support its one million-plus existing customers. As promised, it says VoLTE and VoWiFi will also be offered at a future date.
Lots of good stuff here, especially for existing Wind Mobile customers looking forward to inexpensive LTE service in Canada. Those traveling from Wind's LTE network to either Home 3G or Away 3G areas will still experience slower service, and the transition may be a bit awkward for a few months, but over time the situation should improve dramatically.
Are you a Rogers, Telus or Bell customer looking to switch over to the new Freedom Mobile? Let us know in the comments!


Popular posts from this blog

Apple will disconnect ‘obsolete’ first-gen Apple TV from iTunes in May

Apple has announced today it will drop iTunes support for some older devices from May 25. This includes the first generation Apple TV, and also any PC running Windows XP or Vista. The company is introducing new security changes which will prevent those devices from using the latest version of iTunes.
Apple says that the original Apple TV is an "obsolete Apple product" and will not be updated to support security changes. Only those with the second generation of Apple TV or later will be able to access the iTunes store.
Windows XP or Vista users won't be able to use the latest version of iTunes, but older Windows computers can still use previous versions without support from Apple. Those who do so, however, won't be able to make new purchases or re-download previous purchases on that computer. If you're on on XP or Vista, you'll need to upgrade to Windows 7 or later to continue using iTunes normally.
The writing was already on the wall for these devices: Wi…

Microsoft Reportedly Replacing With Office 365

Microsoft might be thinking about replacing the technology and user interface of with Office 365 if a new report is to be believed. Apparently the company will be migrating all users to Office 365 at some point later this year. Office 365 brings other services as well which include Outlook Web Access. The question that surely must be on everyone’s mind is that why is Microsoft doing this? According to The Verge the reason behind this migration is to make sure that Microsoft Outlook, Exchange and Office 365 platforms are perfectly aligned. In favor of keeping things consistent Microsoft is going to go ahead and add the consumer to the mix as well. There has been speculation previously about impending major user interface changes for, Microsoft’s general manager of Office Apps Rob Lefferts suspected that much. It’s worth nothing that Microsoft hasn’t updated its consumer email service for quite a few months and it even showed the door to G…

Windows 10: Microsoft retires HomeGroup

Microsoft plans to remove the HomeGroup functionality from its Windows 10 operating system. The company made the first step towards that goal in the most recent Insider Preview version of Windows 10 as it disabled it in that build.
In "a note about HomeGroup" in the release announcement of the Windows 10 Insider Build, Microsoft confirms that HomeGroup will be retired.
The company introduced HomeGroup in Windows 7 as a new option for home users to access printers, files, and media in home networks. The core idea was to assign all devices to a single HomeGroup to share access to files and printers between all devices.
It is unclear how popular the feature was and is. It is clear however that it was never the only option that Windows users had in this regard, and it was not the best either for certain use cases. You could not add Mac OS X or Linux devices to a HomeGroup for instance.
The end of HomeGroup
Easily connecting to and sharing the important pieces of your digi…