SaskTel launching HSPA on 1 July; sounds death knell for analogue

16 Apr 2010

Robert Watson, CEO of SaskTel, has announced that the Saskatchewan-based operator will launch commercial services over a W-CDMA/HSPA-based 3G/3.5G mobile network on 1 July 2010, and will cover 98% of the province’s population by the end of the year, reports the Leader Post. The USD170 million network building project is well under way, whilst a network sharing agreement with Bell and Telus is in place to allow nationwide HSPA roaming for SaskTel’s customers. SaskTel currently provides province-wide 3G/3.5G mobile services via CDMA2000 1xEV-DO/Rev A technology. It also still operates a legacy analogue cellular network, which Watson said will have to be shut down within the next twelve months or even earlier. ‘The analogue network has to be turned [off]. It’s no longer supportable,’ he said, adding, ‘We have 3,200 customers using the analogue network. We’ve notified them … We’ll have to do that real quick.’