SaskTel to make record setting investments in 2023/24 to accelerate the expansion of its 5G and infiNET networks
March 27, 2023
Today, SaskTel announced that it will invest approximately $413 million of capital in Saskatchewan in 2023/24 and more than $1.6 billion over the next five years. As part of its 2023/24 capital expenditures, SaskTel is planning to invest more in wireless and fibre optic broadband infrastructure than it ever has in a single fiscal year. These record setting investments will allow SaskTel to accelerate the expansion of its 5G wireless network and SaskTel infiNET™ service.
“Ensuring that Saskatchewan families, businesses, and communities have access to advanced broadband and wireless technologies is a critical part of our government’s plan to create growth that works for everyone,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “The record investments that SaskTel is making in its networks will strengthen the foundation of our provincial economy, while also ensuring Saskatchewan is well-positioned to compete and succeed in the modern economy.”
"SaskTel is firmly committed to enhancing the lives of our customers across the province," said Doug Burnett, SaskTel President and CEO. "In 2023/24, we're planning to invest more in wireless and fibre optic broadband technologies than ever before. These massive investments will enable us to rapidly expand our blazing fast 5G and infiNET networks across the province, allowing more of our customers to experience the true power of these amazing technologies."
Highlights of SaskTel's 2023/24 investment program include:
5G deployment - $160.0 million
SaskTel's 5G network delivers ultra-fast data speeds allowing customers to connect to the world faster. Plus, as the 5G network evolves, it will support the emergence and wide-spread deployment of smart cities, virtual healthcare, immersive education, smart agriculture and many other technological innovations that will improve the quality of life and drive economic development across Saskatchewan.
In 2023-24, SaskTel will make a record setting investment in wireless infrastructure which will allow it to upgrade more than 260 cell sites to 5G. Once upgraded, these cell sites will provide 5G service in Saskatchewan's nine major urban centres, along major highways, and in rural or resort areas. As part of this investment, SaskTel also plans to construct up to 10 new cell sites to enhance wireless coverage and capacity in the nine major urban centres.
Fibre-to-the-x (FTTx) program - $106.0 million
SaskTel's infiNET network, which is the largest fibre optic broadband network in Saskatchewan, delivers internet speeds reaching close to a Gigabit per second (Gbps) to homes and businesses in 27 communities throughout the province. With these incredible speeds, infiNET subscribers can surf, stream, and share however much content they want in real time. Plus, as a fibre-based network, SaskTel will be able to grow the capacity of the infiNET network to support the evolving bandwidth needs of customers and increasing popularity of cloud services, video streaming, and smart technologies.
In 2023/24, SaskTel will make a record setting investment in its Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) and Fibre-to-the-Business (FTTB) initiatives, collectively known as FTTx. This investment will allow SaskTel to accelerate the expansion of the infiNET network to more communities included in its $200 million Rural Fibre Initiative. Additionally, SaskTel will also work to complete its fibre network builds in the nine major urban centres, with a focus on connecting multi-dwelling units and businesses to the infiNET network.
Technology - $70.5 million
SaskTel's wireline and wireless networks deliver high-quality communications and entertainment services to customers across Saskatchewan. In 2023/24, SaskTel will invest significant capital to modernize its core networks, upgrade SaskTel selectWI-FI, enhance maxTV infrastructure, and improve its access networks to ensure that it continues to deliver a best-in-class experience to its customers.
Customer services and operations - $76.5 million
Information Technology (IT) and Information Systems (IS) play an important role for SaskTel in serving its customers and keeping them connected. In 2023/24, SaskTel plans to invest in a number of items that will support customer growth and enhance customer experiences by delivering seamless interactions across all channels. Some of these expenditures will include investments in Customer Premise Equipment (CPE), ongoing Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) transformation and enhancements to IS infrastructure to support SaskTel's frontlines and provide customers with self-serve options.
*Capital spending is for the fiscal year 2023-2024 – April 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024.
SaskTel is the leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provider in Saskatchewan, with approximately $1.3 billion in annual revenue and over 1.4 million customer connections including more than 647,000 wireless accesses, 273,000 wireline network accesses, 293,000 internet and data accesses, 110,000 maxTV service subscribers, and 78,000 security monitoring customers. 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 3,300 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). Visit SaskTel at www.sasktel.com.