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Here's how Nokia and TELUS connected rural Canada using new innovations in microwave technology


Imagine owning a business in a rural area and worrying about being able to meet your customers' needs because your internet is not fast enough. Or, being a student who can't access the internet efficiently to get your homework done just because of where you live.

Lower North Shore residents in Quebec, Canada, have experienced these challenges for a long time, but that recently changed.

I'm delighted to share that the families and businesses in this area, stretching along a remote 400-kilometer coastline, now have access to high-speed internet and wireless phone services through collaboration between Nokia and TELUS.

This timely and cost-effective service is being provided to these remote Canadian communities by TELUS, which is leveraging LTE-Advanced wireless technology, and one of the largest microwave radio systems in the world, deployed by Nokia. It opens up this distant rural region with broadband services utilizing the latest-generation, high-capacity microwave technology from Nokia.

The microwave technology will be used as the primary link for bandwidth transport, which will support the wireless network and provide it with capacity, speed and data for all 14 connected communities and 18 wireless sites.

This field-proven technology enables microwave corridors with more than 20x the previous system's capacity across remote regions where fiber does not exist due to cost and complicated terrain features. This 3 +2 hop network provides a little more than six Gbps throughput spanning 260km. This 24 channel system employs Adaptive Code Modulation, High Power Plus Transmitters, Dual Receivers with Digital Combining, Cross-Polarization Interference Cancelation, and filters with Adjacent Channel Co-Polarized technology.  

The longest path is shy of 43.5 miles (approximately 70 km) and is one of the most extensive and developed microwave ecosystems globally. We are proud to be a part of this innovation and deployment in Canada that provides reliable broadband with enough bandwidth to benefit these communities in many ways -- from creating new employment and industrial opportunities to delivering an overall enrichment in life.

The technology is being used to its full potential and pushed to its limits. This combination of technologies is not just innovative, but also perfect for the remote areas of Canada. The microwave backhaul was built over challenging terrain to provide the connection.

Equipment was brought in by boat and helicopter, and entire teams used all-terrain vehicles to reach remote sites. This deployment is the first milestone of a significant high-speed internet deployment in this immense and sometimes roadless region. Nokia's Global Services team was instrumental in coordinating the complexities of deploying through such a vast, rugged area.

Nokia is developing numerous technologies and working in partnerships to bridge the digital divide in many regions worldwide; this example in Canada is just the latest. Over the next few years, more and more people will have equal access to the digital age, no matter where they live.

Advanced microwave and other developing technologies will help ensure the sustainability and growth of local businesses. We're happy to help connect these Canadians to the information and opportunities they want and need, whether at home or on the move.

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks or @nokia using #innovation

Jeffrey Maddox

About Jeffrey Maddox

Jeffrey is responsible for organizational leadership within Nokia Canada. Prior to Nokia, Jeffrey worked with Cisco and start up company Cerent Corp. in several executive roles. Jeffrey started his career in Ottawa with Bell Northern Research in Division 1 Optical Transport doing test engineering after completing his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from McMaster University.

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