THUNDER BAY — Its business partnership with Rogers Communications has helped Tbaytel provide state-of-the-art services and thrive in a competitive environment for a dozen years.
Because Tbaytel relies on some of Rogers' hardware and software technologies, that same partnership resulted in Tbaytel subscribers being caught up in the nation-wide outage that affected the Rogers network last Friday.
The two companies have had a strategic business relationship since 2010.
It was initially a 10-year deal, but in 2019 it was renewed for another 20 years.
At the time, CEO Dan Topatigh described the national carrier as a good partner "in terms of being able to add scale," adding "We need solutions such as international roaming, North American roaming, and they provide that to us."
Topatigh said the extension of the agreement allowed for the advancement of technology as it continues to change.
The benefit for Rogers is that its own customers can utilize the substantial Tbaytel wireless infrastructure in Northern Ontario.
TBnewswatch asked Tbaytel for an explanation as to why it was impacted by the Rogers' service breakdown.
No one was available for an interview, but Tbaytel issued a written response.
It explained that a mobility network has two main components – RAN and Core.
RAN stands for radio access network, which in this instance includes Tbaytel's mobility tower sites and radio antennas from just outside Sault Ste. Marie to the Manitoba border.
The RAN antennas transmit to a customer's phone.
The Core component comprises a mix of hardware and software technologies.
Tbaytel stated that through its agreement with Rogers, "Tbaytel leverages the Rogers core network to provide data and voice connectivity."
When the Rogers system failed, Tbaytel customers were affected because data and voice traffic could no longer be routed to the correct destination.
"Network reliability is of the utmost importance to Tbaytel and we are in dialogue with Rogers to fully understand the root cause of the outage and how to strengthen and protect service to Tbaytel's customers now and in the future," the statement said.
Tbaytel will apply a proactive credit reflecting the duration of the outage to customers' bills next month.
Canada’s telecommunications regulator on Tuesday ordered Rogers Communications to provide a “comprehensive explanation” for the massive outage.
The CRTC gave the company until July 22 to answer detailed questions about the outage that also disrupted Interac payments, health care and emergency services.