Look and UBS form partnership

Mobile and wireless solution provider Unique Broadband Systems Inc. (UBS) announced Thursday that it has acquired a stake in Toronto-based communications provider Look Communications Inc., paving the way for “competitive” high-speed Internet services for its underserved Ontario and Quebec small and medium sized enterprise (SME) customers.

Toronto-based UBS designs, develops and manufactures high-speed mobile and fixed wireless solutions.

Under the agreement, Look said it has committed to a products and services agreement with UBS valued at US$2.4 million, whereby Look will acquire technology that enhances its network to provide “last mile” solutions in remote areas.

Look has licensed radio spectrum to deliver high-speed Internet services to a large business market, the companies said, adding that the agreement enables Look to extend and target its network coverage to a wider and specific service area.

Gerald McGoey, chairman and CEO of UBS said in a statement that the agreement enables Internet service provider Look the ability of offer “highly reliable” high-speed access to SMEs located in underserved markets within Ontario and Quebec, areas that have traditionally been cost-prohibitive to service.

“This segment of the…market, in particular, is dramatically underserved by existing service providers and represents a significant opportunity,” said Paul Lamontagne, president and CEO of Look, in a release issued by the company.

“We now have a relationship with a leading edge technology company that will allow us to expand our own horizons in the types of services we are able to provide,” Lamontagne added.

Look is rebounding from rocky financial times, having only recently undergone a reorganization under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). In June, Look relaunched its wireless broadband infrastructure with a renewed focus on the business market.

As it is just getting back on its feet, the cash fusion provided by this deal allows Look to develop its new business strategy to be the preferred alternative broadband provider to the SME market, explained Look Communications spokesperson Alex Radmanovich.

“If you look at any city…in a lot of industrial parks all over Ontario and Quebec – either Bell can’t (provide) DSL or the cable companies aren’t there yet,” Radmanovich said. “That’s sort of the thrust of Look’s new strategy.”

Look is on the Web at http://www.look.ca, and UBS is at http://www.uniquesys.com.

Laura Rohde is a London-based correspondent for the IDG News Service.