Update February 1, 2017: Telus has pushed back their CDMA network shutdown date to May 31, 2017.
The long-anticipated time has finally come. Major carriers Telus and Bell are decommissioning their CDMA services starting tomorrow. Telus announced a complete shutdown by January 31, 2017. Bell will be gradually phasing out their services over the next couple of years.
Expected Bell shutdown dates:
- British Columbia, Alberta, and the Gaspé region of Quebec on January 31st.
- Saskatchewan on June 30, 2017.
- Ontario, the rest of Quebec, Atlantic Canada and Fort Nelson, BC by April, 2018.
What is CDMA?
CDMA is an older, slower wireless network and is being replaced by faster, more advanced and reliable networks. All CDMA voice, text, and data services - including 911 - will be affected, and will no longer work after tomorrow.
Who will be affected?
Customers who want uninterrupted service will need to upgrade to HSPA or LTE capable devices. Most Canadian devices are already on some form of the new networks, so you are probably safe unless you are using a very old device. If you are not sure if your phone is CDMA, there are several ways to check. Two of the easiest ways are:
- Check for a SIM card. If one is not needed, the device is probably a CDMA.
- Check the top corner of the screen. CDMA will display either 1X or 1XEV next to the wireless network coverage bars.
How can I prepare?
Both carriers have websites to help affected customers with the transition. You can view Telus' help site here, Bell's here, and Virgin Mobile customers can also find help here.