SaskTel launches 4G LTE Network

by Istvan Fekete on February 1, 2013

SaskTel announced that its 4G LTE network went live yesterday, 31 January, having been lining up LTE-capable devices for a number of months. The move was inevitable, and it was originally targeted for launch in late 2012.

The press release announcing SaskTel’s 4G LTE network launch says that LTE speeds could reach speeds of 100 Mbps, but, as you may already know, this is only the theoretical speed; in reality it will average between 20 Mbps and 30 Mbps. The Long Term Evolution network is available in Regina, Saskatoon, Clavet, Dundurn, Langham, Lumsden, Martensville, Osler, Pense, Vanscoy, Warman, and White City, but SaskTel said it is working to expand its LTE network coverage this year and will invest roughly $5.2 million to launch it in Dalmeny, Balgonie, Estevan, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Swift Current, Weyburn and Yorkton.

But how are the other market players performing when it comes to LTE?

Rogers pioneered the LTE launch in Canada, going live on 7 July, 2011, and currently provides LTE coverage in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Moncton, KIngston, Edmonton, Quebec City and more. As their website states, Rogers 4G HSPA+ network now covers 90% of the population, but LTE coverage is at around 60% only.

Bell was the second to announce its LTE network on 14 September, 2011, and currently has the widest 4G LTE coverage in Canada. According to their website, the wireless carrier now covers 97% of the Canadian population — well, this isn’t referring to its !G network — but includes several smaller cities as well as broader coverage in suburban areas.

Telus joined the LTE club as the third player on 9 February, 2012, offering roughly the same coverage as Bell, and it recently extended its LTE network to include Thunder Bay.

The fourth major wireless carrier to join the 4G LTE party was Fido, on 30 August, 2012. As it shares its parent company Rogers’ network, Fido provides 4G LTE coverage in and around Vancouver, Toronto, Calgray, Halifax, St. John’s, Ottawa, Moncton and Montreal. You can check out each carrier’s coverage map for more details.

With the new standard of flagship smartphones and tablets having LTE connectivity, the expansion of LTE networks was an expected move. However, North America is a step ahead compared to other areas such as Europe, which has only recently seen the first LTE network launch, courtesy of EE in the UK.

Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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