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SaskTel reaches 200,000 fibre premises passed; upgrades internet in 46 Indigenous/First Nations communities

Canadian provincial full-service operator SaskTel has announced that its 'infiNET' branded fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband network services are available to more than 200,000 homes and businesses throughout Saskatchewan. In a deployment beginning in 2011, SaskTel has now completed infiNET rollout in Estevan, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Swift C...
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Telus, Huawei hail successful 5G wireless-to-the-premises pilot

Canadian operator Telus and Chinese technology partner Huawei have claimed a 'significant breakthrough' with a successful 5G pilot of live point-to-multipoint (P2MP) connections over commercial central office and transport network infrastructure using equipment based on 3GPP 5G foundational technologies, utilising 28GHz band frequencies. A press re...
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Eastlink expands gigabit availability

 Canadian cableco Eastlink has given an update on its ongoing investment in high speed fibre-optic networks including expansion of gigabit-capable internet services, in response to demand for 'real-time entertainment and connected home technologies'. Lee Bragg, Eastlink CEO, said: 'For years, we have been providing gigabit speeds and higher to...
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Canadian cellcos banned from locking phones to their network

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has introduced amendments to its Wireless Code, a mandatory code of conduct for providers of retail mobile wireless voice and data services. Starting on 1 December 2017 all mobile service end-users (post-paid and pre-paid) will have the right to have their phone unlocked (i.e. u...
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Shaw acquires 700MHz, 2500MHz spectrum from Videotron for CAD430m; sells ViaWest for CAD2.3bn

 Canadian quadruple-play operator Shaw Communications has entered into a definitive agreement with Videotron's parent Quebecor Media to acquire 700MHz and 2500MHz wireless spectrum licences in seven regional markets in Canada for CAD430 million (USD324 million). The Quebec-based multi-service cable/mobile operator is selling 2×5MHz blocks of 7...
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Rogers buys Videotron’s AWS-1 spectrum in Greater Toronto for CAD184m

 Quebecor, the parent of Quebec-based quadruple-play network operator Videotron, has announced the sale of Videotron's Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-1) 1700MHz/2100MHz mobile spectrum licence in the Greater Toronto region to Rogers Communications for approximately CAD184 million (USD137 million), pursuant to a transfer option on the frequenc...
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It could be you… chosen Bell-MTS users begin migration to Telus

Over 100,000 Bell-MTS mobile customers in Manitoba will receive letters in the next two months informing them if they have been selected to transfer to rival Canadian operator Telus, as a knock-on condition of Bell's recent takeover of MTS in the province. Canadian website MobileSyrup reports that the process is beginning its first phase this week,...
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Bell rings the pay-TV changes with budget streaming venture

 Bell Canada is launching a 'no-frills', budget app-based live TV service named 'Alt TV' enabling customers to watch regular TV programming on smartphones, computers and other streaming devices. Alt TV is being offered initially to Bell's internet subscribers in Ontario and Quebec, with the Atlantic provinces and Manitoba scheduled for launch ...
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Ice n slice: Yellowknife gets cutting-edge 4G

Ice Wireless, which operates in Canada’s far northern regions – Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut – has launched commercial LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network services, initially in Yellowknife. According to Ice Wireless CEO Samer Bishay, quoted by MobileSyrup, customers can expect real-world LTE-A mobile data speeds of around 40Mbps, whilst he added that the carrier plans to switch on additional LTE-A base stations throughout the summer. Simultaneously, Ice revamped its post-paid packages, wit...
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Xplornet hails improvement in rural internet via satellite

Canadian rural broadband specialist Xplornet Communications has announced the launch of an upgraded internet service supported by the EchoStar XIX satellite, now available to new and existing customers. Xplornet says t hat, combined  with the scheduled launch of the ViaSat-2 satellite on June 1, its satellite internet capacity is being tripled, resulting in ‘more speed and data at affordable prices’ for its users. Xplornet’s newly launched satellite internet service offers speeds up to 25Mb...
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SaskTel ‘not for sale’, but up for ‘partnership’ says minister

Provincial Canadian full-service telco SaskTel, controlled by the Saskatchewan government, is now permitted to sell 49% of its shares under a new law which was passed last week. The legislation (via ‘Bill 40’) allows the provincial government to sell up to 49% of any ‘Crown corporation’ (including SaskTel) without triggering a public referendum. However, CTVNews quotes Dustin Duncan, the minister responsible for SaskTel, as saying: ‘SaskTel is not for sale, but Bill 40 would allow the potential ...
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CRTC launches CAD750m broadband fund consultation

