Chinese technology provider Huawei has been chosen by provincial Canadian telecoms operator SaskTel as a second vendor to assist in building a 3.5G HSPA+ mobile network, which is set for launch across Saskatchewan later this year. Huawei will supply a SingleRAN software-defined radio platform, upgradeable to support future 4G services based on the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard. As reported in CommsUpdate, in January this year SaskTel awarded a contract to Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to build the core network component of a W-CDMA/HSPA system across its home province, including mobile softswitching and a packet core solution with ‘direct tunnel’ functionality, as well as harmonised subscriber management systems. SaskTel currently owns and operates a 3G network in Saskatchewan based on CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology, whilst it recently signed a network sharing agreement with nationwide operators Bell and Telus for the deployment of UMTS/HSPA infrastructure, with the overall aim of giving 98% of residents in the region access to UMTS/HSPA services by end-2010. Nationwide roaming will be available over the national shared 3.5G network of Bell/Telus.