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Bell speeds up Internet service in Yellowknife
Fastest available 4G LTE wireless technology launched in city this month

Thandiwe Vela
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bell Canada has sped up its Internet service in Yellowknife.

NNSL photo/graphic

Alexandra Letzing, 17, checks out the latest smartphones at the NorthwesTel store on Monday. Letzing is welcoming Bell Canada's launch of 4G LTE service in Yellowknife. - Thandiwe Vela/NNSL photo

Earlier this month, the telecommunications company became the first to offer 4G LTE in Yellowknife—the fastest mobile wireless technology currently available in the world.

"It's kind of the latest, latest generation technology," said Wade Oosterman, president of Bell Mobility and Residential Services.

Short for fourth-generation long term evolution, the wireless network coverage offers data at speeds up to 75 megabits per second, with speeds expected to increase to as high as 150 megabits per second as products evolve. By comparison, peak data rates of just 0.2 megabits per second are required to meet 3G, or third generation standards.

"It's just amazing how fast it is," Oosterman said. "It gives you more capacity and more speed. If you just watch a video, for example, you'll notice that there's absolutely no buffering, no stuttering--there's no delays."

Quick and accessible mobile Internet access is important for Yellowknife student Alexandra Letzing, who is looking to upgrade her current phone.

"I'm sick and tired of slow Internet," said Letzing, 17. Letzing wants to access Facebook and YouTube on her phone, and quickly look up answers to questions her teachers ask in class.

"I need my Internet to be quick and reliable," she said.

To access Bell's 4G, Letzing has to choose her phone carefully, because some handsets have maximum speeds. The network is available on some smartphones, and speciality devices such as the Sierra Wireless U313 Turbo Stick and the Samsung Galaxy tablet.

Bell began its national roll-out of LTE in September, launching in Yellowknife on Dec. 7.

"We tend to build networks and roll out looking at where we anticipate demand will be quite high," Oosterman said. "And certainly we've seen our share of demand in Yellowknife."

"The growth of data in particular is just exploding across the region so we thought 'well let's get ahead of it and deliver the absolute latest, greatest.' And so we were really quite happy to be able to launch it in your market as early as we did."

Bell plans to continue rolling out 4G LTE coverage to more communities across the country throughout 2012.

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