Aliant Offers Canadians Wireless Options

Aliant, a telco subsidiary of Bell Canada Enterprises serving the Eastern Canada provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, is getting heavily into wireless.

This week, the company announced plans to serve as an integrator providing Wi-Fi service for businesses, beginning with a concentration on the hospitality sector.

The service will use SolutionIP software gateways from SolutionInc, which is formally being announced as an Aliant partner after a few years of working together. The SolutionIP products work with all types of network infrastructure, not just wireless, to provide back-end support for OSS, authentication, bandwidth management and more. The product can tie in not only with the network, but also with other hotel services such as video on demand. The company has products suitable for hotels, convention centers, enterprises, and even municipalities; a SolutionIP gateway provides the Wi-Fi back-end for Whooshnet, one of the Wi-Fi providers in the resort community of Whistler, British Columbia. Whistler will host the skiing events of the next Winter Olympics in 2010.

Aliant has 19 hotels deployed with the service on their premises so far.

Today, it also announced a wireless broadband service called Sympatico High Speed Unplugged, under the brand. Aliant customers can get a client modem for $99 (with a two-year contract) to connect to their computer to go online. So far, Aliant only has Sympatico available in four locations: St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador; Fredericton, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island — but the coverage area should expand soon. There are two service levels, with 512Kbps download speed for $45 per month or 3Mbps downloads for $60 per month.

Sympatico is built on the pre-WiMax Inukshuk national network launched last year by Rogers Communications on the cable side and Bell Canada on the telco side, jointly owned and controlled by both.

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