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Ethernet Solutions for Today’s Forward-Thinking Canadian Defence Sector

Canada’s defence sector faces unique threats and challenges. From the growing number of cyber-attacks on the federal government to the country’s vast underserved regions, mission-critical government services across the country require networks with unparalleled resilience, availability and security.  As a wholesale network operator specialized in the deployment of MEF Certified Carrier Ethernet networks, WireIE is the provider of choice for mission-critical underserved network requirements.

In 2007, Rob Barlow created WireIE because he saw a gap in bringing high-availability network services to underserved markets where government assets and large enterprises need to function with the speed and reliability of those in major Canadian cities. The company addresses this need by working with its partners to deliver networks with unparalleled availability and ultra-low latency to enterprises and government installations of all sizes across Canada’s underserved regions.  WireIE’s MEF Certified Ethernet 2.0 certification gives its customers performance assurance that their applications and network data will run without interruption and to the highest standards of performance.

In 2016, WireIE worked with Tier 1 Canadian partners to replace the legacy service at a major NAV Canada radar station on Mt. Wallensteen, located 20 kilometres west of Salmon Arm, British Columbia. WireIE was the partner of choice since the station site is located two kilometers above the nearby community and is inaccessible during the harsh winter months. As a result, it was uneconomical to complete the upgrades using fiber technology. Even though the site could only be accessed via helicopter, WireIE successfully completed the installation of 10Mbps Ethernet service, exceeding the client’s expectations. The new network infrastructure provides the station with the redundancy and reliability necessary to ensure safe plane-to-ground voice communication for the many trans-Pacific flights coming into Canada on a daily basis.

This year, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) reported that the federal government faces serious cyber-attacks on a daily basis. As the capabilities of state-sponsored hackers and terrorist groups increase, secure networks for government assets in underserved regions become a high priority. The reliable and trusted service that WireIE delivers can be used for all types of assets that are crucial to the security of Canadians. Already working on behalf of fourteen government departments, WireIE is excited to offer its innovative, best-in-class services in support of the Canadian defence sector’s needs.  For more information on WireIE’s services, visit their resource centre here.

New Terms for a New Reality

WireIE was founded on the basis that significant change was imminent in the world of wireless network technology, our company’s core expertise. This change would impact the way services would be delivered. In fact, the very nature of the services themselves would significantly change. New approaches to designing, deploying and managing networks would result, and WireIE was ideally positioned to be a leader in this changed market.

At WireIE we always have our sights set on the next generation. Of course, “next generation” is a relative term because from the client’s perspective it doesn’t necessarily mean transforming to 4G. As a global company, some of WireIE’s clients operate in markets where the business case for 3G – ‘their’ next generation – is only now becoming valid. Regardless, our industry is well on its way in it’s transformation from the legacy of circuit-switched voice infrastructure to frame/packet data networks based on the Internet Protocol (IP). And it’s not just the infrastructure that’s transforming. So too is the business itself.

As with any transformation, some are challenged to let go of the old and familiar, and embrace the new. Others may be tempted to take experience from the old and superimpose it on the new.

The Telco in a World Dominated by IP

At WireIE, we’re promoting minor adjustments to terminology that we feel more appropriately capture the reality of the transformation our industry is going through. For example, most of our clients have traditionally been telcos – an abbreviation for telephone company, ortelecommunications company. In most jurisdictions, telcos are common carriers. A common carrier is an entity that transports goods or passengers for a person or company. The common carrier is usually licensed and regulated by a government authority and is responsible for protecting against any potential loss of goods during transport. Implicit in a common carrier’s obligations are corresponding regulatory protections to ensure the common carrier is financially sustainable.

While we don’t dispute the common carrier aspect of telcos, we believe the historical context of the telco term under-represents and potentially misrepresents the nature of their transformed business.

With the integration of IP into the very core of our networks, it could be argued the nature of our business begins to have more in common with Internet Service Provision (ISP, or in the case of a wireless network, WISP). Sure, there is inevitably underlying telco infrastructure supporting an ISP, but in the world of IP where routing is highly dynamic and adaptable, and therefore tolerant of carrier facility disruption, we feel it’s more valid to talk in terms of the network. As such, we choose to refer to telcos as network operators.

As a company that transforms networks, there’s a method in our madness. Network transformation of the magnitude we’re seeing as a result of data usage, also means business and operational transformation. Using a term like telco reinforces the cultural inertia some are experiencing in our industry. In our view network operator modernizes the language.

There’s So Much More to Wireless IP Networks Than Wi-Fi

WireIE offers a number of solutions for wireless network access, along with an innovative suite of IP Packet Radio solutions for backhaul. Because of the broad adoption of Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11) as a wireless IP access technology, many are naturally inclined to assume that when wireless and IP are mentioned in the same breath, we’re talking about Wi-Fi. In this day and age, and certainly going forward, nothing could be farther from the truth.

4G wireless technologies are entirely IP based and 3G/3.5G technologies have significant IP infrastructure supporting their wireless data services. 3G, 3.5G and 4G are macro networks offering ubiquitous coverage and mobility. They support roaming. They also offer predictability and reliable service levels. Designing, deploying and operating a wireless macro network requires highly specialized expertise, along with sophisticated design tools. WireIE extends and transforms macro networks using the industry’s best-of-breed.

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