SaskTel and TELUS today announced they have entered into a wireless network sharing agreement that will facilitate the rapid deployment of next generation wireless and data services through Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technologies by SaskTel within Saskatchewan. Customers will enjoy the benefits of the most advanced wireless technology commercially available in the world, expanded network coverage, and access to a range of new and leading-edge wireless devices.
Launching November 5, 2009, TELUS’ next generation wireless network is the latest enhancement to TELUS’ multi-network mobile strategy, offering customers the technology for increased wireless data download speeds of up to 21 megabits per second, access to a world class selection of compelling mobile devices and international roaming service to more than 200 countries.
“TELUS is proud to be collaborating with a leader such as SaskTel to bring the world-class High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) network to TELUS customers in Saskatchewan, further enhancing 3G+ wireless coverage and their mobile broadband experience,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS president and CEO. “At TELUS, we have tremendous respect for SaskTel, its people and its culture of innovation.”
SaskTel initially announced its next generation network plans as part of its overall 2009 network investment program which will ensure 100 per cent of Saskatchewan residents have access to High Speed Internet and 98 per cent have access to wireless services. SaskTel’s UMTS/HSPA network is expected to be initially launched mid-2010 with a targeted completion date of 2011.
“SaskTel has continually evolved its wireless network in Saskatchewan to provide its customers access to innovative and leading-edge services,” SaskTel president and CEO Robert Watson said. “Our agreement with TELUS will maximize our $172 million investment in deploying UMTS/HSPA wireless technologies and will provide our customers increased benefits such as access to Canada’s largest 3G+ network.”
Just as with TELUS’ next generation network, this new network in Saskatchewan will be built with the latest HSPA infrastructure supplied by Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei Technologies. This initiative will also ensure a smoother transition for SaskTel to long term evolution (LTE) technology, which is the emerging worldwide fourth generation (4G) technology standard, as it becomes available.
*For HSPA/HSPA+ geographic coverage and population covered as of October 2009.
TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $9.7 billion of annual revenue and 11.8 million customer connections including 6.3 million wireless subscribers, 4.1 million wireline network access lines and 1.2 million Internet subscribers and more than 100,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS (telus.com) provides a wide range of communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment and video. In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed $137 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 2.6 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Nine TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead our local philanthropic initiatives.
Saskatchewan Telecommunications Holding Corporation (SaskTel) is the leading full service communications provider in Saskatchewan, with $1.138 billion in annual revenue and over 1.3 million customer connections including over 510,000 wireless accesses, 555,000 wireline network accesses, 216,000 internet accesses and 70,000 Max™ (TV) subscribers. SaskTel (sasktel.com) 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 2008, SaskTel contributed over $610 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 5,000 employees.
Forward looking statements
This news release contains forward looking statements, including the expected benefits associated with the next generation network. Forward looking statements are not based on historical facts, but rather on current expectations, company assumptions and projections about future events, and are therefore subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by the forward looking statements. Such statements are qualified in their entirety by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations. TELUS assumptions and risk factors include those listed from time to time in TELUS' reports, public disclosure documents including Management's discussion and analysis, Annual Information Form, and in other filings with securities regulatory authorities in Canada and the United States.
The TELUS forward looking statements included in this news release represent TELUS’ views as of the date hereof and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any other date. TELUS specifically disclaims any obligation to update any of its forward-looking statements contained in this news release or any other forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by it or on its behalf.
For more information, please contact:
Shawn Hall, TELUS Media Relations
P: (604) 619-7913