Staying connected is something many in the Western world take for granted. Sure, you might lose reception in a tunnel or on the subway, but the service is always pretty good.
The same is not true for those in the remote regions of Canada’s North. That’s why Ice Wireless has announced plans to bring better wireless communications to the tip of the Arctic to better serve all Canadians.
Ice Wireless is telecommunications company that offers cellular and data services to those in Canada’s territories: Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories. They are working with Parallel Wireless, a U.S. based telecommunications company, to hasten the deployment of an improved LTE network.
The partnership works like so: Parallel sells network solutions to Ice, allowing them to build out 4G networks at a fraction of the typical costs. The main product Ice will be working with is an all IP virtual radio access network (vRAN); vRANs allow phones and smart devices to connect to a wider network. Parallel allows easier access to vRAN technology as well as the ability to buy smaller cell towers than one would need in say, a big city.
“We are committed to providing our customers—regardless of location–with the best possible communications experience so they can continue to thrive,” says Samer Bishay, president and CEO of Ice Wireless. “The tricky thing with bringing the internet to the next billion is that solutions need to be very cost-effective and easy to deploy.”
Essentially, Parallel allows Ice to build and distribute network capabilities a lot easier and cheaper. Combine this with a much quicker install time for the networks (two weeks vs. two months on average) as well as the ability to build in protections that prevent entire cell networks from being destroyed by a storm, and Ice has a perfect solution to bring and keep connectivity within the Arctic.
Installing the services in Nunavut will present its own unique set of challenges. The territory’s 25 communities aren’t connected by roads or railways, making transportation by air, snowmobile or boat the only ways to get around.
In the middle of last year, the UN declared internet access a human right. Ice is doing their best to make sure every human within Canada, from Yellowknife to Iqaluit, has that right.