  The Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has begun a consultation to hammer out the details of its planned CAD750 million (USD551 million) five-year broadband fund for rural and underserved areas, which will ultimately be designed to supersede Canada’s existing basic telephony subsidy scheme. Interested parties should make initial submissions to the consultation by the end of June, with final submissions scheduled for the end of November. Thanks to TeleGeog...
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Bell launching quad-band LTE-A

April 25, 2017  Bell Canada claims that its network is the first in North America capable of delivering quad-band LTE Advanced (LTE-A) services, which it says will deliver mobile broadband speeds of up to 750Mbps with the addition of 256 QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) technology. Bell CTO Stephen Howe said: ‘Bell delivered North America’s first tri-band LTE-A mobile service in 2015, and we’re proud to announce today that we’re first to successfully implement not only quad-band LTE-A ...
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Videotron whacked with CRTC’s net neutrality stick

21 Apr 2017 The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) yesterday issued its latest judgement upholding the principles of net neutrality, ruling that cableco/mobile operator Videotron must desist from offering unlimited online music streaming from Spotify, Google Music and other selected providers to its wireless customers without it counting against their data allowances (a practice known as zero-rating) by 19 July. As reported by Reuters, Quebec-based Videotron argue...
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Wind becomes Freedom, rolls out LTE

Wind becomes Freedom, rolls out LTE
Canadian cableco Shaw Communications’ cellular division has renamed itself from Wind Mobile to Freedom Mobile, whilst disclosing that it will launch a 4G LTE network on 27 November. Freedom’s revamped website says that Toronto and Vancouver will receive its LTE services first, whilst it will upgrade all its other existing 3G network coverage areas to 4G by autumn 2017. ‘Complete’ LTE coverage of the Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver area is scheduled for spring 2017, whilst national and US L...
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Videotron upgrades backbone with Ciena

Quebec-based telecommunications and pay-TV provider Videotron is deploying Ciena’s converged packet optical solution to upgrade its regional and backbone network, supporting its recently announced efforts to offer new services such as 4K TV and colocation solutions. Videotron is deploying packet optical and software solutions from Ciena including the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, which supports service delivery at 100Gbps and beyond. Combined with Ciena’s WaveLogic 3 coherent optical processors,...
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Rogers retiring Mobilicity brand, moving user base to Chatr

Canada’s largest mobile operator by users, Rogers Communications, has revealed a plan to discontinue the brand of its subsidiary Mobilicity whilst moving all of Mobilicity’s remaining 150,000-plus subscribers to the Rogers budget sub-brand Chatr, reports Canadian website MobileSyrup. Effective 15 August 2016, Rogers will cease activating new Mobilicity connections, whilst sometime in the autumn it will begin migrating Mobilicity customers to Chatr, where they will be offered a ‘comparable’ packa...
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Telus joins Rogers, Bell in offering VoLTE

Canada’s second-largest mobile operator by users Telus has joined its main nationwide rivals Rogers and Bell in offering voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), although the service is currently only available to post-paid Telus customers with LTE SIM cards in Lower Mainland British Columbia, while device compatibility is initially limited to the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4, writes Canadian website MobileSyrup. The operator plans to expand VoLTE coverage and add more compatible devices throughout 2016. In a sta...
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Ericsson expands to Eastlink's LTE network

Swedish-based technology giant Ericsson has renewed its agreement with privately-owned Atlantic Canada-based quad-play operator Eastlink to expand and upgrade its 4G LTE and 3G HSPA mobile networks. The agreement is an extension of the two companies’ current contract. Eastlink will continue utilising Ericsson Evolved Packet Core equipment and the Swedish firm will remain as the multi-service cableco’s exclusive supplier for radio access network equipment for an additional three years. Matthew Ma...
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Shaw to Acquire Wind Mobile for CAD1.6bn

Canadian cableco Shaw Communications has agreed to acquire a 100% interest in cellco Wind Mobile for approximately CAD1.6 billion (USD1.163 billion). The takeover, if completed, would be the first foray into the mobile sector for Shaw, which vies closely with Rogers Communications for the title of Canada’s largest cable broadband provider, and previously aborted a planned cellular network rollout of its own, opting to sell its spectrum instead. Shaw’s CEO Brad Shaw declared yesterday: ‘The acqui...
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