To the Editor,
Cell phone service in Hedley?
Yes it is coming. I started 10 years ago on this when I was an alternate Area “G” Director to Roger Mayer.
I was trying for toll free dialing in Area “G” – Village of Keremeos and Princeton and for cell phone service; now, after 10 years of work, waiting, lobbying, more waiting and opposition and now 90 per cent or more of Hedley residents are behind the project, the construction of the foundation for the antenna will begin this week.
Once the foundation is completed, crews will install the antenna mast and the radio equipment that needs to be mounted on the mast. There will be some additional electronic equipment installed inside the Telus building to connect the antenna to the rest of the Telus network, and to provide power to the antenna and remote telemetry to allow technicians in the National Network Operations Center to monitor the healthy, workings of the antenna system 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
So if anything goes wrong, if it is not working as it should, the center will know right away and dispatch a technician to investigate and repair any problems. It will take some time to install and test this electronic equipment. If all goes well we could have the antenna on-air and have cell phone at the end of June or first of July, I was told at a recent meeting.
I was also told that Telus is going to use the state of the art 4G wireless technology, Hedley will have faster and more comprehensive 4G wireless service than currently exists across most of Europe, as less than 25 per cent of Europeans have access to 4G wireless service. So Hedley, we will be better connected than most of the European Union.
The 4G wireless service we will have in Hedley, will include the familiar voice and text message as of traditional cell phone service; but we will also have access to wireless internet service at speeds up to 21 megabits per second, the speed will vary with distance and the traffic loading on the antenna. I think we will find the wireless internet service to be very impressive – fast.
We now have cell service coming, the toll free calling was/is too expensive, as the cost would increase your phone bill too much and residents were not in favor of that. However Hedley has toll free calling to Penticton, that helps.
I was informed that Telus is going to offer a variety of “bundled” plans that include voice and data for cell phones. Some of the wireless internet plans, I have been told, starts as low as $5 per month (for tablets) or $10 for a TELUS Smart Hub that uses WiFi to connect multiple PC’s or smartphones in our home to the internet through a single wireless data plan. Don’t forget one of the benefits of wireless internet is you can take it with you to the park or anywhere in town.
The Hedley antenna will not rely on any cell towers on the Highway, but will use a fiber optic cable from the Telus building and out to the network.
Hope this helps explain where we are at this project.
Elef Christensen, Hedley