SSi Micro launching mobile services in Iqaluit
“A game-changer for many families is the elimination of long-distance fees between Nunavut communities—all calls from an SSi Mobile phone are local”
SSi Micro’s new cellular service is launching in Iqaluit on Saturday, Sept. 22.
The service, called SSi Mobile, is already available in 15 communities across Nunavut. Over the next few months, it’s expected to be available throughout Nunavut, delivered by the SSi Micro’s Nunavut-wide 4G-LTE and 2G-GSM network.
“It will be the only mobile service with coverage in all 25 communities,” said Dean Proctor, SSi Micro’s chief development officer, in a phone interview on Wednesday.
SSi Mobile offers its customers unlimited texting to everywhere in Canada, and customers will soon be able to roam anywhere in Canada.
Plans start at $25 per month and the price of smart phones will be “extremely reasonable,” Procter said.
“A game-changer for many families is the elimination of long-distance fees between Nunavut communities—all calls from an SSi Mobile phone are local,” said Jeff Philipp, founder and CEO of SSi Micro.
The service’s launch in Iqaluit is being held at the city’s soup kitchen between 1 p.m and 5 p.m. on Saturday.
A portion of the proceeds from the sales of services at the launch will be donated to Qajuqturvik to support the local food centre, said Philipp.
Starting on Monday, Sept. 24, customers can sign up for SSi Mobile at the Qiniq service desk in the Baffin Gas Bar.
To support the new service in Iqaluit, SSi is using capacity on Telesat’s new Ka-band T19 satellite.
According to Proctor, when they showed the new SSi Mobile phone plans to people even in Montreal and Ottawa, their eyes opened wide at the prices.
“We have gotten really positive responses,” Proctor said. “The quality of the network is unparalleled.”
This announcement comes just days after Northwestel made a splash with a new satellite-based internet service that would offer faster and more affordable access to communities across Nunavut.
That project, Tamarnit Nunaliit, will also allow other internet service providers like SSi Mobile to access internet “backbone” services at a wholesale rate.
“That announcement is based on public funding,” Proctor said about Northwestel. “That subsidy was not to introduce retail services. They jumped the gun.”
It remains to be seen how the speedier satellite links will affect SSi Micro’s internet service, Qiniq.
“We have to see how that plays out,” Proctor said.