Xplornet Communications has successfully launched EchoStar XVII, a Hughes 4G broadband satellite that will expand the company's 4G footprint across rural Canada.
The satellite was launched from French Guiana at 2:36pm yesterday into a geosynchronous orbit 35,888 kilometers above sea-level. Xplornent calls the move "a game-changer" that will offer "ubiquitous broadband access in Canada."
EchoStar XVII will greatly expand Xplornet's 4G footprint across rural Canada, especially in British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. The next-generation satellite is capable of providing Internet access to Canadians in rural and remote areas with download speeds up to 25 Mbps. Xplornet will close Canada's urban/rural digital-divide for over two million of the 2.4 million Canadian households located in regions where wired broadband is unavailable.
"This launch marks an historic transformation for rural Canada," said John Maduri, the company's CEO. "Where before there was an urban/rural digital divide, that is now being overcome by this remarkable 4G technology. Just as Canadians rely on satellites for coast to coast telephone connectivity, now they can look to the skies in terms of their digital connectivity. We are plugging rural Canada in to the global digital economy."
Xplornet has purchased 100% of the Canadian capacity on the satellite, entirely for rural broadband use. The New Brunswick-based company expects the satellite service to be available to Canadians in the fourth quarter of this year.
"Our investment of hundreds of millions in rural broadband infrastructure is unprecedented. And now we can say with confidence that we have eliminated the digital divide for 2 million Canadian households located in regions where wired broadband is not available. This is a momentous change for Canada," added Maduri.