SaskTel has announced this morning it plans to spend nearly $12 million to expand LTE networks across Saskatchewan, and once complete, coverage will reach over 99 percent of the province’s population.
Jim Reiter, Minister Responsible for SaskTel, said in a statement to iPhone in Canada, “Our government understands that the residents of this province want to be connected at all times. Having access to SaskTel’s world-class LTE wireless network helps meet that desire for all of the people in our province,” continuing to add “SaskTel has a long history of investments in this province to enhance their services all over Saskatchewan.”
Ron Styles, SaskTel President and CEO, explained the deployment of LTE across the province will allow for “the deployment of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) which we expect to start rolling out around mid-2017,” just one of future network enhancements possible with LTE.
Styles said he anticipates LTE will reach “almost everyone” in Saskatchewan by April of next year.
Back in May, SaskTel made commitments to invest $331 million in capital in the province for 2016-17, with $1.4 billion earmarked through 2016-21, to future-proof the province’s communication, information and entertainment services, via 4G/LTE, infiNET networks and IP-based services.
Last month, following Bell’s planned acquisition of MTS, SaskTel launched a risk assessment to determine the impact of the deal, which it carrier described would “make us essentially an island in Western Canada,” as the lone regional carrier. Some believe SaskTel may be the next target of a possible ‘Big 3’ buyout, similar to MTS.
J.D. Power’s recent Canadian Wireless Purchase Experience study released last month saw SaskTel ranked the highest out of all Canadian wireless carriers, well above the industry average and ‘Big 3’ incumbents.