Its facilities-based wireless network will increase tenfold to reach 1.2 million Canadians
ST. JOHN'S and INUVIK, NT, April 10, 2019 /CNW/ - Iristel Inc., Canada's fastest-growing telecom provider and owner of the Ice Wireless mobile network in remote areas, has won in auction important blocks of 600 megahertz spectrum in Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and all of Newfoundland and Labrador.
"This is exciting on many levels," says Samer Bishay, President and CEO of both Iristel and Ice Wireless. "First, from a technology standpoint the 600 megahertz spectrum works exceptionally well in remote areas by covering longer distances so we'll be able to enhance services in the Territories. Second, we can now offer the benefits of real competition to consumers and businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador and give them relief from the Big Three wireless oligarchs. This is an important step toward more choices, lower prices and higher quality cell phone services for Newfoundlanders, Labradorians and those in remote areas of Canada's North, including Quebec."
The spectrum win is the latest move by Iristel to invest in rural communities and fight to eliminate the so-called urban-rural "Digital Divide". Last September, Iristel acquired Télécommunications de l'Est (TDE), a digital mobile radio operator covering 1 million square kilometres in eastern Quebec and northern New Brunswick.
"In less than one year, we have increased our reach from a population of roughly 115,000 in the Territories to some 1.2 million Canadians," Mr. Bishay said. "We've either been sneered at or bullied by the wireless oligarchs each time we offer choice to Canadians. As I've said before, talk is cheap; unless it's on Bell, Telus or Rogers phones. This is just one more indication that we are committed to competition and freeing Canadians from some of the world's highest wireless rates."
The Newfoundland launch of the Iristel Wireless LTE service and 5G readiness is planned for St. John's in early 2020. 5G operates over traditional and new cell radio frequency bands that include the low- (such as 600MHz), mid- (around 3.5-3.8GHz), and millimetre-wave (mmWave, such as 28GHz) ranges.
Beyond traditional applications, this 600 MHz spectrum will also be used for enhanced M2M (Machine to Machine) services for industries such as mining, forestry and fishing. "We have a history of deploying the latest, most advanced technologies that enable Canadians to benefit from high-quality services at better prices," Mr. Bishay added.
About Iristel and Ice Wireless
Iristel is Canada's fastest-growing carrier providing innovative communication services that are changing how consumers and businesses communicate. Founded in 1999, Markham-based Iristel operates Canada's largest facilities-based local voice network extending Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast as well as Ice Wireless, a GSM carrier with operations in Canada's Far North.