Ericsson To Build EastLink’s World Class Wireless Network

by Gaurav Kheterpal on August 18, 2011

EastLink’s wireless plans are finally taking shape.  Though the company is best known for its cable, Internet and phone services, things might change in 2012 when EastLink launches its ‘world class wireless network’. Ericsson yesterday announced that it has been chosen as the exclusive provider for EastLink’s core and radio access networks, using HSPA+ and next generation technologies.

EastLink first revealed its wireless plans last month, and the company is confident to start offering wireless services in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island next spring.

EastLink already has the wireless spectrum for New Brunswick, Newfoundland, northern and southwestern Ontario and Grande Prairie, Alta that it purchased in a federal auction in 2008. The company has more than 1,500 employees across multiple sectors including communications, entertainment, television and advertising services to residential, business and public sector customers in Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia. The company hasn’t announced any hiring plans for its upcoming wireless network as yet.

On the other hand, Ericsson is a well-known name in LTE circles in Canada. The Swedish company developed Rogers’ LTE network which went live in Ottawa last month.  Ericsson has a strong presence in Canada since 1953 and employs more than 3,000 people across the nation. Last year, the company invested more than 350 million dollars in Canada. Ericsson claims that 85 percent of all mobile calls in Canada are served by its wireless infrastructure.

As part of the four-year deal with EastLink, Ericsson will deploy its multi-standard radio base station; RBS 6000, circuit switched and packet networks including Evolved Packet Core and Operation Support Systems (OSS), as well as, provide professional services. The Ericsson RBS 6000 is a multi-standard radio base station which supports GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA and LTE.

“We strive to provide our customers with the best communications and entertainment experience possible,” said Matthew MacLellan, President, EastLink Wireless. “With this network evolution, our customers will be able to work and communicate more reliably and faster than ever before.”

Despite being a late mover in wireless space, EastLink can carve out a niche for itself it chooses to go the LTE route. Though the company has declined to reveal more details on its network, it says the network ‘is designed to meet customer demand for high-speed data transmission to and from hand-held devices’. The company plans to be the first “quad-play” vendor in Atlantic Canada.

EastLink’s wireless network will put it in direct competition in the region with Canada’s Big 3 wireless providers: Rogers, Bell and Telus. With all due respect to the Big Three, new players such as Wind Mobile have fought tooth and nail and made their presence felt. Whether EastLink manages to make an impact in the wireless segment remains to be seen.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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