Apple iPhone 5

Northern Canada’s Ice Wireless has launched high speed wireless service for smartphones and tablets in the Nunavut capital of Iqaluit as it takes on giant BellCanada.

The company said Friday that the two-tower network in the town of 7,000 uses 3G HSPA+ technology — up to 21 Mbps under ideal conditions — with the capability of being upgraded to 4G.

“The former monopoly phone company has ignored Iqaluit for far too long with wireless technology dating back to the 1990s,” CEO Samer Bishay said in a statement, referring to Bell subsiditary NorthwestTel.

“We’re proud to bring 21st century wireless phones to a community that deserves more than being treated as an afterthought.”

Handsets available include the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Nokia Lumia 800.

An unlimited talk, text and 1GB data plan costs $65 a month.

There is also free calling to/from southern Canada. With the Alternate Numbers feature, Ice Wireless can assign an 867 Iqaluit number a second number in an area code in the South, such as 613, 514 or 604.

The wireless network’s core uses switches from China’s Huawei Telecommunications.

Ice Wireless’ network is integrated with corporate partner Iristel’s international carrier VoIP network to include features like Presence Management, which enables users to hop a call from landline to mobile without having to drop the call.

The carrier also said it connects to the rest of the world via the SESAMC-9, a 24 transponder C-band satellite. Space and earth segment connectivity will be managed by Juch-Tech, a Hamilton-based earth station with extensive experience in underdeveloped parts of the world like Africa.

Ice Wireless also has service in Whitehorse and Yellowknife.



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