Arctic Canadian community gets cell service

People in Cape Dorset will now be able to use cell service, but it comes at a high price - 30 cents a minute for pre-paid service. (Eilís Quinn/Radio Canada International)Buyers flock to store to buy mobile devices

Cell phone service has arrived in the community of Cape Dorset in Canada’s eastern Arctic Nunavut territory.

The first pre-paid phones went on sale a few days ago, and similar services will soon be coming to other parts of Nunavut.

Buyers crowded into the office at the Cape Dorset Print shop. For many, it was their first chance to buy a cell phone.

“There is a large divide, a cell phone divide across Canada, so these guys are now on the other side, they have cell phone service,” said Adnan Ahmed, the general manager with Lynx Mobility.

Lynx Mobility partnered with the print co-op to bring cell phones to the community.

They offer pre-paid services only. At 30 cents a minute, it’s not exactly cheap, but there are no monthly bills, and no surprises — something which appeals to some customers.

“People with no phones can afford a cell phone now… it’ll help a lot for emergency use, that’s what I think about it,” said one Cape Dorset man, who lined up for a phone.

Lynx Mobility already offers cell phone service in much of Nunavik and in Labrador.

In the next few days, they’ll start selling phones in Gjoa Haven. In a few weeks, phones will be on store shelves in Sanikiluaq.

If the demand in Cape Dorset is anything to go by, sales there will be brisk.

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