Xplornet acquires spectrum to build out a 5G network for rural Canadians

The acquired spectrum covers most rural households across Canada's ten provinces

Xplornet LTE Network website on a phone

New Brunswick-based communications company Xplornet announced that it sublicensed 40MHz of AWS-4 spectrum from TerreStar Solutions. It says the licence will enable it to build a national 5G wireless broadband network for rural Canadians.

Xplornet said in a release that the acquired spectrum covers most of the rural households located across Canada’s ten provinces.

The agreement with TerreStar will make over 500 million MHzPOP of mid-band spectrum available to Xplornet. MHzPOP is a measure of one megahertz of bandwidth passing one person in the coverage area of a spectrum license.

Further, Xplornet can deploy the spectrum in 37 tier 3 and 13 tier 4 areas across Canada. The federal government defines service areas as one of four tiers, the first being an area that covers the entirety of Canada. Tier 2 consists of 14 provincial and large regional service areas covering the whole country. Tier 3 contains 59 smaller regional service areas covering the entirety of Canada, and tier 4 comprises 172 localized service areas covering the country. You can learn more about service area tiers on the Government of Canada website.

Xplornet will hold the sublicense until March 2035, at which point it can choose to extend the agreement if TerreStar’s AWS-4 spectrum licences are renewed.

The sublicense covers downlink mobile spectrum in the 2,000MHz to 2,020MHz and 2,180MHz to 2,200MHz frequency ranges. Xplornet can use that spectrum to provide fixed or mobile broadband. The company will pair the downlink spectrum with available uplink spectrum, including spectrum it already holds. It already has mobile and fixed licensed spectrum in the 3,500MHz, 2,500MHz, 700MHz, 600MHz and AWS-1 bands.

Xplornet says the investment will enable it to develop the latest wireless technology and deliver future 5G services, including speeds of 100Mbps along with affordable unlimited data plans for rural broadband customers across Canada.

Additionally, the company says it’s working with leading equipment manufacturers to develop 5G-ready radio access and consumer premise hardware that meets the 3GPP standards.

Along with all this, Xplornet plans to invest $500 million in the next five year to deliver 5G wireless to rural Canadians.

Source: Xplornet