Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT

Ice Wireless-Iristel Plan to Launch 3G Cellular Network in the Northwest Territories

September 18, 2012

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.”

About ICE

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.

About Iristel

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:

Bob Brehl
Media Relations
T: 416-800-0010

About Huawei

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.

(1) http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/PolicyMonitoring/2012/cmr5.htm#t5511


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

Source: PR Newswire