Wednesday 22 June 2011

Goulais (Buttermilk) HSPA Site On-Line 21 Jun 11

The Goulais (Buttermilk) 3G/4G HSPA service came on line on 21 Jun 11.

This means that three sites in the North Sault area are now providing 3G/4G HSPA service – Bellevue, Goulais (Buttermilk) and Heyden.

These sites use 3G/4G technology that is compatible with the Rogers network hardware as well as hardware procured from Tbaytel.

Bell/Telus 2G/2.5G CDMA compatible hardware will continue to work in that mode but Bell/Telus 3G/4G HSPA hardware will not work.

The plan to roll-out of additional HSPA sites at Searchmont and along the Hwy 17 corridor will continue over the summer. Exact dates are not available at this time.

There is still no date as to when the Goulais (Buttermilk) Canopy fixed wireless broadband (high speed Internet) will be in service.


  1. For Dave Stadnik:
    I have edited the content and removed the obscenities from you comment.
    “ … As if only rogers is working, its been working for a couple months! Tell Bell I'm too ….. to give a ……!”

    The Bellevue tower has been in service for about 2 months, the Heyden tower for about 3 weeks and the Goulais (Buttermilk) tower for about 3 days. Therefore, depending on where you are located in the respective coverage area of each site determines when Rogers hardware became useable in the North Sault area.

    The projected date for Bell to provide 3G/4G HSPA service in the North Sault area is still 2013.

  2. SO I should be able to purchase a rogers sim card for my ipad and it should work out in havilland bay.

  3. There are two aspects to your question: a. The availability of a HSPA in the Havilland Bay area and b. Is the iPad in question unlocked and able to operate on any network with the compatible SIM card installed.

    As far as I know, the majority of the Havilland area is served by the Batchawana cell site. If you were receiving a usable cell signal prior to 15 Jun 11, then it was indeed coming from the Batchawana site. This site has not yet had the HSPA overlay installed. While it is on the list for the upgrade, I do not yet have a date but I suspect it may be around late summer timeframe.

    There is a chance you may get an HSPA signal from the new Goulais (Buttermilk) site. Prediction charts do show some limited coverage along the south shore of the bay.

    Without a HSPA signal source, the iPad will not work.

    As to the iPad, a Rogers SIM card will word on the Tbaytel network. The question then becomes one of whether or not the iPad in question is locked or unlocked. I have read various opinions and "statements of facts" on whether or not iPads sold in Canada are network locked. I do not have the definitive answer to that question. I can say that if it is unlocked , it should work on the network with a Rogers SIM card.

    My suggestion is to go to a Rogers outlet and see if they will let you trial a SIM card. I would insist on an actual test rather then take s salesperson word that it will work.

    If you go ahead, let me know how you make out.

  4. I live near buttermilk and signed up for the wireless service three weeks ago at which time tbay tel said the service was available. Last week I recieved a phone call that they would come by to test the signal strength. Since then, I havn't heard anything again. If you recieve any dates from tbay tel they would be much appreciated.

  5. I assume you are referring to the Canopy fixed wireless service.
    Canopy is not yet in-service from the Goulais (Buttermilk) site. The installer cannot do a signal strength test and/or installation until they bring the facility on-line.
    Cellular based 3G/4G HSPA broadband (high speed Internet) service has been available at Goulais (Buttermilk) since 21 Jun 11. This may have given rise to the confusion as the original plan called for both Canopy and HSPA to become active at the same time. This didn’t happen. Unfortunately, I do not yet have a date for when Canopy will be available although Tbaytel insists it will not be very long.
    As soon as I get confirmation, I will post it on this blog.

  6. what are the speeds like for the 3G/4G internet off the Goulais (buttermilk) tower and having anyone having speed or other issues?

    The Hubs have 14 and 21 Mbps capabilities but only the 14 Mbps has a phone option. Will the 21Mbps actually do that speed and worth not getting the phone capabilities or will the 21Mbps hub never actually get over 14Mbps?

  7. In my experience any speed advertised by any telecom vendor has to be taken with a grain of salt.

    The Goulais (Buttermilk) site, like the other rural highway sites, has a theoretical speed of 7.2 Mbps using a Netcomm or W35 Ericsson data hub. Realistically, an user can expect an average speed in the 2-6 Mbps range.

    As far as I know, at this time the higher 21 Mbps speeds through the Tbaytel sites are only available in the urban area of Thunder Bay. Rogers also has higher speeds available in urban areas.

    Amongst the number of factors which may affect the speed are, inter alia, distance from the site, terrain obstacles, an external antenna, number of simultaneous users and weather. Most users end up using an external antenna to get better service. One user is reporting downloads in the 6 Mbps range from the Goulais (Buttermilk) tower without an external antenna at a distance of about 2 km.

    I am not familiar with the 14 Mbps hubs you refer to although they seem a bit like the Bell Netgear equipment. The Tbaytel/Rogers Netcomm hubs have a built in telephone jack. I am not acquainted with anyone who has the phone option but from reviews I have seen, it appears to work well. I personally would not switch my phone service until I had the data hub running and locked in solid for a few months.

    If you opt for the data hub solution, I recommend you ensure the vendor offers a trial period option. This is usually some mixture of elapsed days, data bits transferred or time on-line. This allows you to do a home test before committing.

  8. For Larry Ash: Wow, there is nothing like a simple question about using a Verizon phone in Goulais.

    You did not specify what service you wanted so I based my response on voice service. In addition, I based the response on my best knowledge. Only Verizon can provide the definitive answers in many cases.

    Verizon's 2/2.5G technology is CDMA and is compatible with the cell service in Goulais operated by Tbaytel. It is also compatible with Bell/Telus service throughout Canada. From a technical perspective, a Verizon CDMA phone should work in the Goulais coverage area. You need to be aware that there are "dead spots" in the Goulais coverage area where service is not available.

    I believe but cannot confirm that Verizon HSPA is Bell/Telus compatible and therefore will not work in Goulais as the HSPA service is Rogers compatible.

    Just to be clear, Bell/Telus compatible HSPA phones will not work in the North Sault area. This includes their flanker brands like Solo and Koodo. Rogers flanker brand Fido will also not work due to frequency incompatibility. The North Sault HSPA operates on the 850 MHz band while Fido operates on the 1900 MHz band.

    General rules on Verizon roaming are available on this site:

    I understand that both Verizon and some of their phone suppliers prevent selected phones from roaming outside the USA. It would be wise to confirm with Verizon that your particular phone allows roaming.

    Provided the hardware allows roaming, you will need to ensure that your service plan allows international roaming. I understand that Verizon has an all-inclusive Canada wide roaming for $10.00 additional per month.