Ice Wireless, a subsidiary of Iristel Inc., launched a high-speed wireless service that’s well suited to accommodating the latest in smartphones and tablets, in the Nunavut capital of Iqaluit. It said in a press release Friday that its service provides an alternative to the “spotty, overpriced cellular coverage” that for years had been provided by Northwestel Inc., a BCE Inc. subsidiary. Northwestel recently announced it was transferring its wireless services to Bell Mobility. “The former monopoly phone company has ignored Iqaluit for far too long with wireless technology dating back to the 1990s,” Samer Bishay, CEO of Ice Wireless and Iristel, said in a release. “We're proud to bring 21st century wireless phones to a community that deserves more than being treated as an afterthought.” When asked about Ice Wireless’s characterization of its northern service, Bell spokeswoman Jacqueline Michelis said her company is planning upgrades for both wireless and landline service throughout that part of the country. “Northwestel and Bell Mobility are working closely together to implement the $233-million modernization plan for the North,” she said in an email, noting that part of the plan is to bring next-generation, high-speed wireless to about 99 per cent of the population in the North. Ice Wireless said its wireless network in Iqaluit, supported by two towers, features speeds of 21 Mbps. The launch follows other recent announcements of new services in Yellowknife and Whitehorse, and is part of $12.4-million investment Ice Wireless is making to bring or improve service in nine communities in the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavut, the company said.