Cambay, Baker Lake, Arviat on Latitude Wireless's list

Kitikmeot to get cell phone service this fall


Latitude Wireless plans a major expansion of Nunavut's cellular telephone network.

Cell phone service should be available in Cambridge Bay by the fall, a company spokesman said this past Monday.

"Dates are tricky," said Chris McNutt, Latitude's Whitehorse-based marketing manager. "[But] late August, early September is kind of the rough estimate we're working with."

"Experience putting telecommunications throughout the North tells us that exact dates are very tricky to meet."

Latitude is also looking to establish service in Baker Lake and Arviat in October, McNutt said.

The Northwestel-owned company launched in Nunavut this past January with service in Rankin Inlet and operates cell service in 20 communities in Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

The service in Rankin Inlet has been a runaway success, McNutt.

"We're hoping to take that model of success into as many communities as we can," he said.

The one thing Latitude is still looking for in Cambridge Bay, he added, is a local dealer where customers can buy phones and sign up for service.

Cambridge Bay will get tht same service other communities enjoy, with text and instant messaging, web browsing, and photo and video capabilities available for monthly fees.

McNutt said the range of cellular service will likely extend several kilometres outside of town, which means cell phones won't be a substitute for satellite phones or personal locator beacons for people travelling on the land.

But McNutt said the company plans to continue to expand. It's made easier by the geography of the North and "the physics" of cell phone signals, he said.

"Flat and cold is great," he said.

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