Ice Wireless and Iristel partner with Huawei for 3G deployment in North West Canada
Canadian operators Ice Wireless and Iristel have entered into a multi-million dollar contract with Huawei Canada to provide UMTS 3G services to rural and remote communities in the Northwest of the country by the end of 2013.
The multi-year contract will cover the Northwest Territories, Yukon Territories and Nunavut and is designed to improve connectivity for residents, which have the lowest availability and highest costs for telecoms services in the country.
The combined Ice Wireless and Iristel network expansion will improve 3G and wireless broadband services to 60,659 people across the three territories. The plans include an expansion of telecommunications services in small and challenging areas of the country, including the 594 person community of Aklavik, which lacks road access.
"We are excited to be part of the government's mission to bridge the digital divide for the Northwest Territories," said Samer Bishay, president and CEO of both Ice Wireless and Iristel.
"Connecting the North with the rest of Canada opens up a world of possibilities. We aim to ensure rural and remote households, businesses and community organisations in the North have access to prices and service that are fast, affordable, and every bit as good as those enjoyed by the rest of Canada, if not better.”
A recent report by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission found that only 66% of the North had access to wireless internet and 48% to 3G services, compared to 99% in the rest of Canada.
The two operators also plan to provide Northern residents with fixed-line services, through Iristel’s VoIP CLEC network, for local and long distance calling.