The trial will help determine the feasibility of wireless broadband and voice services for customers in predominantly rural locations, using Huawei solutions and equipment. The agreement was signed in Huawei’s traditional courtyard facility in Beijing, by Ron Styles, SaskTel President and CEO, and Sean Yang, President of Huawei Canada. The signing was witnessed by Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan.
“This is another great first in a long list of firsts for SaskTel, and I am pleased that SaskTel is continuing its commitment to investigating opportunities to provide rural customers with advanced communications solutions,” Premier Brad Wall said.
“We are very pleased to be working with SaskTel in launching Canada’s first 2.5 GHz TDD-LTE deployment,” said Sean Yang. “The ability to bring next generation high-speed wireless technology to residents and businesses across the Province is critical to ensuring Saskatchewan is able to compete and innovate with markets around the world.”
The trial will occur in a minimum of three rural locations and will provide the latest wireless broadband speeds available. LTE will reach download speeds of approximately 100 Mbps per second, compared to existing 4G wireless technology reaching speeds of 21 Mbps. In addition, the trial will encompass the provisioning of equipment to a local telephone service, in order to determine comparability with existing landline services using copper wire infrastructure.
“SaskTel’s copper infrastructure dates back to the 1960s and we are fast approaching the need to replace and upgrade this technology,” said Ron Styles, SaskTel President and CEO. “With the positive partnership that has evolved with Huawei with our 4G network and our mobile LTE wireless deployment efforts that are underway, we are very pleased to partner with them to complete this trial.”
The trial is scheduled to be launched in rural locations in Saskatchewan by the end of December, 2012 and will conclude in August, 2013. Following the completion of the trial, Huawei and SaskTel will work jointly to analyze results, and provide a report that includes an economic overview for the replacement of parts of its rural copper network.