Band on the run? Nunacell launches in Nunavik, but locals hold onto CB radios

1 Feb 2010

Nunavik’s first and only cellular phone service was officially launched this week by Nunacell, offering pre-paid local and long-distance calling, as well as text messaging, to customers in Kuujjuaq, reports Nunatsiaqonline. Nunacell, part-owned by Lynx Mobility, a subsidiary of Canadian telecommunications firm OmniGlobe, already supplies cellular services to the Naskapi community of Kawawachikamach, located to the south of Kuujjuaq, and to the twin Cree-Inuit communities of Whapmagoostui and Kuujjuaraapik. The new Kuujjuaq system will use the CDMA platform and its customers will be able to roam with their Lynx Mobility phones on other CDMA carriers’ networks in Canada. However, cell phones won’t replace Citizens’ Band (CB) radios just yet because the current coverage in Kuujjuaq does not extend beyond a 20km radius. Nunacell eventually plans to expand service into other Nunavik communities.