Ice Wireless and Iristel concluded successful trials recently for a new satellite-based telephone and Internet network to be launched in Canada’s North. The new network was first demonstrated in Iqaluit to members of the Northern Communications and Information Systems Working Group at a Canadian Department of National Defence meeting to discuss challenges with northern infrastructure.
The trials were conducted using SES AMC-9, a 24 transponder C-band satellite whose footprint comfortably covers Nunavut and which is also capable of covering other rural and remote communities in Canada’s North.
“This is the first time anyone has field tested an SES satellite in Canada’s North,” says Samer Bishay, president of Ice Wireless and Iristel. “What we experienced in Iqaluit was absolutely amazing. Our call quality for our fixed line and mobile phone tests was crystal clear, and we demonstrated broadband Internet speeds of 100Mbits/s on a 2.4 meter dish, which is just as good, if not better, than any other satellite covering the North today. We are thrilled with the results.”
Space and earth segment connectivity will be managed by Juch-Tech, a Hamilton-based earth station whose experience in providing reliable and cost-effective Internet solutions to Africa has convinced the company that Northern Canada has fallen behind many of the world’s poorest regions in terms of telecommunications service.
“Juch-Tech has already established satellite connectivity across Africa, so we thought to ourselves, why aren’t we doing this in our own backyard,” adds Walt Juchniewicz, president of Juch-Tech. “Communication is a fundamental necessity in all our daily lives, and Canada’s North has fallen behind the rest of the world. Arctic communities, government departments, Canada’s military, emergency response agencies, schools, hospitals and residents all deserve to have better telephone and Internet access.”
The successful telephone and Internet trials utilized a broad range of technology and related partnerships, including NovelSat modulation technology, XipLink acceleration performance enhancement technology, and Atop HD video streaming and formatting for GSM/IP-based mobile devices. Onsite support was provided by Coman Arctic, a logistics company based in Iqaluit that has worked with Ice Wireless for the past two years to bring competitive telecommunication services to Nunavut.
In light of the successful telephone trials, Ice Wireless is now moving ahead with its roll out of 3G service to Iqaluit in Summer 2013, which will include download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps. At the same time, Iristel plans to expand its CLEC footprint to offer a range of telephony services including fixed line home telephone and long distance services.