According to a report by the Toronto Star, many Saskatchewan residents who live close to the Manitoba border are experiencing poor SaskTel cell service on both sides, resulting in dropped calls and a lack of steady communication.
With poor cellular coverage creating problems for those who work on large areas of land in rural Saskatchewan, residents are hoping something will change soon.
“There’s all kinds of issues,” said Doug Longman, who lives just over a mile from the Manitoba border in the Maryfield area. Longman added that despite having a SaskTel tower on his land, there are constant problems with cell service.
“About 15 years ago they came along to put a tower on my land and I thought it over and thought it’s probably better for me and a lot better for the community to have good cell service.
Our yard is just about two miles east from the tower, but we get terrible cell service because it’s directional and shoots to the west.”
Longman continued that he has gone after SaskTel and has also written to the minister, but has been told to buy an extender at the cost of $600 each; in his case he’d need four of them for his properties and vehicles, for a total of $2,400 “to communicate,” he says.
“It’s not just in Maryfield either, go all along the border and it’s the same issue. Go to Welwyn it’s the same, go anywhere on the border,” added Longman, noting it doesn’t make sense remote areas farther from him are getting “excellent” cell service versus Welwyn or Maryfield.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX and its Starlink satellite internet service may one day offer a phone service, and when it does, those living in rural areas may finally get consistent cellular coverage for once.