Far-northern Canadian telco Northwestel, part of the Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) group, has announced that it will transfer its wireless business to Bell Mobility, itself a subsidiary of BCE, in Q1 2014 to concentrate on developing its fixed network services. As part of the transition, Northwestel is acquiring from the Dakwakada Development Corporation (DDC) its interest in Latitude Wireless, a partnership originally formed by Northwestel and DDC to provide digital cellular service across the Yukon region. Paul Flaherty, CEO of Northwestel, said: ‘Increased access to advanced wireless services is an important part of our Modernization Plan for the North … With its national scale, Bell Mobility is well positioned to deliver on the capital investments required to bring new mobile technologies to the North while Northwestel remains focused on expanding the availability and capabilities of our wireline services.’
For all post- and pre-paid Northwestel and Latitude Wireless customers, the transition will be ‘seamless’, according to the press release. Existing customers will retain their current cell phones and phone numbers, while contracts, including current rates and charges, will simply be transferred to a Bell Mobility account. ‘The Bell Mobility team is thrilled to welcome wireless customers in Canada’s North and we look forward to investing in new mobile networks and services to make the service across the region even better,’ said Wade Oosterman, president of Bell Mobility, adding that the cellco will be aiming to meet the targets set out in Northwestel’s Modernization Plan. Brian MacDonald, chairman of DDC added: ‘While we’ve [Latitude Wireless] successfully rolled out advanced cell phone technology to many communities, we believe the scale and expertise of a world leader like Bell Mobility is necessary if consumers and businesses in the North are to keep pace with the global evolution in wireless services.’
Northwestel provides a full range of voice, data and video services to residential and business customers across Canada’s Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon, as well as parts of northern British Columbia and High Level, Alberta.