04.12.19 / news
The Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) operator covers vast territory; overlapping and complementing wireless I-Mobileca, recently acquired by Iristel
Rimouski, P.Q. – October 11, 2018 – Iristel Inc., Canada’s fastest-growing telecom provider and owner of a mobile network operator in Canada’s North, is speeding up its expansion with the purchase of Télécommunications de l’Est (TDE), a digital mobile radio operator covering 1 million square kilometres in Quebec and northern New Brunswick.
“TDE owns a lot of valuable infrastructure in North East Quebec, much of it overlapping the serving area of I-Mobileca and its spectrum,” says Iristel President and CEO Samer Bishay. “By acquiring them, we can complete our Quebec build out faster and move one step closer to becoming a national wireless operator offering Canadians innovative services and real choice that has been stymied by Canada’s big three wireless oligopolists for too long.”
Established 40 years ago, TDE operates across a vast territory, including the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, North Shore and northern New Brunswick. Many of these areas have mountainous and rugged terrain, resulting in limited cellular coverage.
TDE serves industries like forestry, mining, shipping and others operating in remote areas. To serve customers better, TDE augmented its traditional analog VHF radio systems with a digital trunking network offering additional services like GPS-tracking, telephone calls and push-to-talk over cellular.
“We’ve established this company as a leader in the field of communication technology over recent decades and joining Iristel is the next evolution for TDE,” says Daniel Gignac, general manager of TDE. “Like other SMR’s (Specialized Mobile Radio network operators), TDE is constantly faced with the challenge of providing its users with a reliable radio network that is also feature rich and easy to operate. Working with an innovator like Iristel – one that will continue to invest in our network – makes us even stronger.”
Indeed, all 55 TDE employees will be retained under the new ownership structure. Financial terms of the acquisition are not being publicly disclosed for competitive reasons.
But adds Mr. Bishay: “Beyond the synergies with our recently acquired I-Mobileca, we see even more opportunities with our Ice Wireless in Canada’s North. TDE’s NOMAD digital radio system technology can and will be deployed in the Arctic.”
One of the key features is full duplex calling on the NOMAD network. Traditional push to talk radio is based upon simplex or half duplex voice calling, meaning that each party takes turns speaking like traditional ship-to-shore radios. In today’s advanced digital world, this limitation makes it difficult to integrate telephone users across the network.
But with NOMAD, TDE is able to offer a seamless experience to customers regardless of the method of communication they are using. Telephone users are able to share conversations with radio users both in an individual and group capacity.
In May, Iristel announced it had taken majority control of I-Mobileca and its spectrum covering an area with a population of 535,000 mostly in rural Quebec and Ontario. Cellular connectivity has begun on a wireless 3G-4G/LTE network and TDE infrastructure will be used throughout the rollout.
I-Mobileca is a licensed Canadian wireless mobile telecommunications enabler and operator, headquartered in Trois Rivières, Quebec. Currently, it focuses on wireless data for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. The company has Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada issued spectrum licenses that allows it to provide wireless services covering the regions of Kirkland Lake, Ontario and Eastern Quebec (in the Lower Saint-Lawrence, the Gaspésie, the North Shore and certain areas of the Beauce).
About Iristel and TDE
Iristel is Canada’s fastest-growing carrier providing innovative communication services that are changing how consumers and businesses communicate. Founded in 1999, Markham-based Iristel operates Canada’s largest facilities-based local voice network extending Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast as well as Ice Wireless, a GSM carrier with operations in Canada’s Far North. TDE has 9 branches and more than 100 telecommunications sites and towers offering products and services for consumers and businesses in the fields of radiocommunication, cellular, business phone systems, paging, Internet and satellite communications.