SaskTel To Bump Up Rates For New Year

by Gaurav Kheterpal on December 29, 2011

2011 was an impressive year for SaskTel. In April, the carrier set the ball rolling on a major expansion plan. In April, SaskTel reported that 2010 was its best operating year ever, thanks largely to continued strong customer growth in cellular, Max Entertainment Services and Internet services. In July, the carrier expanded its 4G wireless network to 13 more locations across the province of Saskatchewan.

All in all, plenty of positives to believe that SaskTel customers would have something to cheer about in the New Year. However, if the recent reports are to be believed, SaskTel is planning to increase its rates shortly to compensate for the rising costs involved in improving its 4G wireless network infrastructure.

While it’s good to hear that SaskTel plans to improve its 4G service, the rate hike is definitely not the best piece of news for SaskTel customers as they start opening bills after the holiday season.

The carrier recently announced that it has added 11 towers to its network located in Candle Lake Northwest, Carnduff, Colfax, Dinsmore, Dinsmore Coteau Hills, Hazel Dell, MacDowell, Mankota, Rapid View, Shoal Lake and Willow Brook. SaskTel further says it has invested heavily in high capacity equipment installations, software upgrades, network optimization and added radio spectrum.

“We have been working hard to provide a mix of engineering solutions that have significantly improved the 4G customer experience, so we do have some measurables in that regard,” SaskTel spokesperson Michell Englot said. “We have provided an approximate overall capacity improvement over the last couple of months and call drops have been reduced to under one per cent with call completions at 98 per cent, which are under industry standards at this point.”

SaskTel says the increase would impact both rural and remote communities. These customers currently pay just over $24 a month but once the hike is implemented, rates would shoot up to $30 per month by 2013. The carrier plans to implement the hike in three phases with the first phase starting February 1st, 2012 and it has already made an application with the CRTC to increase local service rates for customers in high-cost serving areas.

“Following an extensive public hearing in 2010, the CRTC concluded local telephone rates in rural and remote areas should be raised to an average of $30 and that such levels would be affordable,” said SaskTel president and CEO, Ron Styles

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby:RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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