Manitoba Telecom Services, better known as MTS, will start the process of dismantling and finally shutting down their legacy CDMA network by the end of 2016 in an effort to completely switch over to LTE. They have already started to decommission some individual sites and will continue to do so. CDMA is still around, although most carriers have already transitioned over the more evolved GSM standards – like HSPA or LTE, which requires the use of a SIM card, making it easier to switch devices and for billing purposes. Two of the larger CDMA carriers in North America, Verizon and Sprint, are also trying to move away from CDMA to the new LTE technology and T-Mobile’s MetroPCS already shut down its CDMA network. Bell and TELUS expect to make the complete switch over from CDMA to LTE by the end of 2017, as they have many more cell sites and customers to worry about.
Bell and TELUS transitioned over to HSPA technology in 2009, which greatly reduced the number of available CDMA phones available. This rather pushed MTS into launching a 4G HSPA+ network in 2011, with the eventual goal of totaling replacing its CDMA network in the future. According to their announcement, MTS partner locations will continue to service your existing CDMA device and associated services – repairs, account inquiries, plan changes and more. If your CDMA device does not seem to be fulfilling your needs, they recommend switching over to a HSAP/LTE device where you can take advantage of much faster speeds.
As CDMA is slowly decommissioned, you will start to notice changes in the quality of your services depending where you are located. During June 2015, coverage in the Manitoba area will be affected. The Westwood CDMA site located one block south of Portage Avenue at Westwood Drive is being shut down and customers in this area will notice degradation in all services. Outside of Manitoba, MTS provides its wireless service through roaming partners and those partners that are starting to make changes in their own CDMA Networks could certainly affect the quality of service you receive while traveling. On July 1, 2015 EVDO service across Canada will be shut down completely, which may result in slower data speeds, although this shutdown will not affect calling or text messaging.