"That numbered network is the Telus GSM test network in Vancouver", @ilya83

"That numbered network is the Telus GSM test network in Vancouver", @ilya83

A few pics have popped up, showing iPhones in Canada finding a Telus network, when opening “Network Selection”, in Settings. Currently Rogers (and it’s subsidiary, Fido) is the only GSM network in Canada, so a little competition might do us some good. With Rogers’ stranglehold on the iPhone, here in Canada, we are stuck with whatever voice and data plans Rogers decides to make up. If we had another network in Canada that could support the iPhone, we could see prices on iPhone plans go way down.

Now, before you start getting all excited, you should know that we are probably years away from Telus carrying an iPhone. For one thing, Rogers and Fido have exclusivity in Canada for the device. Another issue is that, the Telus GSM network is just in an alpha (maybe beta) stage, and won’t officially launch until 2010, at the earliest. Will we’ll see the 4th generation iPhone on Telus? That’ll be up to Apple, really.

I should also mention, if you have a unlocked iPhone on Rogers, (or any unlocked device on Rogers), you would, in theory, be able to buy a Telus SIM card, and whatever plan they might offer, pop it in your unlocked iPhone, and away you go. Just like we all had to do on Rogers, with the original iPhone.

There is a very strong “con” to switching to Telus, though. Their customer service is one of the worst in Canada. They do not have a call center in Canada, and if you can get through, you are treated like now more than a few words on a computer screen. This is one of the main reasons Shaw Cablesystems has snatched up so many of Telus’s home phone customers, with their “Shaw Digital Phone”. Telus is also well know for their “3 year contracts”. They do this for their internet, and Telus Mobility. I’m sure we can expect the same, if they ever have an iPhone plan.

All that being saud, the competion should drive Rogers’ prices way down. We’ll just have to wait and see what Apple decides to do, if Telus does go to them, to get the iPhone on their network.

I should also mention that I stole these pics from Gary (iPhoneinCanada.ca)’s Twitter feed. Thanks Gary (@iphoneincanada).

Telus GSM?