Across the North, Ice Wireless Unlocks All Customer Phones

Regional mobile network operator believes ‘you should be with your carrier because they’ve earned your business, not because your phone is locked to their network’

IQALUIT, NU, February 19, 2014 – Ice Wireless, a regional mobile network operator in Canada’s North, refuses to sell any smart phones and tablets that are locked to its network by a manufacturer – and all price plans will be the same regardless where customers live.

“Locking phones is a carrier cash grab that irritates customers. We want to earn the customers’ business,” says Samer Bishay, President and CEO of Ice Wireless. “We’re a different kind of Phone Company and proud to operate in a unique and vast part of Canada where customers have cried out for fairer prices and better service. You should be with your carrier because they’ve earned your business, not because your phone is locked to their network.”

In November in Iqaluit and Whitehorse, Ice Wireless launched its 3G HSPA+ network with capability to reach 4G speeds as the telecommunications infrastructure linking the North to the South increases bandwidth. It is rolling out its faster service in nine other Northern communities this year.

“Customers want a better mobile experience — faster speeds, better plans across-the-board, and a selection of all the latest smartphones,” Mr. Bishay says. “Our commitment to customers is to never lock phones and to offer the same prices even if customers live in communities that cost more to service due to things like satellite expenses.”

Other wireless operators charge customers $50 to $150 to unlock phones from their network; even if the customer paid full retail price for the handset. Locked phones will not allow customers to change carriers or access local calling charges when in different countries.

Mr. Bishay says another popular feature with customers is Ice’s option of “virtual phone number”. Ice customers’ 867 area code numbers are assigned a second “virtual number” in area codes such as 416, 613, 514, 604 and others. This allows friends, family and business contacts in the South to call the Ice customer as if the number is a local number.

Ice can offer such innovative services because it is using brand new wireless technology and because it is integrated with corporate partner Iristel’s international carrier grade VoIP network, the largest in Canada. “We think differently, too,” says Mr. Bishay, who is also President and CEO of Iristel. “We look for ways to offer services at prices that are fair to the customer and to us and hence our lowest price match guarantee.”

For $55 a month, Ice Wireless customers can get unlimited talk and text, free long-distance to anywhere in Canada, 400MB of data, call-forwarding, voicemail, high-definition voice quality and more.

The Ice Wireless network has been designed and built using the latest Next Generation Network (NGN) core HSPA+/ UMTS equipment.

About Ice Wireless

Ice Wireless is a facilities-based regional mobile network operator (MNO) delivering 3G HSPA+/UMTS technology to rural and remote areas of Canada. Ice Wireless was launched in Inuvik, Northwest Territories in 2005. Ice Wireless operates on the 850/1900 MHz spectrum under license from Industry Canada.

Ice Wireless is in a strategic partnership with Iristel, one of Canada’s largest VoIP service providers, a registered CLEC that has begun operations in Northern Canada under the CRTC decision to open the serving area to local competition. Ice Wireless’ integration with Iristel’s international carrier grade VOIP network has created a unique and dynamic system in which mobile phones and VoIP phones are all integrated in an owned and self-controlled network.

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Media Relations Contact:
Bob Brehl
Media Relations
T: +1-416-800-0010

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