Bell expands regional wireless phone network

By Jon Thompson

Although Bell isn’t marketing in Dryden yet, the new owners of DMTS are reaching through the city and across the region, over both the landlines and the airwaves.

Bell had a partnership with DMTS, using the local wireless network because it didn’t own a wireless network between Kenora and Thunder Bay. When the announcement came that the Dryden Mobility was to be divided and sold to TBayTel, Bell went solo with its plans for the network that began to come online last week.

It now carries service in Dryden, Vermillion Bay, Ignace, Thunder Lake and Sistonen.

DMTS carried a 2G network, which is incapable of servicing the contemporary demand. By the end of 2013, Bell will have 30 new sites offering wireless 4G from Thunder Bay to Kenora and most points in between.

“There are more sites planned,” said Martin De Gooyer, the vice president of pricing, roaming and carrier relations at Bell Mobility. “We have a longer-term commitment to Northwestern Ontario to provide a viable coverage map.”

De Gooyer said he has both DSL and wireless connections in his home and the company intends to have the infrastructure to appeal to both markets as well as crossover clientele.

As the corridor of Highway 17 is geographically vast with small, sparse populations, he expressed Bell Alliant’s corporate strategy is supporting both homegrown and travelling customer bases.

“We’re building the network for two reasons: One is to service customers in Northwestern Ontario. We opened stores in Thunder Bay back in October to service customers in Northwestern Ontario. The network will also exist to service customers in the rest of Canada who travel through Northwestern Ontario. We’re not based solely on the local customer base but our broader customer base. That’s how we look at the network, as an investment.”

 

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