RealTime IT News

The Missing Link

[Edmonton, ALBERTA] While a large portion of marketing efforts in the wireless industry tout the advantages of being mobile, many wireless service providers are acknowledging the significance and practicality of offering services to customers in less populated corners of the earth. Canada, with its vast expanse of agricultural areas and rural communities, is a perfect fit for companies seeking to offer country folk a way to get connected.

OA Group Inc., an IT solutions provider that supplies Internet, hardware and software products and solutions to its customers, is one such company. Last week, the firm announced that it had just completed the first full-scale residential installation of Airlink, OA Group9s high-speed wireless Internet access service, in a rural town north of Edmonton. According to the announcement, Airlink has already become a popular and highly sought-after service.

"Airlink is the perfect fit for rural and distant communities," said Mike Baldock, Internet sales manager for OA Group. "In many rural locations, Airlink is the only alternative to traditional dial-up Internet access for residential users, which in some areas can also mean expensive long distance calling to an ISP."

Airlink is OA Group's calling card in its expansion across Canada and worldwide. Here, the company spent the last eight months building 13 Airlink wireless tower and access locations for its commercial customers in Alberta.

OA Group's announcement is just one of many to come in Alberta's fiercely competitive high-tech communications market. Telecommunications giant Telus, also based in Alberta, has been aggressively rolling out its own wireless services on a national basis, shaking up its competitors, Rogers Wireless Inc. and Bell Mobility. Analysts are expecting the battle to continue for some time.

For OA Group, the residential market is the latest target demographic, and the company has been offering Airlink to a number of small Albertan communities. Having been given 87 regional licenses to operate Airlink services at the 3.4 Ghz range as well as ISP licenses for China, OA Group's market share is now comprised of approximately 15 million people.