Inukshuk, a Canada-wide wireless broadband network


The Canadians are taking a lead on the US, and are putting together a nationwide fixed wireless broadband network, according to Digital Home Canada. Two Canadian incumbents – Rogers Communications and Bell Canada have decided to pool all their licensed wireless broadband sepctrum into a new company – Inukshuk Internet – that will be equally owned and controlled by the cable guys and the phone company. They will also equally share transmission capacity and will work with other wireless broadband providers such as Clearwire to make sure that wireless broadband users can roam on other networks. Inukshuk will build and operate the network, that within three years should bring wireless broadband to two-thirds of Canadians. It is going to cost $200 million and will cover 40 cities and approximately 50 rural and remote communities across Canada. I wish some of our big guys roll out a similar network!

I wonder if this has something to do with Nortel’s new found love for fixed and mobile WiMax. The ailing telecom giant announced that it will sell AirSpan’s fixed WiMax equipment, just like Ericsson. Lucent and Alcatel resell Alvarion’s products.

Nortel also said it would build on its key intellectual property and standards contributions in OFDM, MIMO, and wireless mesh networking to deliver mobile WiMAX products in time for trials in mid 2006. Its collaboration with Intel is aimed at this target date. The mobile WiMAX standard, 802.11.16e, is expected to be ratified in the next few weeks.

More on Inukshuk Internet from The Globe & Mail


Jesse Kopelman

Has this sort of joint venture ever worked? Cometa, anyone? If there is actual money to be made, the partners will split up to pursue a larger chunk. If there is not, the partners will split up to minimize their loses.

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