Barrett Xplore Inc., under the Xplornet brand, announced that this Fall it is commencing a next-generation 4G network for rural Canadians, starting with terrestrial fixed wireless, and quickly followed by a new satellite network. This is the first commercial deployment of a national 4G network in Canada. For rural Canadians, the deployment of this technology will mean they have better access to faster, affordable broadband with higher bandwidth allowances – and this state of the art technology is coming to rural Canada first.
4G wireless and satellite means a new world of opportunity for rural Canadians. “Barrett Xplore’s mission is to bridge the urban/rural broadband divide in Canada,” said Barrett Xplore CEO John Maduri today. “4G means the goal of bringing fast, robust, affordable broadband to all Canadians, regardless of location will be achieved in the very near future. The potential impact of rural broadband can’t be overstated. From telecommuting, to new business in rural areas, to distance health and education, rural broadband can change the face of Canada,”
The 4G network will have both terrestrial and satellite components. The terrestrial wireless network, which will be comprised of roughly 1200 towers, will be capable of speeds over 40 Mbps improving to over 100Mbps by next year. While speed is important the key to a great experience is more bandwidth, and the new network will provide the capacity for more robust service packages – ranging from 3x – 10x the capacity of today’s HSPA. The terrestrial 4G network will initially be based on Wimax, and is software-upgradable to the future Wimax protocol or to LTE – whichever will offer rural customers a better experience. BXI’s investment in the terrestrial wireless network is roughly $150 million.
The terrestrial wireless network will be complimented by a new 4G satellite network, which will be based on a new High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) architecture, starting with the first satellite – Viasat-1 – scheduled to launch in 2011, followed by a second HTS satellite – Hughes, Jupiter – in early, 2012. These satellites will allow Barrett to provide robust speeds up to 25Mbps.
In combination, the 4G networks will mean that by 2012, every rural Canadian will have access to affordable, robust broadband. Construction of the new terrestrial wireless 4G wireless network is commencing in Fall 2010 with the first customers coming online by the end of this year. The 4G satellite network will see its first customers coming online in late 2011.