Ice Wireless-Iristel Plan to Launch 3G Cellular Network in the Northwest Territories
Working with Huawei Canada to deploy UMTS technology
SHANGHAI, CHINA, Sept. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Ice Wireless and Iristel today announced a partnership with Huawei Canada to enter into a multi-year, multi-million contract to provide 3G cellular services to rural and remote communities in the Northwest Territories, Yukon Territories and Nunavut. The agreement was signed at Huawei's Wireless Research & Development facility in Shanghai, China, and was witnessed by NWT Premier Bob McLeod - currently in China for the Council of the Federation Trade Mission.
"Providing all people of the Northwest Territories with better telecommunications infrastructure is a priority for this government," said Premier McLeod. "Better access to advanced cellular services and broadband Internet will enhance our competitiveness, create higher value-added jobs and make new business models possible."
Presently, residents of the three territories of Northern Canada have the lowest availability and highest costs for telecommunications services in the country. According to a recent report by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, only 66 per cent of the North has access to wireless Internet and just 48 per cent has access to 3G cellular services - compared to 99 per cent access in the rest of the country. 1
The network upgrade and expansion by Ice Wireless-Iristel, powered by state-of-the-art Huawei networking equipment, will improve 3G and wireless broadband services to 60,659 people across the three territories, and provide access to services that were previously unavailable to local residents. The plan includes expanding telecommunications services to some of the smallest and most challenging areas in the country, including the remote community of Aklavik, a community with a population of 594, and without road access.
Ice Wireless-Iristel will also provide Northern residents with fixed line services, including home telephone through Iristel's Canada-wide VoIP CLEC network, enabling local and long distance calling at competitive rates.
"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 organizations 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."
Ice Wireless-Iristel has partnered with Huawei Canada to deploy the UMTS network by the end of 2013. "We are very pleased to be working with Ice Wireless-Iristel" says Huawei Canada President, Sean Yang. "The North continues to be one of Canada's most exciting regions for development and opportunity. We look forward to working with Ice Wireless-Iristel to provide residents and business customers of Canada's North with the world's most advanced wireless broadband technology."
Established in 2005, Ice Wireless ("ICE") is a telephone and internet company that provides service to rural and remote communities in northern Canada. ICE provides a full range of affordable and leading edge voice, video and data services, including GSM cellular, to Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River, Aklavik, Behchoko and Whitehorse. In terms of population, the Ice Wireless network covers 70% of the Northwest Territories and 78% of the Yukon. ICE cellular customers can use their phones across Canada through a roaming agreement with Rogers Wireless and Fido. For more information please visit www.icewireless.ca.
Established in 1999, Iristel Inc. ("Iristel") was granted a carrier license by the Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC) in 2000 and is one of Canada's largest VoIP service providers with a coast-to-coast network. Iristel offers a complete portfolio of IP services in Canada, including hosted IP PBX, virtual faxing, virtual roaming, and global IP trunking products and services. For more information please visit www.iristel.ca
For more information:
Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Huawei has operated in Canada since 2008, employing over 440 people in Canada. Through our dedication to customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, we have established end-to-end advantages in telecom networks, devices and cloud computing. We are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers by providing competitive solutions and services. Our products and solutions have been deployed in over 140 countries, serving more than one third of the world's population.
Image with caption: "Sean Yang, President of Huawei Canada, presents Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod with a traditional Chinese silkscreen as part of a ceremony recognizing a deal between Huawei and Ice Wireless/Iristel to bring 3G wireless services to Northern Canada, while Huawei Sales Director Sudhan Roy looks on. (CNW Group/Huawei)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120918_C7320_PHOTO_EN_18006.jpg