TNW achieves first step of international wireless service rollout plan

Vancouver-based Ruralcom Corp. has completed its renaming to TNW Wireless Inc. and has launched its wireless voice and data services to the Yukon and northern B.C., according to the company.

TNW plans to continue building its service along the Alaskan Highway corridor, restoring the rural service that RuralCom cellular sites previously provided and beyond. From there, the company plans to use its network and a proprietary technology it describes as iPCS smartphone-over-IP to provide service to customers across North America. It plans to provide service through U.S. and Canadian roaming partners by the spring of 2017.

“We look forward to expanding the TNW Wireless service to other underserved regions within our spectrum licenced areas and throughout Canada with iPCS in full support of the Government of Canada’s declaration of connectivity as a fundamental right, a policy which we believe will benefit all Canadians,” says TNW Chairman and President Lawry Trevor-Deutsch in a press release.

TNW Networks parent company Investel Capital Corp. acquired RuralCom on Dec. 7 and is still awaiting approval for that transaction from Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada.

As described by TWN, iPCS is a patent-pending Internet Protocol mobile technology that allows for a device to use multiple SIM cards, normally used as the method to identify the subscriber to a mobile network. The technology uses data to provide voice as messaging services and data usage is tied to a user profile based on login, rather than a SIM card.

TNW Whitehorse cell tower
TNW executives pose in front of a cell tower in Whitehorse.

This is used in tandem with TNW’s Wi-node technology, which when connected to a Wi-Fi network will deregister a device from any roaming partner’s network and backhaul the traffic to TNW’s home network. This allows remote usage of TNW’s 850 MHz licenced spectrum through a Wi-Fi connection, the carrier says.

At present, TNW Networks has roaming agreements in place with four major U.S. carriers that will allow for roaming network coverage, but it has to wait for ISED approval to negotiate with incumbent carriers here for mandatory roaming network access, says Sandeep Panesar, CEO of TNW Networks.

TNW plans to provide 500 MB of data per month for $10 and charge $2.90 per 100 MB after that. It estimates that one megabyte of data will provide about six minutes of talk time, or hundreds of text messages.

Another TNW Networks subsidiary, a numbered company called 8640025 Canada Inc., formerly known as Teliphone Navigata-Westel Communication Inc., has filed for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA).

The filing came after a judge denied an injunction request by the TNW subsidiary in November to prevent Telus Corp. from cutting off service to the firm. Telus and TNW have been involved in a dispute involving several lawsuits filed over debts owed that came to a head recently.

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Former editorial director of IT World Canada. Current research director at Info-Tech

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