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Ice Wireless, a mobile operator based in Northern Canada, has made it its mission to connect those users who can not easily get connected by taking full advantage of mobile technology developed Parallel Wireless. For those not familiar with Parallel, it is a company that has on previous and numerous occasions provided support for public safety communications at big happenings like the annual Super Bowl event.
According to Ice Wireless (who also offers wireline IP services on top of its mobile service offerings), it had already managed to complete its roll out of a multitechnology macro solution developed from Parallel Wireless’ all-IP virtualized RAN (vRAN for short). Of course, what this means for “unconnected” users is that they will now be able to make use of a wireless network even if they are based in far flung regions, such as those near the Arctic Circle.
Santa Claus aside, it is hard for any other person to live near the Arctic Circle, let alone enjoy a wireless connection. But through the efforts of Ice Wireless, there is some hope. It took around a couple of months for the carrier to deploy its project, not to mention the many challenges the company’s Wireless Core Networks crew had to go through, including traveling to these harsh environments, surveying possible sites, setting up the infrastructure, and making the whole thing work.
The initial four locations (plus multiple sites) that have been served so far include Whitehorse, Inuvik, Yellowknife, and Iqalut. It goes without saying that because of the remote nature of these locations, backhaul availability was hard to come by, and there is that thing where the team had to figure out where to get a power source in the first place.
It was a good thing that Ice Wireless joined forces with Parallel Wireless. By making full use of Parallel’s Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) based network solution, Ice Wireless was able to roll out its project more or less in time. The four locations mentioned in the preceding paragraph only have 114,000 residents and around 93,000 visitors in any given year, and quite frankly, no mobile operator would spend a lot of money in trying to provide coverage for that limited number of prospective customers. But Parallel was up to the challenge because most of its portfolio were made for hard to reach areas anyway. Because all of its products were preconfigured, it basically just needed to plug backhaul, and power in at the four locations.