Nokia Siemens Networks BV announced Wednesday it is providing mobile soft switching, packet core and subscriber management systems for Saskatchewan Telecommunications Holding Corp. (SaskTel)'s High Speed Packet Access (HSPA)+ wireless network.

Espoo, Finland-based NSN said the upgrade to SaskTel's network has a “targeted completion date” of 2011 and will enable a “smooth transition” to Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless, a data standard expected to provide about 100 Megabits per second (Mbps).

SaskTel is the former monopoly telco in Saskatchewan.

NSN said the upgrade is part of SaskTel's plan to bring wireless access to 98 per cent of the province's residents.

Last year, the provincial government said it would provide $90 million towards a project that would extend wireless coverage and increase the download speed in rural areas to 5 Mbps from 1.5 Mbps.

Nokia Siemens Networks recently tested a voice call over an LTE network in Germany.

Last June, Nokia Siemens Networks offered to buy the code division multiple access (CDMA) unit of Nortel Networks Corp., which has been operating under bankruptcy protection for a year. That unit was acquired by LM Ericsson of Stockholm, because it was the highest bidder, paying US$1.13 billion.