Ice Wireless moves Iqaluit’s mobile phone service into 21st century

Canada’s fastest-growing, most-isolated capital finally gets access to smartphones like the rest of the country with today’s launch of the Ice Wireless high-speed network in Nunavut’s capital

IQALUIT, NU, November 22, 2013 – Ice Wireless, a regional mobile network operator in Canada’s North, today announced the launch of high-speed wireless service supporting smartphones and tablets in the Nunavut capital where customers have been underserved with spotty, overpriced cellular coverage for years.

“The former monopoly phone company has ignored Iqaluit for far too long with wireless technology dating back to the 1990s,” says Samer Bishay, President and CEO of Ice Wireless. “We’re proud to bring 21st century wireless phones to a community that deserves more than being treated as an afterthought.”

Adds Cameron Zubko, Chief Operating Officer, “customers want a better mobile experience — faster speeds, better plans, and a selection of all the latest smartphones and we’re delivering that beginning today.”

With two towers already in Iqaluit, the Ice Wireless network is 3G HSPA+ with capability to reach 4G as the telecommunications infrastructure linking the community to the South increases bandwidth. The network provides a number of new benefits to customers immediately, including:

• Faster speeds. 3G technology is capable of delivering speeds up to 21 megabits per second. Using the coolest smartphones and tablets, customers can surf the Internet with ease, download the latest applications and games, and check email faster than ever.

• Advanced technology. The Ice Wireless network is the most advanced 3G network in Northern Canada. It is integrated with corporate partner Iristel’s international carrier grade VoIP network to introduce a multitude of new features for mobile devices, such as High Definition Voice with crystal clear quality and Presence Management, which enables users to hop a call from landline to mobile without having to drop the call.

• Free calling to/from South. With the Alternate Numbers feature, Ice Wireless can assign an 867 Iqaluit number a second number in an area code in the South, such as 613, 514 or 604. This means customers can connect with loved ones via voice or text in the South without either party incurring extra charges.

“Arctic communities, government departments, Canada’s military, emergency response agencies, schools, hospitals and residents all deserve to have better telephone and Internet access,” Mr. Bishay says. “And with Ice Wireless and Iristel’s business and home phone service, we’re connecting Iqaluit like never before to the rest of the world.”

The Ice Wireless network has been designed and built using Huawei core HSPA+/ UMTS equipment. Huawei is a leader in telecommunications around the world and has become an industry standard in Canada. An estimated 75 per cent of Canada’s cellular operators use Huawei equipment to power their core networks.

Ice Wireless will connect customers to the rest of the world via the SES AMC-9, a 24 transponder C-band satellite whose footprint comfortably covers Nunavut. Space and earth segment connectivity will be managed by Juch-Tech, a Hamilton-based earth station with extensive experience in underdeveloped parts of the world like Africa.

The Ice Wireless 3G Network

Ice Wireless is committed to bringing 3G mobile service to those who need it most, the people of Canada’s North. On the heels of similar announcements this month in Whitehorse and Yellowknife, this launch in Iqaluit is part of this year’s $12.4 million investment plan to expand and enhance telecommunications services in 9 cities and towns across the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Ice Wireless’ innovation and investment has resulted in the most advanced 3G HSPA+ network in Northern Canada today.

About Ice Wireless

Ice Wireless is a facilities-based regional mobile network operator (MNO) delivering 3G HSPA+/UMTS technology to rural and remote areas of Canada. Ice Wireless was launched in Inuvik, Northwest Territories in 2005. Ice Wireless operates on the 850/1900 MHz spectrum under license from Industry Canada.

Today, Ice Wireless has operations across Northern Canada. The Ice Wireless network covers 70 per cent of the population of the Yukon and Northwest Territories and also provides service to Iqaluit, Nunavut. Ice Wireless is the exclusive roaming partner of Rogers Wireless and Fido in Northern Canada.

Ice Wireless is in a strategic partnership with Iristel, one of Canada’s largest VoIP service providers, a registered CLEC that has begun operations in Northern Canada under the CRTC decision to open the serving area to local competition. Ice Wireless’ integration with Iristel’s international carrier grade VOIP network has created a unique and dynamic system in which mobile phones and VoIP phones are all integrated in an owned and self-controlled network.

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Media Relations Contact:
Bob Brehl
Media Relations
T: +1-416-800-0010

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