Ericsson inks HSPA deal with TBayTel

Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has announced it will supply hardware, software and services for TBayTel's High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) network in northwestern Ontario.

TBayTel, the city-owned telecommunications carrier based in Thunder Bay, announced in March it would overlay its code division multiple access (CDMA) network with HSPA technology.

At the time, TBayTel said it was upgrading its network in a partnership with Rogers Wireless Inc., meaning its customers would have access to Rogers roaming agreements and smart phones.

Ericsson said last week it will provide HSPA+, which has maximum data transfer rates of 21 Megabits per second (Mbps). The Stockholm-based telecommunications equipment manufacturer will provide radio access network equipment, mobile switching, a mobile packet backbone and network management systems, plus professional services.

TBayTel’s coverage area spans from the Manitoba border to just west of Sault Ste. Marie.

When the deal with Rogers was announced in March, TBayTel CEO Don Campbell said he expected HSPA service would be available in Thunder Bay, Dryden and Kenora by the end of 2010.

TBayTel’s CDMA network was built using technology from Nortel Networks Corp., which is operating under bankruptcy protection and has sold most of its business units. The CDMA unit was acquired last year by Ericsson, which hired about 900 Nortel employees in Ottawa and Montreal.


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