“This is a significant development for SaskTel and its customers in Saskatchewan,” said Bill Boyd, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “The 3G+ network will allow SaskTel to offer faster network speeds, a greater selection of devices, increased roaming capability and more applications and content.”
The new next generation wireless network is compatible with approximately 80% of all networks across the world and international roaming customers will be able to use their SaskTel 3G+ phone on 3G+ networks anywhere SaskTel has established roaming agreements. Customers will be able to enjoy faster network access speeds (download speeds of up to 21 megabits per second) and a faster mobile browsing experience.
The technical trial with select SaskTel employees will test network quality and allow SaskTel to resolve any technical issues prior to a commercial launch. On August 16, 2010 the network will be commercially available to customers in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Yorkton, Swift Current, Prince Albert, North Battleford and most of the connecting highways. The full 3G+ network is scheduled to be deployed province-wide by the end of 2010.
“We want to ensure that we are delivering the highest quality network to our customers so we are beginning our deployment with a technical trial,” said Robert Watson, SaskTel President and CEO. “The 3G+ network build is one of the biggest network projects in SaskTel history and our employees have gone above and beyond to deliver it in record time.”
“This initiative is a significant network project as it ensures a smoother transition to fourth generation (4G) wireless technology known as long term evolution (LTE),” added Watson.
To ensure that all wireless customers continue to enjoy the full choice of wireless services that best suit their needs, SaskTel plans to support the existing CDMA digital network for the foreseeable future. When the new network is made available, customers will have a choice of great devices for both the existing CDMA network and the new 3G+ network.
For the commercial launch on August 16, 2010, SaskTel is planning to have a device line-up that includes the BlackBerry Bold 9700, BlackBerry Pearl 9100, Nokia 7230, Nokia 6350 and a Novatel MC998D USB data stick. SaskTel will also continue its partnership with key manufacturers such as Motorola, LG, Samsung and RIM to offer an exciting array of new devices in the future. In addition, SaskTel continues to work to secure the iPhone as part of our device line-up for the commercial launch on August 16, 2010.
Saskatchewan Telecommunications Holding Corporation (SaskTel) is the leading full service communications provider in Saskatchewan, with $1.15 billion in annual revenue and more than 1.4 million customer connections including more than 550,000 wireless accesses, 543,000 wireline network accesses, 225,000 Internet accesses and 77,000 Max™ (TV) subscribers. SaskTel (sasktel.com) 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. In 2009, SaskTel contributed more than $651 million to the Saskatchewan economy through dollars spent with Saskatchewan-based suppliers and sponsorships to non-profit organizations. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries have a workforce of approximately 4,800 employees.