SaskTel investing $324 million in Saskatchewan in 2020-2021


Originally News Release by SaskTel

Today SaskTel announced that it will invest approximately $324 million of capital in Saskatchewan in 2020-2021* and over $1.4 billion over the next five years. This investment will ensure SaskTel customers across the province will continue to enjoy some of the most advanced wireless, internet, television, data and, IP-based technologies and services available anywhere in the world today.

“The COVID-19 pandemic further underscored the critical role that communications technologies and networks play in the modern world,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “As we shift our focus to the gradual and methodical re-opening of Saskatchewan, I am pleased with the investments SaskTel plans to make in key initiatives that will further enhance their world class networks and strengthen our province’s ability to connect with the world and each other.”

“How we connect and interact with one another has dramatically changed in a very short time frame, but thanks to important investments like these, our advanced and robust networks will continue to keep our customers connected to what matters most to them today and well into the future,” said Doug Burnett, SaskTel President and CEO.

Highlights of 2020-2021 core Saskatchewan investment program include:

  • $73.0 million for Fibre to the x (FTTx) program. FTTx is an ambitious initiative designed to upgrade SaskTel’s wireline broadband network to meet ever-growing customer demands for bandwidth by upgrading the existing infrastructure and bringing infiNET™, SaskTel’s cutting-edge fibre optics network, directly to customers’ homes and businesses. This program aims to pass 100% of the homes in the nine major centres by the end of the 2022/23 fiscal year. In addition, SaskTel anticipates that 100% of the homes will be passed in Emerald Park, Humboldt, Martensville, Melfort, Melville, Nipawin, Tisdale, Warman, and White City by the end of the 2021/22 fiscal year.

Work includes:

  • $50.0 million – Fibre to the Premises Program (FTTP) in the nine major centres.
  • $12.0 million – Fibre to the Premises Program (FTTP) outside of the nine majors.
  • $11.0 million for Fibre to the Business (FTTB)
  • In 2020/21, the FTTx program is forecasted to pass approximately 33,000 homes while connecting 21,000. The program also aims to pass 1,300 businesses and connecting 1,200.

The fibre optics technology powering infiNET allows SaskTel to deliver amazingly fast speeds that currently reach up to 300 Megabits per second (Mbps), while also having the capacity to significantly increase speeds over time as customers needs evolve. With these speeds, customers can surf, stream, and share digital content like never before without having to worry about usage limits. In addition, maxTV gets even better with infiNET, delivering a truly immersive entertainment experience that allows subscribers to connect up to 7 set-top boxes – all with HD and recording capabilities.

  • $35.0 million for wireless network enhancements
    • $ 28.4 million – Long Term Evolution (LTE) enhancements – The 4G LTE network covers 99% of the population of the province and provides data speeds approximately 10 times faster than 4G allowing customers to stream HD movies, high quality video and music, share pictures and videos, game faster than ever before and download applications lightning fast. (LTE and UMTS-HSPA)
    • $2.1 million – SaskTel selectWI-FI expansion.
    • $4.5 million – Wireless network demand and growth including $2.6 million for Long Term Evolution – Time Division Duplex (LTE-TDD) Fusion capacity enhancements.
  • $78.9 million for rural wireless enhancements
    • A multi-phase initiative to provide rural communities with enhanced access to reliable cellular and high speed internet services.
  • $77.6 million on several initiatives to meet wireline network growth
    • Network modernization- $17.0 million
    • Access and Core Demand and Growth – $40.0 million
    • Community Participation Programs and Partnerships – $2.4 million
    • maxTV Growth – $9.0 million
    • Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) – $9.0 million
    • Other network enhancement – $.2 million
  • $60.0 million to improve customer services through continued investment in Information Technology (IT) and Information Systems (IS) platforms and service enhancements. Key initiatives include:
    • Customer Delivery Evolution to implement workforce management capabilities that will enable SaskTel to respond to customer demands more efficiently.
    • Service Management Transformation to enhance the self-serve capabilities of Business customers.
    • Business Tools Evolution Project which will implement the Core Customer Relationship Management capabilities that provide the foundation to evolve SaskTel’s business customer focused systems and processes.
    • Policy Charging & Control to support faster wireless network speeds through carrier aggregation.

*Capital spending is for the fiscal year 2020-2021 – April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021.

About SaskTel

SaskTel is the leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provider in Saskatchewan, with over $1.2 billion in annual revenue and approximately 1.35 million customer connections including 618,000 wireless accesses, 308,000 wireline network accesses, 276,000 internet accesses and 111,000 maxTV™ subscribers. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries offer a wide range of ICT products and services including competitive voice, data and Internet services, wireless data services, maxTV services, data centre services, cloud-based services, security monitoring services, advertising services, and international software and consulting services. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries have a workforce of approximately 3,600 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). Visit SaskTel at www.sasktel.com.

Read original news release at sasktel.com.