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SaskTel announces 2014 Saskatchewan infrastructure investment and launch of Tier II Data Centre in Saskatoon

February 27, 2014

At SaskTel's new Tier II Data Centre in Saskatoon, SaskTel announced that it will invest approximately $322 million in overall capital expenditures in 2014, with approximately $183 million dollars being allocated towards its core Saskatchewan network. Residential and business customers in communities across the province can expect improved and expanded SaskTel services as a result of these latest major infrastructure investments. The investment will ensure SaskTel customers in Saskatchewan continue to receive some of the best wireless, maxTV, Internet, data and future IP-based services in the world.

The new SaskTel Data Centre will offer a highly available, secure and stable operating environment for businesses IT infrastructure. The Tier II facility has several Tier III attributes that provide redundant power, cooling, and power generation. With SaskTel Data Centre services, such as Managed Hosting and Colocation, businesses will benefit from a secure Data Centre environment and IT infrastructure management ensuring that their critical data is kept safe and secure.   

"SaskTel continues to make significant capital investments as it transitions from a telephone company to a full-blown Information and Communications Technology (ICT) company," said Don McMorris, Minister Responsible for SaskTel.  "This investment in infrastructure and launch of its new Data Centre will allow SaskTel to deploy powerful new next generation technologies to better serve the people of Saskatchewan and grow the provincial economy."

"To ensure financial viability going forward, SaskTel must continue to transform its business to provide the new products and services tied to emerging communications and information technologies while supporting revenues on the legacy side," said Ron Styles, SaskTel President and CEO.  "Today's announcement is a perfect example of SaskTel's strategic planning efforts as we outline our ongoing investment in optimizing our networks and the launch of our new Data Centre which will contribute to our transformation to an ICT company."

Highlights of this year's core Saskatchewan investment program include:

  • In 2014, SaskTel will invest $55.0 million in its Fibre to the Premises Program (FTTP).  An additional $6.0 million will be invested in its Fibre to the Business Program (FTTB) for a total of $61.0 million.

    • Bringing infiNET to Saskatchewan consumers is a $670 million nine-year program announced in 2012 which targets to have 100% of homes in the nine major centres in the province passed by 2020. In 2014, the FTTP program will pass 33,700 homes with a focus of connecting 18,000 more customers to infiNET in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert.
    • The FTTB program is a $22.5 million seven-year program announced in 2013 that will bring fibre business services to the business districts in the 9 major centres in the province.  In 2014, SaskTel will begin converting existing DSL business customers in the downtown core areas of Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert.
    • Fibre will offer speeds that far exceed those of SaskTel's current network and will allow SaskTel to deploy speeds up to 260 Mbps initially, with the capacity to significantly increase speeds over time. Customers will enjoy faster download and upload speeds to enhance the online experience when downloading or streaming video, uploading photos and videos, and participating in real-time gaming and video chat. infiNET will also support up to 7 HD capable set top boxes, the ability to combine faster Internet speeds with maxTV and allow SaskTel to continue improving the TV watching experience. 
  • In 2014, SaskTel will invest $36.8 million for ongoing wireless network enhancements.  This includes:
    • $30.0 million for 4G network enhancements - The 4G network provides increased bandwidth with download speeds approximately 10 times faster than CDMA network speeds (up to 21 megabits per second). The 4G wireless network delivers increased bandwidth, greater international roaming and a wider selection of wireless device.
    • $1.8 million for Long Term Evolution expansion - The 4G LTE network will provide increased data speeds approximately 5 times faster than the current 4G network 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. 
    • $5.0 million for wireless network demand.
  • In 2014, SaskTel will invest $81.6 million on a number of initiatives to meet basic network growth and other enhancements.  Key initiatives include:
    • Network modernization - $7.0 million
    • Access and Core Demand and Planning - $45.0 million
    • Rural Ethernet Transport Strategy – $10.2 million
    • LTE – TDD Expansion - $7.9 million
    • CommunityNet - $2.0 million
    • Wi-Fi Expansion - $1.8 million
    • Community Participation Programs and Partnerships - $7.8 million 
  • Other:
    • Network convergence - $1.5 million  
    • Other network expenditures $1.9 million 

About SaskTel

Saskatchewan Telecommunications Holding Corporation (SaskTel) is the leading full service communications provider in Saskatchewan, with $1.1 billion in annual revenue and over 1.4 million customer connections including over 600,000 wireless accesses, 514,000 wireline network accesses, 234,000 internet accesses and 93,000 Max™ (TV) subscribers.  SaskTel 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.  SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries have a workforce of approximately 4,000 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs).

For more information, please contact:
Michelle Englot, SaskTel Director External Communications

Watch the news conference