09 September 2019
Chinese tech giant Huawei is to deploy high-speed wireless internet to a number of underserved communities in Canada’s remote northern regions.
The move, mostly 4G deployments, comes with Huawei under sanctions in the US over national security concerns and amid a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China over the detention of a Huawei executive in Vancouver.
Huawei said it would partner with Ice Wireless and Iristel to help connect rural communities in the Arctic as well as remote areas of north-eastern Québec, plus Newfoundland and Labrador by 2025.
The embattled Chinese firm added that some 25 communities in the largely Inuit areas of the Nunavut territory would also benefit from the deployment.
“We strongly believe that everyone should be connected to 4G LTE, no matter where they live in Canada – even in areas where high-speed service may not be economically viable,” said Eric Li, president of Huawei Canada.
Most Canadians have access to high-speed internet, but connectivity remains unavailable across some sparsely populated areas in the world’s second largest country by land mass.
Huawei officials said wireless internet that would operate in some of the coldest temperatures on earth.
“We need to use highly reliable, world-class equipment to minimize physical intervention and to avoid outages that risk making our communities isolated once again. That’s why we partner with Huawei Canada,” said Jean-François Dumoulin, vice-president at Ice Wireless and Iristel.
Washington has continued to pressure its allies to boycott Huawei for the deployment of 5G wireless, claiming the company’s ties to Beijing and its intelligence services could pose security risks.