SaskTel also announced that it will launch its 4G LTE network January 31, with service at launch available in Regina, Saskatoon, Clavet, Dundurn, Langham, Lumsden, Martensville, Osler, Pense, Vanscoy, Warman, and White City. At launch, SaskTel 4G LTE coverage will have twice the towers and up to 33% more speed compared to any other provider in Saskatchewan. Throughout 2013 the 4G LTE network will also be extended to Dalmeny, Balgonie, Estevan, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Swift Current, Weyburn and Yorkton.
“As the pace of technological change continues to accelerate and shape our future, it is important that as a province we embrace the new technology and the changes that it brings so that we can continue to grow our economy,” said Don McMorris, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “This significant capital investment will allow SaskTel to deploy powerful new next generation technologies to better serve the people of Saskatchewan.”
“From 2008 - 2013, we’ve invested approximately $1 billion future-proofing our networks,” SaskTel President and CEO Ron Styles said. “Our ongoing network investment enables us to provide a world class experience for customers by offering advanced solutions and applications through our superior networks.”
Residential and business customers in communities across the province can expect improved and expanded SaskTel services as a result of these latest major infrastructure investments. The investment will ensure SaskTel customers in Saskatchewan continue to receive some of the best wireless, Max, internet, data and future IP-based services in the world.
Highlights of this year’s investment program include:
• In 2013, SaskTel will invest $82.0 million in its Fibre to the Premise Program (FTTP). An additional $11.5 million will be invested in the new Fibre to the Business Program (FTTB) for a total of $93.5 million. The FTTP deployment project is a $670 million 7-year program announced in 2012 which targets to have 100% of homes in the nine major centres in the province passed by 2017.
In 2013, SaskTel expanded the FTTP program to include the FTTB component which is a $32.5 million 4 year program that will bring fibre business grade services to the business districts in the 9 major centres in the province. In 2013, SaskTel will begin converting existing DSL business customers in the downtown core areas of Saskatoon and Moose Jaw.
Fibre will offer speeds that far exceed those of SaskTel’s current network and will allow SaskTel to deploy speeds up to 260 Mbps initially, with the capacity to significantly increase speeds over time. Customers will enjoy faster download and upload speeds to enhance the online experience when downloading or streaming video, uploading photos and videos, and participating in real-time gaming and video chat. Fiber to the Premises will also support up to 9 HD capable set top boxes, the ability to combine faster internet speeds with Max and allow SaskTel to continue improving the TV watching experience.
• In 2012, SaskTel budgeted $44 million for the infrastructure build for LTE and in 2013 will invest another $5.2 million for Long Term Evolution expansion. The 4G LTE network will provide increased data speeds approximately 5 times faster than the current 4G network allowing customers to stream HD movies, high quality video and music, share pictures and videos, game faster than ever before and download applications lightning fast.
• In 2013 SaskTel will invest $53.8 million for ongoing 4G wireless network enhancements. The 4G network provides increased bandwidth with download speeds approximately 10 times faster than CDMA network speeds (up to 21 megabits per second). The 4G wireless network delivers increased bandwidth, greater international roaming and a wider selection of wireless device.
• In 2013, SaskTel will invest $6.3 million for Network Convergence. This investment will begin the work to combine multiple network cores into a single converged core, allowing customers in the future to run multiple services and applications over multiple devices and platforms providing a seamless and integrated user experience.
• Other Expenditures include:
- Basic Network Growth and Enhancements $48.9 million
- Other network expenditures $8.0 million
Saskatchewan Telecommunications Holding Corporation (SaskTel.com) is the leading full service communications provider in Saskatchewan, with $1.1 billion in annual revenue and over 1.4 million customer connections including over 600,000 wireless accesses, 514,000 wireline network accesses, 234,000 internet accesses and 93,000 Max™ (TV) subscribers. SaskTel offers a wide range of communications products and services including competitive voice, data, internet, entertainment, national security, messaging, cellular, wireless data and directory services. In addition, SaskTel International offers software solutions and project consulting in countries around the world. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries have a workforce of approximately 4,000 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs).