In partnership with Athabasca Basin Development and Huawei Canada, today, SaskTel announced another expansion of its mobile service in the north.

New cell towers serving the communities of Stony Rapids and Black Lake are now fully operational with SaskTel wireless service.

"This cell tower represents such an important investment into our community," says Rick Robillard, Chief of Black Lake First Nation.

"The increased ability to communicate opens so much more potential for our business climate and improves the lives and safety of our residents. I am very excited that these towers are operational in Black Lake!"

The partnership between SaskTel, Athabasca Basin Development and Huawei Canada is based on SaskTel's Community Participation Model- an initiative that encourages communities to raise funds to assist in installing cellular infrastructure where it may not otherwise be economically feasible for SaskTel to do so.

Jim Reiter, Minister Responsible for SaskTel, says that the company is working on extending and increasing broadband Internet speeds to an additional 26 Northern communities.

SaskTel reports that the total cost of this project was $6 million with Athabasca Basin Development Corporation providing $249,000 and Huawei contributing $385,000 in funding and telecommunications equipment.

Huawei is a leading Chinese global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, founded in 1987.

Athabasca Basin Development is a company owned by the seven communities in Northern Saskatchewan's Athabasca region. Investments are focused on the resource sector and include partial or complete ownership in twelve successful companies with last year's consolidated revenues topping $176M.

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