Sasktel using COWS to improve wireless phone service

SaskTel has announced that it is deploying 11 portable cellular towers to address 4G network congestion primarily in Regina and Saskatoon.

The portable towers, also referred to as COWS (Cellular On Wheels), will improve 4G coverage and capacity in the areas where they’re deployed by reducing the load on existing towers.

The company says the COWS will be deployed for about a year until new permanent tower sites can be constructed at or near the locations.

The first tower is now in service in the Coventry Place area of Regina. The next three towers are tentatively scheduled to be in service by the first week of December in the Preston Crossing area of Saskatoon, the Saskatoon Airport area, and the Victoria East area of Regina. Seven more towers will be deployed in Regina, Saskatoon and other communities in the coming weeks.

“These mobile cell towers will deliver immediate improvements in coverage and capacity for customers in the areas where they are deployed,” said Ron Styles, SaskTel President and CEO. “Once we have permanent towers in place in these locations the mobile units will be available for other areas, and also for large events or emergency situations where extra capacity and coverage is needed.”

After acquiring the necessary approvals to place the COWS, SaskTel prepares the mobile tower sites by providing power and fiber optic cable connections to the sites. The towers sit on trailers that are towed to the locations. The towers provide 4G service using the 1900 MHz band and typically cover approximately 1,000 metres in diameter around the site, depending upon the surrounding topography.

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