VCom and the Pool Join Forces to Expand High-Speed Technology in Saskatchewan
Release Date: September 7, 2006
15:15 EDT Thursday, September 07, 2006
REGINA, SK and VICTORIA, BC, Sept. 7 /CNW/ – VCom Inc. (TSX: VCM) and Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Inc. (TSX: SWP) today announced the establishment of a long-term strategic relationship to expand high-speed technology to the Pool, its farm customers and communities throughout the Province of Saskatchewan.
YourLink Inc., VCom’s subsidiary Internet service provision company, and the Pool have entered into a 7-year agreement to extend YourLink’s wireless network coverage to over 100 of the Pool’s grain marketing and agri-product centres across Saskatchewan. Combining VCom’s top-selling Broadband Wireless Internet Network (BWIN) and newly developed WiMAX systems, YourLink will provide high-speed, wireless broadband service to the Pool’s Saskatchewan network.
As part of the agreement, many of the Pool’s sites will also become high-speed wireless access points that are expected to add several thousand subscribers to YourLink’s Saskatchewan base and generate $8 million in YourLink revenue over the life of the agreement. Targeting farms and small communities within range of the Pool’s locations, YourLink will be able to provide high speed Internet services to a large area of Saskatchewan beyond the areas already covered by its extensive tower network.
“The Pool’s grain handling network and strategically located agri-products facilities are a natural fit as access points,” said VCom Chairman and Chief Executive Dr. Surinder Kumar. “The height and centrality of these locations presents the strategic opportunity to provide Internet services to farms, businesses and residents in neighbouring areas.”
As one of the largest companies in the Province of Saskatchewan and a significant contributor to the economic fabric of rural communities, the Pool is expanding its commitment to agriculture through this initiative. It is the first step in a comprehensive strategy being employed by the Pool that will position its growers with the technology and access to the real-time information they require to maximize their marketing opportunities and compete in the global marketplace.
President and CEO Mayo Schmidt said, “This relationship brings value to our operations by improving network performance and allowing us to manage costs over the long-term. Our partnership allows the Pool to contribute to the expansion of high-speed wireless capabilities within Saskatchewan while offering our customers new solution-based technology that will improve the efficiency of their farming operations. It is this type of innovation that the Pool will continue to provide to ensure that western Canadian farmers have the tools they need to compete.”
YourLink also plans high-performance WiMAX installations beginning this fall in urban communities around Saskatchewan. This will be the first commercial deployment of VCom’s new WiMAX product in Canada and will provide regional Saskatchewan cities and businesses with advanced data services previously available only in large centres.
This news release contains forward-looking statements, which are not historical facts, but are based on certain assumptions and reflect VCom’s current expectations. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations. VCom disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Given these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results.
VCom and the Pool Join Forces to Expand High-Speed Technology in
– YourLink high-speed Internet service is currently available in 69 of the Pool’s 100 Saskatchewan locations
– The remaining locations will be given access in the next 12 months
– Rural residents and businesses can call YourLink at 1-866-650-5465 to determine whether service is available in their area
About VCom (www.vcom.com)
VCom Inc. (TSX: VCM) designs, manufactures and sells products that enable broadband access to cable, wireless and telephony networks. VCom’s hardware products incorporate embedded software developed by it to meet the complex requirements of next-generation, high-speed digital networks. Service providers use VCom’s solutions to deliver services to a converging worldwide broadband market, including what are commonly known as “triple play” (voice, video and data) and “quadruple play” (voice, video, data and wireless) services. VCom’s solutions allow service providers to rapidly and cost-effectively bridge the final network segment that connects the system directly to endusers, commonly referred to as “the last mile”, by overcoming the bottleneck resulting from insufficient carrying capacity in legacy, last mile infrastructures. VCom’s products are directed at three principal markets: Data over Cable, Broadband Wireless and Digital Video. The Company has also developed and continues to focus on developing products to address emerging markets such as Voice over Internet Protocol, fibre to the home and IP video. VCom currently employs approximately 600 people in Western Canada.
Contact: Alan Brick, Investor Relations Officer 250-881-1982
Providing Broadband Communications to BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario
Headquartered in Saskatoon, Canada, YourLink provides innovative high-speed wireless Internet solutions and cable television services to residential and business subscribers across Canada. YourLink was formed in 2003 to deploy Saskatchewan designed and manufactured equipment from VCom Inc. YourLink is also offering NetCall, a bundled VoIP service utilizing low-cost, full-featured inexpensive long distance and voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) second line telephone services to its entire operating area.
YourLink’s wireless network brings broadband Internet service to rural areas and small communities outside the range of traditional cable or telco DSL service. Prior to the introduction of broadband wireless, many rural residents could only access the Internet through dial-up telephone lines. Internet service via traditional cable is not feasible in sparsely populated regions, and satellite services have too much delay for many Internet applications.
Contact: Quinton Eon 306-955-3122 firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Pool (www.swp.com)
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Inc. is a publicly traded agribusiness headquartered in Regina, Saskatchewan. Anchored by a Prairie-wide grain handling and agri-products marketing network, the Pool channels Prairie production to end-use markets in North America and around the world. These operations are complemented by value-added businesses and strategic alliances, which allow the Pool to leverage its pivotal position between Prairie farmers and destination customers. The Pool’s common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol SWP.
Contact: Colleen Vancha, Vice-President, Investor Relations & Communications
For further information:
Investor Relations Officer,
VCom Executive Offices,
Vice-President, Investor Relations & Communications,
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Inc.,