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Canadian Wireless Broadband Network

With the Canadian government still mulling over changes to the country's access regime, two of the countries largest carriers have announced plans for a new wireless broadband network project covering more than two-thirds of the population within three years.

Rogers Communications and Bell Canada announced this week that they will invest an initial $200 million to complete the first phase of the project. It will cover over "40 cities and approximately 50 unserved rural and remote communities," combining wireless spectrum licenses in 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz frequency ranges from both companies.

Under the plan, the network will be managed and operated by Inukshuk Internet, an existing service provider currently owned by Rogers and NR Communications, a company linked with perennial US wireless investor Craig McCaw. Bell said that it had reached agreement to buy out NR Communications and would subsequently run Inukshuk as a 50/50 joint venture with Rogers. The partners said that would cooperate on marketing and the delivery of applications and services and gave an undertaking that they would ensure "healthy competition and consumer choice."

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