Tbaytel Increases 4G Wireless Network Investment to $35.1 Million

TbaytelTHUNDER BAY – Business Now – “Meeting customers’ expectations is a key priority for all of us at Tbaytel and we will continue to invest in the network to ensure that customers have a reliable, high quality and seamless wireless experience,” states Don Campbell the President & CEO of Tbaytel. “We are committed to serving our neighbourhood and will continue to do our very best to earn and keep our customers’ loyalty and trust.”

Tbaytel announced today that it has increased its planned 2012 investment in the new 4G wireless network from
$5.8 million to $9.2 million. This raises the total two-year investment in the new network to over $35 million dollars.

“Providing the right user experience for our customers is our top priority”, said Campbell. “We understand that our customers’ expectations are ever changing but that their demand for a high quality and reliable
wireless service is based on their everyday need to communicate with work, family and friends. Over the last year, we have worked to ensure that we are providing customers with the best experience this technology can deliver and while our efforts have not always produced the results we expect, we remain committed to that objective.”

Campbell added, “Tbaytel has engaged Ericsson, a Canadian and global leader in wireless technology and the supplier of our current 4G network to assist Tbaytel in accelerating our planned network improvements. Customers can expect a sustained effort to continually expand and improve the 4G network now and throughout 2012.”

Through the first half of 2012, network analysis and optimization has resulted in improved coverage and capacity within the core urban areas of Thunder Bay. There have been additional cell sites constructed, updates to hardware and software, and modifications to our existing site antennae structures. These changes have established an improved baseline for future changes that are required to continue to improve call
completion rates, data speeds and coverage.

In-building urban sites are operational at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Thunder Bay International Airport and a new site has been installed to service Mariday Park. Current work is focused on improving coverage at Confederation College, and the areas of Westfort, Intercity, Northwood and Current River. The majority of this work is expected to be completed by the end of July.

In addition, Tbaytel is deploying Cellular-on-Wheels mobile cell site technology that will enable Tbaytel to provide temporary capacity and coverage improvements in areas where permanent solutions are not yet completed. These mobile cell sites will be deployed at Marina Park for Canada Day and the Thunder Bay Blues Festival to help ensure that customers have access to wireless service at these high demand events.

In the region surrounding Thunder Bay, Tbaytel has turned on a number of new rural sites and increased coverage and capacity in the regional communities of Fort Frances, Kenora and Dryden, and network improvements will continue throughout our region in 2012.

“With the accelerated efforts, our customers have recently experienced some service disruptions and varied coverage strength. We apologize for the inconvenience and frustration that these changes have caused. We are implementing network wide changes that are designed to reduce dropped calls, increase coverage and lay
the groundwork for further improvements,” said Campbell.

“Throughout the last half of 2012, new sites will be added in neighbourhoods of Thunder Bay where our work and our customers input have identified the need for further improvements in quality and reliability”, said Campbell. “Our employees and contractors have been working non-stop to improve network performance but
we know that our loyal customers expect and deserve more. We are hopeful that our aggressive efforts are now beginning to show immediate improvements for customers.”

“Meeting customers’ expectations is a key priority for all of us at Tbaytel and we will continue to invest in the network to ensure that customers have a reliable, high quality and seamless wireless experience,” added Campbell. “We are committed to serving our neighbourhood and will continue to do our very best to earn and keep our customers’ loyalty and trust.”