Ice Wireless Selects Metaswitch for Virtualized VoLTE Deployment

Network transformation helping to close the digital divide, bringing high speed coverage and high quality voice services to Arctic regions of northern Canada

LOS ALTOS, Calif. -- February 22, 2017 -- Cloud native communications software leader Metaswitch today announced that Iristel and its subsidiary Ice Wireless have selected Metaswitch solutions as the basis of a virtualized VoLTE deployment that brings high speed wireless services to previously underserved areas of northern Canada.


“The virtualization is key for us,” said Samer Bishay, CEO of Iristel. “We wanted something that was agile and compact that allows us to layer services as software rather than being tied to proprietary hardware deployments. It's very expensive to fly somebody up to do a remote deployment in the Arctic, versus creating a service layer that can be provisioned remotely, instantaneously, with no disruption of service. This is going to be exciting, not just for us, but also for the people living up there who are now able to tap into services that they could have only dreamed of just a few months back.”

As the industry’s only real cloud native communications software solution, Metaswitch’s mobile portfolio couples breakthrough economic advantages with the reliability, performance and agility that service providers need to quickly innovate and launch VoLTE services, and beyond.

Key components of the solution include:

  • Clearwater vIMS Core - a cloud-native virtual IMS core built on a microservices architecture and open source framework that runs on any cloud infrastructure.
  • Rhino Telecom Application Server (TAS) - an extensible carrier-grade TAS designed for cost-effective, agile delivery of consumer and enterprise MMTel services for LTE and 5G.
  • Perimeta Session Border Controller (SBC) - a virtualized SBC that distributes signaling and media functionality across commodity hardware in the cloud.

Founded in 1999, Iristel and Ice Wireless, its mobility brand, were the first GSM-based networks in Canada, and the first 3G network among the indigenous people of the far north, who had no prior smartphone access. The companies have spectrum licenses in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Northern Quebec -- all rural communities that you can only get to via ice roads, plane, or boat in summer months.

The Ice Wireless VoLTE network doubles throughput on the available spectrum, and gives users the ability to make a call and surf the Internet or watch a video simultaneously. The network is used by residents, businesses and schools, enabling levels and types of communications that were previously unavailable, including distance learning, unified communications, telemedicine and others.

“Innovative providers like Iristel and Ice Wireless are using virtual network functions to truly transform communications in the communities they serve, cost-effectively bringing advanced services to remote locations where they previously wouldn’t have been available,” said Metaswitch Chief Marketing Officer, Ian Maclean. “This deployment demonstrates our commitment to cloud native communications and to helping our customers realize the benefits that NFV ‘done right’ can bring to them and their users.”

About Iristel
Founded in 1999 and licenced by the CRTC, Markham-based Iristel is Canada’s only carrier with facilities in all 10 provinces and three territories with a network extending Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast. It is the majority owner of Ice Wireless, a facilities-based mobile network operator that delivers state-of-the-art 3G/4G HSPA+ technology to rural and remote areas in Canada’s North with LTE coming in Q1 2017. For more information, please visit