Friday, December 28, 2007

Rogers wireless service is still weeks away

The third would be cellular provider for the North Coast has run into a few delays in its plans to introduce service to Prince Rupert and area.

Rogers Communications which originally had hoped to be up and running by November has revised its forecast and hope to have their popular service in operation on the North coast in the first quarter of 2008.

The Daily News had details of the company’s delays and its hopes for the future in the Thursday edition of the Daily News.

Weather has Rogers pushing its start date into ‘08
By Leann Ritchie
The Daily News
Thursday, December 27, 2008
Pages one and three

Having already missed their November goal of having wireless services in Prince Rupert, Rogers Communications Inc. is now shooting to have the service up and running sometime within the first quarter of 2008.

"We were working to a very aggressive timeline, and had hoped to turn the network on before Christmas," said Gordon Nelson, vice president and general manager for Rogers Communications Inc. in B.C.

"However, given the scale of this type of construction project and the fact that it involves multiple partners and inclement weather, we will be bringing Rogers wireless service to these areas by the end of the first quarter of 2008. The good news is that the building phase in these two communities is almost complete, as residents will no doubt have noticed."

From installing towers on tall buildings downtown, to working on installing cell towers next to Highway 16, there has been a significant amount of infrastructure work needed to bring the Rogers service to the Northwest.

Rebecca Catley, spokesperson for Rogers Communications, said their original timeline was quite aggressive and the weather has not been kind.

"The construction is almost completed. We are just finishing that piece off. Then, there is testing that needs to be done and then we will be flipping on the switch," she said.

"We are being quite conservative (with the timeline) with the weather being the way it is right now."

Rogers is the third cellular provider to enter the region. CityWest and Telus already provide cell service in the area.

CityWest is in the process of switching over from its former provider to NorthWest Tel, a division of Bell Canada in order to offer a wider range of text and data services for cell phones.
Meanwhile Rogers' network build along the Prince George-to-Prince Rupert corridor of Highway 16 is slated for completion in the summer of 2008. This will bring services to all the communities between Prince George and Prince Rupert.

The cost of bringing the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) wireless voice and data network service along Highway 16 is $10 million.

Rogers announced in September that it would be entering the region.

The first phase of the network expansion will bring Rogers Wireless service to Prince Rupert and Terrace in the first quarter of 2008 with the towns of Smithers, Kitimat and Hazelton set to follow later in the year.

When they officially flip the switch, Rogers will be making a full announcement to let the community know that the service is available.

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