Ice Wireless and Iristel Team Up To Usher A New Era of Competition In The North

by Gaurav Kheterpal on May 29, 2012

‘Competition’ was an elusive phenomenon in North Canada until the CRTC last December took a major decision to set the record straight. The objective was to free up the North from the “monopoly” in the form of NorthwesTel and introduce local phone competition to many parts of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Back then, the regulatory body refused to grant the Yellowknife-headquartered incumbent permission for a rate increase, after having found that the company “insufficiently invested” in its network despite strong fiscal performance, something that comes with the territory with monopolies.

And there’s no doubt that things have changed for the better since then. And yesterday, Ice Wireless and Iristel announced that they have joined forces to expand the range of telecommunications and Internet services available in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut.

Iristel, a VoIP specialist, which operates in all 10 provinces, has been licensed by the CRTC as a carrier since 2000. It already hosts a major share in Ice wireless. It is a well-established player in the VoIP segment and it has roughly 4 million residential and business telephone numbers on its network. On the other hand, Ice, headquartered in Inuvik, NWT offers wireless services across the Northwest territories and Yukon. The two companies will jointly offer bundled communications solutions to Canada’s northern communities for a range of telephony services.

“Northwestel’s monopoly is officially at an end,” said Iristel President Samer Bishay, who was recently also named president of Ice Wireless. “We are proud to finally be able to give Northern Canadian residents a choice when it comes to their local phone company while at the same time launch an aggressive expansion of our cellular network across the North.”

The partnership is being viewed as yet another sign of the emerging wireless competition in the north. Another Internet provider SSi Micro, based in Yellowknife, is reportedly planning to launch local phone service in the North. On the other hand, Bell is already offering 4G LTE network in Yellowknife and Whitehorse.

The scenario is likely to get more interesting with the recent introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in the region.

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

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NorthwesTel Reaffirms Commitment to Upgrade Internet & Wireless Services Up North —
January 21, 2013 at 8:32 am

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