BCE says to sell iPhone from November

Tue Oct 6, 2009 10:33am EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian telecommunications company BCE Inc has struck a deal with Apple Inc to bring the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS to Canada in November, BCE said on Tuesday.

The deal will end the monopoly that rival Rogers Communications has held on iPhone sales in Canada for more than a year.

Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper on Monday reported that both Bell and Telus Corp would begin selling Apple's iPhone in Canada next month.

Telus has not confirmed the report and a spokesman for the company was not immediately available for comment.

Rogers has been the only Canadian wireless carrier able to offer the iPhone because Rogers' network uses the HSPA and GSM wireless standards on which the smartphone operates.

Telus and BCE used CDMA wireless technology and were unable to offer the iPhone. To better compete against Rogers, the two banded together to install an HSPA network overlay.

Analysts had speculated that BCE and Telus would offer the iPhone once the overlay was complete. That was scheduled to happen in early 2010, but BCE said on Monday that the new upgraded network would be ready in November.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Globe on Monday reported that BCE and Telus would announce "a working partnership with Apple as early as Tuesday or Wednesday" and would start selling the iPhone in time for the launch of their new network next month.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha and Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by John Wallace)

 
<p>Customers try out the new iPhone 3GS on the first day it is being sold at the Apple Store in Zurich June 19, 2009. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann</p>