Iristel Makes News with its VoIP Service in Canada's North
Iristel has been making Canadian news lately with its VoIP service in Canada’s Northern territories.
Yellowknife, Whitehorse and Inuvik in Canada’s North can now choose Iristel’s voice-over-IP (VoIP) service instead of using the local telephone monopoly, Northwestel. The Iristel offering gives them advanced telephony at a lower cost compared to their old provider, and residents can keep their existing phone number.
The new local phone service is being sold in Yellowknife through ICE Wireless and Global Storm, in Whitehorse through Midarctic Technology Services and Polar Group ICT and in Inuvik through New North Networks, according to a story in Telecompaper.
“Such a service is gaining popularity across Canada,” noted The Hub, a paper serving the Northwest Territories. According to a March article in The Globe and Mail, it noted, there were an estimated 161,000 VoIP phone lines in Canada in 2009, based on the latest estimate from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
"Our network is fired up, connected to the south and ready to go for people in Canada's North who are tired of high monopoly prices for landline phone service," said Samer Bishay in Cartt.ca, president and CEO of Iristel. "We're offering more advanced services at lower prices than the incumbent phone company."
Along with VoIP, Iristel is offering residents and businesses virtual faxing, which automatically converts paper faxes to digital and delivers them as e-mails, as well as video conferencing, hosted auto attendant, IP trunking and wholesale services, according to Telecompaper. Other consumer benefits include features like call waiting, three-way calling and voicemail for $2 Canadian per month. Iristel service includes free visual call display, caller ID and caller ID blocking with no activation fees. In addition, for a limited time, Iristel is offering extended local calling that enables customers to call all 867 numbers for free.
Cameron Zubko, vice-president for ICE Wireless, told The Hub that competition invariably means the price of phone service will go down in the long run.
“With more companies competing, you’ll see the price of connectivity go way down,” he said. “There are complaints within the industry that Northwestel’s prices are too high. We believe there should be more options.”
The offering comes on the heels of a 2011 CRTC decision to allow competition in the North. Previously, Northwestel had a lock on telephone services in the area.
Further putting the screws to Northwestel, the Hub reports that recently the CRTC forced Northwestel to revise its rate schedule before New Year.
Iristel has been licensed since 2000 by the CRTC as a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier in Canada, although previously it could not offer services to the North due to the CRTC’s regulations.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Brooke Neuman