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BCE and TELUS Extend LTE-M Coverage With AT&T Collaboration

Zacks Equity Research

Leading Canadian carriers BCE Inc. BCE and TELUS Corporation TU have extended their LTE-M coverage in the United States with a strategic tie-up with AT&T T. The reciprocal agreement also enables AT&T subscribers to enjoy their LTE-M network while roaming in Canada.

LTE-M or Long-Term Evolution, category M1 is the technology that supports low-power IoT applications with enhanced coverage, longer battery life and lower operating costs. It helps IoT devices to connect directly to a 4G network without a gateway, and is compatible with 5G deployments. These networks operate within licensed spectrum with carrier-grade security and support firmware and software updates. In addition, these allow low-power devices such as smart wearables, trackers and industrial sensors to operate across continents.

While Bell was the first Canadian carrier to launch LTE-M network in early 2018, TELUS initiated the service in October 2018. Bell’s LTE-M networks support a wide array of large-scale IoT innovations, such as asset tracking, fleet management, smart sensors, smart city applications and municipal water system management. On the other hand, TELUS’ LTE-M network is built on licensed cellular standards-based technology, which offers high quality of service, greater reliability and carrier-grade security.

By collaborating with a premier global carrier to activate LTE-M roaming facilities, both Bell and TELUS have unlocked newer business opportunities for its users for accelerated growth in the IoT space. The Canadian carriers also expect to benefit immensely from the increased 5G deployment of AT&T.

In order to have a seamless transition among Wi-Fi, LTE and 5G services, AT&T intends to deploy a standards-based nationwide mobile 5G network in early 2020. Its 5G service entails utilization of millimeter wave spectrum for deployment in dense pockets while in suburban and rural areas, it intends to deploy 5G on mid- and low-band spectrum holdings. It believes that as the 5G ecosystem evolves, customers can experience significant enhancements in coverage, speeds and devices. The telco giant has already introduced mobile 5G networks in parts of 12 U.S. cities and is planning to add seven more to the tally in 2019.

AT&T, TELUS and BCE each carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the same space is Cincinnati Bell Inc CBB, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.    

Cincinnati Bell has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 2%.

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