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EastLink Rolling Out Its Own Wireless Mobile Data Network

Phillip Dampier September 6, 2011 Broadband Speed, Canada, Competition, EastLink, Rural Broadband, Wireless Broadband No Comments

Canada’s largest privately owned telecommunications provider is getting into the mobile broadband business.

EastLink, which owns cable systems in communities across nine provinces, is constructing its own mobile phone and data network set to launch in 2012.  Part of that network will be its own competitive wireless mobile broadband service.

EastLink is using licensed wireless spectrum acquired in a 2008 federal auction which will allow it to provide cell service in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, north and southwest Ontario, and the metropolitan region of Grand Prairie, Alta.  But its first priority is delivering service on Prince Edward Island and in Nova Scotia, where EastLink is based.

“With this network evolution, our customers will be able to work and communicate more reliably and faster than ever before,” said Matthew MacLellan, president of EastLink Wireless.

EastLink subsidiary Delta Cable delivers cable service in western Canada.

EastLink’s new wireless network will use HSPA technology, presumably at the speeds most common in Canada — 21 or 42Mbps.  Ericsson is providing the equipment for the network.

EastLink has nearly a half-million customers, a tiny number in comparison to market leaders Bell, Rogers, and Telus.  But the company has a reputation for delivering advanced service, and is well-regarded in Atlantic Canada, especially for delivering Internet at speeds up to 100Mbps.

“They have a very strong reputation so they’ll be likely to shake up the market down there,” Brownlee Thomas, principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc., told The Wire Report.

EastLink’s primary focus is on its Canadian subscribers, but the company has also investments in Bermuda, and its subsidiary Delta Cable delivers service to one American community — the enclave of Point Roberts, Washington, located south of Delta, British Columbia.

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