Telus turning on LTE across Canada on Friday

Telus will launch Canada’s third LTE network on Friday, rolling out the mobile broadband technology in 14 cities from Vancouver to Halifax. It plans to expand the network throughout 2012 to cover 25 million Canadians, 71 percent of the country’s population, by year end.

Huawei’s North American Conquest Continues

Huawei grew its North American sales by 63 percent to $408 million in 2009. The base number is small compared with Huawei’s global contract sales of more than $30 billion, but the Chinese equipment vendor is finding growth in a shrinking industry.

Exclusivity Ending: iPhone Coming to Bell, Telus in Canada

bell_telusFirst it was Orange and Vodafone (s vod) in the UK announcing plans to offer the iPhone, thus ending O2’s exclusive deal with Apple (s aapl), and now another member of the Commonwealth is following suit. In Canada, where Rogers is currently the sole iPhone provider, two of the the other three major carriers, Bell Canada (s bce) and Telus (s tu), have just announced that they, too, will offer the iPhone.

As was the case in the UK, Rogers saw a huge sales surge thanks to the iPhone when it was first introduced in Canada last year when the iPhone 3G was released. Telus and Bell have been playing catch-up ever since, in a market that has traditionally been pretty evenly split. Read More about Exclusivity Ending: iPhone Coming to Bell, Telus in Canada

Zoompass Takes Mobile Payments to the (Canadian) Masses

zoompasslogoHere in the U.S., getting a bunch of mobile carriers together to agree on anything is a bit like herding cats. North of the border, however, Canada’s three carriers — Bell Canada, Rogers and TELUS — have joined forces to create Zoompass, a top-to-bottom, designed-for-mobile, money transfer and payments service that launched today.

The three each hold not only a one-third stake in Zoompass, but a one-third share (PDF) of the Canadian cell market. Given the ubiquity of cell phones in Canada, the carriers are hoping their customers will begin using Zoompass for everyday financial transactions, not just bill-paying but things like giving kids their allowance or collecting money from co-workers to buy the boss a birthday gift. Since for any payments system, critical mass is necessary for truly widespread adoption, Zoompass is ideally positioned for success — and could subsequently look to move into other markets, perhaps even the United States. Read More about Zoompass Takes Mobile Payments to the (Canadian) Masses

Apple Could Partner With Verizon, Rack Up Sales

verizon-logo-470x3101More rumors are making the rounds that Apple (s aapl) will soon be breaking up the sweetheart deal that has held until now with AT&T (s t) and do some seriously flagrant cheating with rival Verizon Wireless (s vz). Sources for the information are cited as “Apple deepthroats” by one outlet, which, while suitably mysterious sounding, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the accuracy of the information. That said, there are plenty of other reasons to suspect that this deal might be very real, not the least of which are the amazing gobs of cash Apple stands to rake in by tapping other providers.

There’s also the corroborating evidence that Apple has been looking specifically for EVDO-CDMA engineers, which is exactly the standard Verizon uses for its wireless network. This upcoming June it will also be exactly two years since the iPhone’s original release, which some said at the product’s launch was the term of the exclusivity deal between Apple and AT&T. Were Apple to announce Verizon availability alongside a new iPhone product launch in June, they would stand to sell a lot more handsets than if they stuck with AT&T, where many customers locked into long-term contracts might be unwilling to upgrade just yet.

If Apple invests in developing a CDMA version of the iPhone, they don’t only stand to gain in the U.S. market, either. International carriers like Bell and Telus in Canada also use the CDMA standard, and would jump at the chance to offer an iPhone since it would allow them to better compete with Rogers (and their subsidiary, Fido), which has seen tremendous gains since adding Apple’s little miracle worker to their lineup. Apple is such a contender in the smartphone arena that the breakdown of exclusivity could even lead to more competition among service providers in terms of data plan pricing, which benefits consumers most of all.

Why BlackBerry Storm Is An iPhone (and G-1) Killer

Having followed activity in the BlackBerry ecosystem over the past few weeks, I have come to the conclusion that BlackBerry Storm should be called BlackBerry Stealth. Why? With little media coverage, its forthcoming launch is the sleeper play in the smartphone market; it is poised to make major market penetration on its launch later this fall.