Today, SaskTel announced that it will be turning down its Code division multiple access (CDMA) network July 5, 2017, after which CDMA devices will no longer function.

The company says that it will be transitioning existing CDMA customers to its 4G and 4G LTE network which offers faster speeds, more capable devices and broader coverage, among other updated features.

“SaskTel is committed to providing Saskatchewan residents with the best wireless networks in the province, however as technology evolves, it becomes necessary to turn down older networks,” said Ron Styles, SaskTel President and CEO.

“By shutting down the CDMA network, we can repurpose spectrum so we can continue to add capacity to our 4G and 4G LTE network province-wide and resources can be refocused towards emerging technologies, products, and services.”

The move comes as CDMA wireless technology is being phased out across the world and CDMA devices and network equipment availability are becoming more costly to repair and difficult to source, SaskTel says.

Reports indicate that SaskTel’s roaming partners will likely begin to turn down their respective CDMA networks in early 2017 and at least one roaming partner has confirmed it will be shutting down its network on January 31, 2017. The company has noted that this will result in SaskTel customers losing coverage when leaving Saskatchewan if they continue using their CDMA device.

“We are encouraging customers to take advantage of our 4G or 4G LTE data speeds and upgrade to a 4G or 4G LTE phone for as low as $0,” added Styles.

SaskTel stopped offering CDMA devices and service contracts in their stores and authorized dealers effective March 31, 2015 to ensure that no customer will be left in a contract and without coverage for the turn-down date, which again is July 5th, 2017.

SaskTel is the leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provider in Saskatchewan, with over $1.2 billion in annual revenue and approximately 1.4 million customer connections.