Ice Wireless has partnered with Huawei to deliver 4G LTE services to the town of Inuvik in the Northwest Territories.
Services will be functional by the end of June 2019. It’s worth noting that Huawei’s infrastructure has been serving communities in the north including Grise Fiord, one of Canada’s northernmost settlements
“With all the talk about 5G in the news right now, it’s easy to forget that huge swathes of North America are still praying for decent 3G or 4G service. What Canada needs to remain competitive is reliable high-speed internet provided to regions outside of cities. That is life-changing technology entirely unrelated to 5G, and something people who live in cities often take for granted,” Chris Pereira, director of public affairs at Huawei Canada, said to MobileSyrup.
The partnership with Ice Wireless to install network infrastructure to provide 4G services comes at the same time that Canada is reviewing whether or not Huawei should provide equipment in the rollout of 5G.
No decision has been made, Huawei’s chairman Liang Huawei said whether or not Huawei is banned, it will continue to work with partners on their network infrastructure deployments. Liang was referring to the current partnerships Huawei has, specifically with Bell and Telus, to deploy 3G and 4G LTE networks.
Samer Bishay, CEO of Ice Wireless, said that Canadians will be able to benefit from a high-quality service at better prices.
“Our collaborative launch with Huawei to offer 4G LTE in Inuvik will be the stepping stone to increased accessibility, faster speeds, lower prices and higher quality cell phone services in our rural and remote communities and we’re excited for what it will bring to the north,” he said.
Pereira also noted that Huawei’s equipment has been tested to survive rigid and cold weather.
“In the far north, base station equipment has to operate in frigid arctic winters, gets covered in thick heavy ice, and sometimes has to operate without access to a power grid,” he said. “There are not many companies able to provide such solutions in the far north, and even fewer that are willing to provide them. Huawei recognizes how important connection is to people’s lives, and we are proud to be changing lives for the better by bringing connectivity to remote parts of Canada.”
Huawei also partnered with ABC Communications, a small B.C.-based telecom provider. The Chinese telecom giant is calling the service ‘Massive MIMO’ for rural broadband and its goal is to boost internet speeds in Lac La Hache.