NorthwesTel launched 3G cell phone service in Norman Wells, N.W.T., on Monday and Fort Simpson, N.W.T. will be getting connected next week.

Curtis Shaw with NorthwesTel said that means people in those communities will now be able to use smartphones and iPads.

"You know in layman's terms, probably the biggest thing is phones like the iPhone 5 are going to work in Norman Wells and Fort Simpson," he said.

"The iPad will work in those communities over the cell network. All the new smartphones, all the latest handsets that you're seeing marketed in southern Canada, and the ones that work in Yellowknife, will now work in both Norman Wells and Fort Simpson."

He said cell phone coverage in Fort Simpson will also be improved.

NorthwesTel received a lot of complaints about spotty service from its one tower so the company is adding a second tower that should reach further in and around the community.

NorthwesTel hopes to make more upgrades in other communities in 2013.