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New SaskTel wireless service launches in two northern communities

New SaskTel wireless service launches in two northern communities

December 21, 2015

Today SaskTel announced that the new cellular towers serving the communities of Stony Rapids and Black Lake are fully operational and residents can now enjoy the benefits of SaskTel wireless service. The extension of wireless cellular service to these Northern Communities was made possible through a partnership between SaskTel, Athabasca Basin Development and Huawei Canada.

This partnership is based on SaskTel's Community Participation Model, which encourages communities to raise funds to assist in installing cellular infrastructure where it may not otherwise be economically feasible for SaskTel to do so.

"SaskTel remains committed to connecting all the residents of this vast Province to technology and the opportunities it brings," said Minister Responsible for SaskTel Jim Reiter. "In addition to this important initiative, with support from the Connecting Canadians Program, SaskTel is also working on extending and increasing broadband internet speeds to an additional 26 Northern communities."

Wollaston Lake and Fond Du Lac First Nation also received wireless service under this initiative with service being turned up in these locations in September 2015

"This is a great day for the people in Stony Rapids," says Mayor Daniel Powder. "We've heard from our neighbours in Wollaston and Fond du Lac about how much easier it is to communicate in the community and within Saskatchewan. To have dependable cellular service now in our community means so much for our residents."

"This cell tower represents such an important investment into our community," says Rick Robillard, Chief of Black Lake First Nation. "The increased ability to communicate opens so much more potential for our business climate and improves the lives and safety of our residents. I am very excited that these towers are operational in Black Lake!"

The total cost of this project was $6 million with Athabasca Basin Development Corporation providing $249,000 and Huawei contributing $385,000 in funding and telecommunications equipment.

"I'd like to thank SaskTel and Huawei Canada for their partnership in this exciting initiative for the Athabasca region," says Geoff Gay, CEO of Athabasca Basin Development. "We look for opportunities that provide long lasting benefit for the Athabasca communities, and this one was such a perfect fit. We are so pleased that all four towers are now operational, and that the people in the Athabasca region have access to increased connectivity and all the benefits that come with that."

"Huawei is extremely proud of our long-term partnership with SaskTel, and of our partnership with theAthabasca Basin Development Corporation, to work together to make this new service a reality"said Sean Yang, President Huawei Canada. "Wireless broadband and mobile services will bring both economic and social benefit to the residents of Stony Rapids and Black Lake, and reinforces the critical importance of ensuring all Canadians, regardless of location, have access to leading-edge telecommunications services"

About Athabasca Basin Development
Athabasca Basin Development is committed to building and investing in successful businesses. Investments are focused on the resource sector and include partial or complete ownership in twelve successful companies with last year's consolidated revenues topping $176M. The company is owned by the seven communities in Northern Saskatchewan's Athabasca region. Visit

About Huawei
Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Huawei's 170,000 employees worldwide are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers. Our innovative ICT solutions, products and services have been deployed in over 170 countries and regions, serving more than one third of the world's population. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees, and was recently name by Interbrand as one of the world's top 100 brands – the first Chinese company to receive this recognition.

Huawei Canada has been in operation since 2008. Huawei's innovative wireless products and services support many of Canada's leading telecommunications companies, and Huawei's Canada Research Centre in Kanata, Ontario is a national leader in advanced communications technologies. We are proud to be a key part of Canada's ICT Ecosystem.

About SaskTel
SaskTel is the leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provider in Saskatchewan, with over $1.2 billion in annual revenue and over 1.4 million customer connections including over 618,000 wireless accesses, 437,000 wireline network accesses, 258,000 Internet accesses and over 103,000 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 4,000 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). Visit SaskTel at

For media inquiries, please contact:

Tara Tibeau, SaskTel Manager of External Communication

Kristy Jackson, Director of Marketing & Communications

Scott Bradley, Huawei Technologies Canada Co. Ltd

For more information about forming a community partnership with SaskTel, please contact:

Bill Beckman Senior Director – Regulatory Affairs