Télécommunications de l’Est (TDE) joins the Iristel group

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Rimouski, Quebec, October 11, 2018 ” TDE, a regional telecommunications company, is pleased to announce that it is joining the Iristel Group by incorporating its subsidiary ImobileCa, with the objective of offering new telecommunications services in the Côte-Nord, Gaspé, Bas-Saint-Laurent, and Quebec regions. This partnership creates a new telecommunications company that will develop an entirely new cellular network.

Iristel is a telecommunications company offering competitive local telephone services in over 80% of Canada, providing telephone numbers and voice transport services to millions of Canadians. It also offers Internet services, residential and commercial IP telephone, and Internet of Things services. It is a shareholder in a cellular company called Ice Wireless, which operates 3G/LTE network in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon and Northern Quebec. Iristel also has interests in a satellite operator and various other telecommunications companies.

Last May, Iristel took majority control of ImobileCa, a company with a non-operated cellular licence covering the territory from Forestville to Blanc-Sablon, from Saint-Fabien to Gaspé, the Magdalen Islands, as well as an area south of Quebec City extending from Montmagny to Laurier-Station. The Portneuf region is also included.

Télécommunications de l’Est saw this transaction as an opportunity to join a major group with aspirations to invest in the region, as well as a rare opportunity to join the select group of some fifteen Canadian companies operating a cellular network. Iristel’s knowledge of cellular network operations, its management system, its customer service team, ImobileCa’s owned frequencies; in addition to TDE’s branches, teams, and telecom sites, make this three-way marriage a very promising project.

“All of the Télécommunications de l’Est teams remain in place, and we believe that the workforce requirements should allow for the hiring of a few dozen people in the coming years. The Matane head office and the entire management team will also remain in place. Daniel Gignac continues to manage the majority of TDE’s operations, in addition to those of ImobileCa,” said Denis Gignac, outgoing President of TDE. The NOMAD Mobile Network development strategy continues, and the network will continue to expand its territory, as it meets needs that are difficult to satisfy using other means of communication.

New Services to Come

As of now, Télécommunications de l’Est and Iristel teams are working on building their own cellular network. ‘Since the beginning of cellular, people have been asking us to install a cellular network in their community, but it was impossible for us. Now it’s possible!’ Denis Gignac, TDE’s outgoing president, also stated.

The company will work on two aspects: establishment of the network in urban areas, and installation of the network in areas not covered by the network, as requested by municipalities or government agencies. TDE’s team flexibility and cost structure allow it to perform these installations at lower costs than large telecom companies.

The cellular service will be marketed under the name Iristel. Approximately 50% of the territory that can be covered is currently served by a single network, shared by the major Canadian telecommunications companies. The arrival of Iristel already allows us to offer different services, starting at $9/month.

In addition to the cellular network, the company plans to launch in the region a series of products and services already offered by Iristel in other territories, as well as new products still under development. 2019 will be an important year, as it will see the arrival of a completely new offering of products and services for consumers and businesses. Télécommunications de l’Est has been in business for 40 years and, through its involvement in the Iristel group, it intends to become a key player in the Quebec telecommunications industry.

Conférence de presse Iristel/TDE

Daniel Gignac of Télécommunications de l’Est and Samer Bishay of Iristel.