SaskTel today announced it has completed another 13 different 4G wireless network infrastructure enhancement projects across the province in June 2013 to address the ever-growing customer demand for network coverage and capacity.
“SaskTel has a long record in pursuing innovative and cutting edge solutions when it comes to expanding our 4G network across the Province,” said Don McMorris, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “We are committed to building and powering the largest, fastest and most complete wireless network in the Province.”
SaskTel is using a variety of infrastructure options to enhance wireless service based on usage patterns and demands in the province. In addition to traditional towers being constructed across the province, SaskTel is also increasing capacity and coverage by deploying other options when traditional towers are not feasible due to space or other limitations. These include installing carrier antennas to increase coverage strength inside of buildings, streetlights, rooftops, wooden and stealth poles, as well as installing new cellular sites such as towers or COWS (cellular on wheels) in various locations.
The communities that received 4G network enhancements in June 2013, including the type of enhancement completed are as follows:
• Regina: installed a new temporary cell site, a COW (cellular on wheels) to improve capacity and coverage in Qu’Appelle Park and an in building UMTS and LTE distributed antenna solution at Mosaic Stadium and Radisson Plaza Hotel to significantly increase capacity
• Saskatoon: added antennas to two street lights in the Parkridge area to increase coverage and capacity
• Annaheim: Replaced a repeater to increase capacity
• Elbow: added underlay to an existing tower to increase capacity
• Alvena: added capacity with a 850 Carrier addition
• Prince Albert: added capacity with a 850 Carrier addition at McIntosh Mall
• Christopher Lake: added capacity with a carrier addition
• Emma Lake: erected a new stealth pole to increase capacity and coverage
• Pelican Narrows: added underlay to an existing tower to increase capacity
• Moose Jaw: erected new monopoles tower in Regal Heights and Wellesley Park, which will increase capacity and coverage
• Good Spirit: added underlay to an existing tower to increase capacity
• Richmound: Replaced a repeater to increase capacity
The addition of a sector and a carrier increases network capacity by adding more radio frequency channels. Each additional carrier added to a site will increase the network capacity at that site by an incremental amount. Adding one additional carrier approximately doubles network capacity. Going from two to three additional carriers increases network capacity by approximately 50 per cent above that and going from three to four additional carriers increases capacity by a further 33 per cent. Increasing sectors adds an antenna which further improves coverage and capacity.
The 4G network provides increased bandwidth with download speeds approximately four times faster than existing speeds (up to 21 megabits per second). It is also compatible with more than 80 per cent of all networks around the world. SaskTel plans to support the existing CDMA digital network for the foreseeable future to ensure that all wireless customers continue to enjoy a full selection of wireless services that best suit their needs.
SaskTel has a significant number of 4G infrastructure improvement projects planned for completion by year-end 2013 which will increase capacity to match the continued growth in customer demands on the network.
Saskatchewan Telecommunications Holding Corporation (SaskTel.com) is the leading full service communications provider in Saskatchewan, with $1.2 billion in annual revenue and over 1.4 million customer connections including over 607,000 wireless accesses, 492,000 wireline network accesses, 250,000 internet accesses and 97,000 Max™ (TV) subscribers. SaskTel offers a wide range of communications products and services including competitive voice, data, internet, entertainment, security monitoring, 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).