SaskTel to launch LTE network “fall of 2012”

SaskTel just keeps getting better. Today in a press release they announced plans to deploy Long Term Evolution (LTE) network starting in the Fall of 2012. SaskTel will roll out a couple phases, starting first Regina and Saskatoon, and its surrounding areas. Then slowly continue the expansion, “based on the demand”, into urban and rural areas in 2013. Similar to Rogers, Bell and TELUS, the SaskTel LTE network will have the capability to hit peak download speeds of 100 Mbps and upload speeds off 50 Mbps. There was no word on which devices they will have available at launch. Full release below

“LTE technology will significantly improve the customer experience and will provide our customers with data speeds of up to 5 times faster than our existing 4G network,” said Bill Boyd, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “SaskTel has a solid technology evolution plan that will ensure Saskatchewan residents continue to benefit from the most advanced wireless technology available. The initial LTE phones will be compatible with the 4G network and will seamlessly transmit voice over the 4G network and data over LTE until LTE is set up for both voice and data.”

SaskTel’s existing 4G wireless technology reaches download speeds of up to 21 Mbps and LTE will reach download speeds of over 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and 50 Mbps upload. The higher bandwidth LTE will provide increased capacity to serve more customers, improved latency with respect to data applications and video, and it will allow SaskTel to provide more advanced and higher bandwidth video and multimedia services. It will also support SaskTel’s line of leading edge handset options, which will continue to expand as new handset devices are introduced in the market.

SaskTel has begun work on LTE planning, infrastructure development and internal system work. Phase 1 of LTE deployment will begin in the fall of 2012 to Regina and Saskatoon, and surrounding areas. LTE will be deployed to other urban and rural areas starting in 2013 based on the demand for incremental data services and it anticipated that LTE for voice will also begin to be deployed in 2013.

SaskTel has the largest cellular network in Saskatchewan and is the first wireless service provider to announce its intention to deploy LTE in the Province.