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Huawei Canada Helping Bring High-Speed Wireless to 70 More Remote Communities

2019.07.22
Jul 22, 2019, 11:10 ET
  • Partnership with local carriers will connect communities in Arctic region and  Northeastern Quebec by 2025 
  • Short films coming to a theatre near you profile residents in Iqaluit and Inuvik whose small businesses benefit from internet access 
  • Tech training and learning opportunities for residents of Canada's North

OTTAWA, July 22, 2019 - Huawei Canada today strengthened its commitment to connecting communities in Canada's North, as well as other rural and remote communities, with high-speed internet.

Huawei Canada announced it will partner with ICE Wireless and Iristel to help them connect 70 more rural and remote communities by 2025, including 20 communities in the Arctic and 50 communities in Northeastern Quebec, with even more communities planned in unconnected areas of Newfoundland & Labrador.
"We strongly believe that everyone should be connected to 4G LTE, no matter where they live in Canada – even in areas where high-speed service may not be economically viable," said Eric Li, President of Huawei Canada.

Although most Canadians have access to high-speed Internet, the service remains unavailable across some sparsely populated areas of the country. Both the Government of Canada and the United Nations have emphasized the importance of ensuring universal high-speed Internet by 2030 – to increase both social and economic inclusion.

"Huawei Canada has been operating in Canada for more than a decade and employs more than 1,100 people across our great country. Amid the anticipation about 5G wireless technology, let's not forget that many remote areas still lack reliable 3G or 4G LTE service. This initiative will help Canada meet its United Nations commitment to deliver high-speed internet to all Canadians by 2030. With faster and more reliable access to the Internet, the people of Canada's North can be better connected than ever before to the rest of the country – and the rest of the world," Huawei Canada's Vice President of Corporate Affairs Alykhan Velshi said at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. "As a business, we have previously helped operators solve unique challenges from connecting remote northern communities – such as ensuring Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment will function in some of the coldest temperatures on earth. In the far north, RAN equipment has to operate in frigid Arctic winters, can get covered in thick heavy ice, and sometimes has to function without access to a power grid."

"We need to use highly reliable, world-class equipment to minimize physical intervention and to avoid outages that risk making our communities isolated once again. That's why we partner with Huawei Canada," said Jean-Francois Dumoulin, Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs at Ice Wireless and Iristel. 
To mark the next phase of its ongoing commitment to Canada's North, Huawei Canada commissioned three short films that profile several northern residents in their communities – each of whom relies on Internet access to develop and promote their small businesses.

"The internet is the major reason why I am successful in my visual arts," said Barbara Akoak, a traditional Inuit jewellery designer who lives in Iqaluit and is featured in one of the films. 

These short films – shot on location in Iqaluit and Inuvik using a Huawei P30 Pro smartphone and other equipment – are available online at Huawei.com/ca/Connecting CanadasNorth and on youtube.com/HuaweiCanada. Huawei Canada is planning to air them as advertisements in Canadian movie theatres.

"Access to affordable high-speed internet and mobile wireless coverage is critical to Nunavut's economic and social development. Connectivity remains inaccessible and unaffordable to many Nunavummiut who rely exclusively on satellite networks for connectivity, which both limits bandwidth and increases cost," said Harry Flaherty, President & CEO of Qikiqtaaluk Corporation and Group of Companies. "Bold investments in connectivity will allow us to create a national digital transportation network, the future essential service and lifeline of Nunavut's 25 communities."

Huawei Canada also provided further details on its previous commitment to train 1,000 Canadians over the next year under a new National Information and Communications Talent Development Program. Today, the company announced this will include extensive training and learning opportunities for residents in Canada's Far North. 

Beginning this Fall, Huawei Canada will work with partner organizations to engage post-secondary technology instructors in customized training programs, bringing world-class and industry-leading technology to Canada's North via "Train the Trainers". These opportunities will connect the instructors and their students to partner organizations across Canada. Included in the program is an opportunity to travel to the Huawei facilities in China.

"The goal for the trainer is creating connection. Digital inclusion should not be limited to people and places where it is convenient to connect," says Chris Pereira, Director of Public Affairs at Huawei Canada. "We hope that by helping to build better connections, more jobs will be created and the economy will be improved."
SOURCE Huawei Canada

For further information: 

Blake Oliver, blake.oliver@crestviewstrategy.com, (613) 345-8915

Alykhan Velshi, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Huawei Canada