Hwy 502 Off-Grid Cellular Project - Connected North
09/09/20

Hwy 502 Off-Grid Cellular Project

Hwy 502 Off-Grid Cellular Project

The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NOIC) is pleased to announce the completion of the vendor selection process for its proposed Hwy 502 cellular project. The vendor will remain confidential until funding agreements are in place.

The Hwy 502 cellular project is an innovative, first of its kind to NWO project, providing commercial, off-grid cellular coverage. This project includes the installation of six new cellular sites to provide continuous highway coverage along Highway 502 between Fort Frances and Dryden, ON. Currently, this important highway does not have coverage because it lacks a traditional power grid. Due to the lack of commercial power, this well-traveled highway has limited residential areas and is primarily used for transport, tourism and mining operations. Once this project is successfully completed, it is the NOICs goal to further reduce deployment costs and continue rolling out off-grid solutions to N ONs remaining unserved roadways, including 2000kms provincial highway, 530km highly active service roads, 3100km winter roads, specifically at sites where commercial power is unavailable.

In late 2019 NOIC identified the need for commercial off-grid cellular solutions in NWO, starting this project with a commissioned research paper investigating the feasibility of commercial off-grid cellular solutions in NWO. This paper led to an Expression of Interest, allowing vendors to indicate their interest in providing these solutions along Hwy 502, including technical specs and cost estimates. It is through this process that a vendor was selected.