Arch-rivals to collaborate on national wireless broadband network

19 Sep 2005

Rival telecoms operators Bell Canada and Rogers Communications say they have agreed to team up to roll out a nationwide wireless broadband network that aims to cover two-thirds of the population by 2008. The two plan to use equipment supplied by US manufacturer Clearwire, a firm set up in 2004 by wireless pioneer Craig McCaw. In March 2004 Bell Canada’s parent BCE invested USD100 million in Clearwire in return for being the exclusive provider of internet-based phone services over Clearwire’s network in six US states. Bell and Rogers say the new venture, known as Inukshuk Internet, would spend an initial sum of CAD200 million (USD169 million) to deploy a network serving 40 cities and 50 rural communities. Inukshuk was originally established in 1999 to provide internet access in remote parts of northern Canada, but was mothballed last year.