"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.

About SaskTel

Saskatchewan Telecommunications Holding Corporation (SaskTel.com) is the leading full service communications provider in Saskatchewan, with $1.15 billion in annual revenue and more than 1.4 million customer connections including more than 550,000 wireless accesses, 543,000 wireline network accesses, 225,000 Internet accesses and 77,000 MaxTM (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. In 2009, SaskTel contributed more than $651 million to the Saskatchewan economy through dollars spent with Saskatchewan-based suppliers and sponsorships to non-profit organizations. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries have a workforce of approximately 4,800 employees.

Original Source: Newswire Today (http://www.newswiretoday.com/news/97047/)