Thursday, September 15, 2005

Rogers and Bell Canada to Build Nationwide Wireless Broadband Network

Rogers Communications and Bell Canada today announced an agreement to jointly build and manage a Canada-wide wireless broadband network expected to initially reach more than two-thirds of Canadians in less than three years. The companies will jointly and equally fund the initial network deployment costs estimated at $200 million over a three-year period, completing a network footprint that will cover over 40 cities and approximately 50 unserved rural and remote communities across Canada.

The companies will pool their wireless broadband spectrum holdings into a joint venture, Inukshuk Internet Inc., which will build and operate the network. Specifically, Rogers currently controls and will contribute to the joint venture its entire broadband wireless spectrum in the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz frequency ranges. Bell controls and will contribute to the joint venture all of its broadband wireless spectrum in the 2.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz frequency ranges.

Inukshuk will be the network services provider to Rogers and Bell and their subsidiaries, and will operate on a cost recovery basis. The arrangement will allow the companies to minimize costs and maximize wireless broadband network coverage by pooling their spectrum holdings and leveraging both companies' existing wireless tower and network transport infrastructures.

Inukshuk expects to negotiate a roaming agreement with Clearwire Corporation, a U.S.-based company building a similar wireless broadband network, allowing Rogers and Bell to offer customers access to an extensive Canada-U.S. wireless broadband footprint.

Inukshuk plans to continue to use network equipment
manufactured by NextNet, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clearwire Corporation.

Separately, Bell has reached an agreement with companies controlled
directly or indirectly by Craig McCaw under which Bell will acquire the
remaining 50 per cent of NR Communications that it does not already own. NR Communications and a subsidiary of Rogers are the two partners in the current Inukshuk joint venture which holds approximately 98 MHz of wireless broadband spectrum in the 2.5 GHz frequency range across much of Canada. http://www.bell.ca

  • Rogers Wireless is Canada's largest wireless voice and data communications services provider and the country's only carrier operating on GSM/GPRS. Rogers Cable is Canada's
    largest cable television provider offering cable television, Internet access, voice-over-cable telephony services, and video retailing. Rogers Media Inc. is a premier collection of Canadian media assets with businesses in radio and television broadcasting, televised
    shopping, publishing and sports entertainment.

  • In July 2005, Rogers completed the acquisition of Call-Net Enterprises (now Rogers Telecom and formerly Sprint Canada), a national provider of voice and data communications services.


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