SaskTel has announced the launch of the first phase of its new 3G+ wireless network. Effective immediately, the network will be available to customers in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Estevan, Yorkton, Swift Current, Prince Albert, North Battleford, Buffalo Pound, White City, Melville, Dalmeny, Martensville, Warman, Hepburn, Waldheim and most of the connecting highways."This is a significant development for SaskTel and its customers in Saskatchewan. When the network is complete in 2011, it will be available to 98 percent of the population of the province," said Bill Boyd, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. "The first phase being launched today is in itself the largest 3G+ network in Saskatchewan."The 3G+ network will allow SaskTel customers to enjoy a greater selection of devices and faster network speeds with download speeds approximately four times faster than existing speeds (up to 21 megabits per second). It is also compatible with approximately 80 percent of all networks across the world and international roaming customers will be able to use their SaskTel 3G+ phone on 3G+ networks anywhere."The most important thing about this new network is where it leads us to in the future," said Ron Styles, SaskTel President and CEO. "The 3G+ network puts a platform in place for the long-term and ensures a smoother transition to fourth generation (4G) wireless technology known as long term evolution (LTE). We're now on an evolutionary path that allows us to compete with any other company in the world."The device line-up that will be available at launch or shortly thereafter includes: Nokia 7230; Nokia 6350; Novatel MC998D (USB data stick); BlackBerry Bold 9700; BlackBerry Pearl 9100 Smartphone; Blackberry Curve 9300 Smartphone; Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant (Android); Samsung Gravity 3; and Samsung Gravity Touch.
SaskTel will also continue its partnership with key manufacturers such as Motorola, LG, Samsung and RIM to offer an array of new devices in the future. SaskTel continues to work to secure the iPhone as part of our device line-up, however, timing has not been confirmed at this time.SaskTel plans to support the existing CDMA digital network for the foreseeable future to ensure that all wireless customers continue to enjoy the full choice of wireless services that best suit their needs. Now customers will have a choice of devices for both the existing CDMA network and the new 3G+ network.