The parent company of Eastlink Wireless marked its first 12 months in business by spending almost $20.3 million on spectrum in the 700MHz band.
Most of the frequencies bought by Bragg Communications are in the Maritimes, where the cable company is based but it also bought spectrum in Northern Ontario where it has some cable operations.
Eastlink was the last of the carriers that won spectrum in the 2008 auction to launch its cellular network, which made its debut in February, 2013. It spent about $25 million on frequencies in that auction. Other new carriers – Wind Mobile, Public Mobile, Mobilicity and Videotron — launched at the end of 2009 or in 2010.
But delaying meant Eastlink could build a network in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island using LTE technology, which offers faster download speeds than the HSPA equipment that was state of the art in 2009.
Eastlink’s cellular network also covers much of New Brunswick, although most of it is HSPA+.
“When I reflect on what we’ve accomplished as a wireless provider in the past 12 months, it is extremely rewarding,” CEO Lee Bragg said in a statement. “We’ve taken major steps forward in a highly competitive industry, and we’re more confident than ever that by continuing to put our customers first, we will be the wireless provider of choice for more and more consumers.”
He didn’t say how many wireless subscribers Eastlink has.
This year wireless service for business customers will be expanded, the company said, as will the LTE network.