Since the iPhone expanded into Canada, we have only had one option as a provider. That carrier has been Rogers (note: Fido also carries the iPhone, but they are owned by Rogers) and they have taken advantage of that market position and currently offer one of the worst contracts world wide of all the iPhone carriers.
Last fall, Canada also had a spectrum auction which allowed other companies to purchase access to the various remaining open wireless spectrum. The CRTC opened up the auction with the intention of leveling out the market and providing competition in the mobile space, which has traditionally been non existent in Canada compared to say the European markets. We have yet to see any of those new players really open up and act on their purchases yet. So those of us who wanted an iPhone, but don't really care for Rogers have been out of luck. Well, an announcement today made by Telus and Bell seem to have changed all of that.
In anticipation for the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver the two carriers have spent a year upgrading their spectrum to allow HSPA phones on their network. Previously they have only run CDMA, which the iPhone does not function on. With this upgrade, they can now offer the device as early as next month, and the news is circulating throughout the internet today.
When these two carriers do jump into the iPhone field, this can only mean good things for consumers who have held out in purchasing the device. This also means many more units moved, more developers making apps, etc. I really hope Telus and Bell take advantage of the situation and offer a blockbuster deal. (Hint: Give me the 3GS in a 2 year contract, $60/month with unlimited data and I'll be getting in line). Previously though these carriers have been somewhat disappointing with their offerings, but perhaps the iPhone will be the spark needed for some missing competition.
Just a word of warning to the two carriers. Don't screw this launch up, much like Rogers did. Get lots of product in, set a competitive contract and rate plan against the world carriers, and don't put fine print rules around the usage of data. The iPhone is changing the world and how we use smartphones. The market is glad to have you here, but please don't screw it up.