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Cellular Carrier RuralCom Selects Gilat as Prime Network Contractor
by Staff Writers
Petah Tikva, Israel (SPX) Mar 03, 2015

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Gilat Satellite Networks has announced that RuralCom selected Gilat as prime network contractor for its Alaska Highway and British Columbia (BC) Coast Networks. RuralCom's networks will use Gilat's CellEdge 3G technology to provide satellite-based, high-speed mobile services in previously unserved rural areas of Canada.

RuralCom's proposed Alaska Highway Network will provide nearly continuous coverage along the 1,685 km (1,047 mile) Alaska Highway, from Wonowon, BC to Beaver Creek, Yukon Territory (YT) on the Alaska-YT border.

Communities to be served will include Fort Nelson in BC and Watson Lake and Whitehorse in YT. The networks were made fully operational in late January and RuralCom expects to have additional new cell sites along the Alaska Highway and the B.C. Coast by mid-year with expansion to continue during the second half of the year.

Gilat's CellEdge, small cell over satellite solution will enable RuralCom to provide 3G HSPA+ including voice, SMS, MMS and data services to both its subscribers as well as customers of other cellular operators. Gilat's CellEdge 3G network was creatively designed to reduce OPEX by optimizing space segment usage and significantly reduce CAPEX.

"There are vast stretches of the Alaska Highway and BC Coast which have no existing wireless service and, we believe that the benefits to public safety and the protection of life and property will be significant," claimed Bob Hillman, President and CEO of RuralCom.

"We shopped the world for the most contemporary technology and equipment. We chose Gilat for its innovative solution, its experience working under harsh environmental conditions and its unique energy renewal capabilities."

"Our message to cellular operators is clear: 'Show us where you need connectivity and we will provide it'," explained Erez Antebi, Gilat's CEO. "RuralCom handed us a list of locations and we are making it happen - quickly, turnkey and without any hassles."

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