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Friday, July 25, 2014
Saskatchewan

SASKATCHEWAN TO HELP BUILD THE PHILIPPINES RURAL PHONE NETWORK

SaskTel International, SR Telecom of Quebec and the Government of the
Philippines are expected to sign a letter of intent tomorrow, kicking
off negotiations regarding a US $30 million phase four expansion of a
Canadian-built telephone network in rural districts of the Philippines.

"In a meeting with Philippines President Fidel Ramos yesterday, the
president encouraged Team Canada to play a major role in this country's
ambitious infrastructure development plans," Premier Roy Romanow said.
"I'm very pleased that SaskTel International and its partner in this
project, SR Telecom, will be of continuing assistance to the
Philippines in building up its rural phone network.

"Telecommunications is critical to the Philippines' economic future.
This project involves 28 rural provinces and is no small contribution
to the development of this country. This project is good for
Saskatchewan too -- showcasing SaskTel's ability to help build a
modern, efficient, competitive and commercially-viable phone system in
rural areas."

Through SaskTel International, Saskatchewan has been helping build a
telephone network in the Philippines since 1989. The first three
phases of the project brought phone service to selected municipalities
in 28 provinces.

The proposed phase four would extend service to more outlying
communities, called "Barangays" in the Philippines.

In a separate signing today, SaskTel International will also receive a
joint consultancy contract from the Telecom Infrastructure Corporation
of the Philippines (Telec-Phil, a consortium of telecommunications
providers.)

This second project involves providing expertise and assistance to
design, construct, operate and maintain a fibre optics and microwave
transmission network. SaskTel International will be responsible for
project management for the construction of the network. The contract
is worth about $4 million.

SaskTel International is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SaskTel and is
currently working in the Philippines, Tanzania, Mexico, England, United
States and Canada.

SaskTel, a provincially-owned Crown Corporation, is the leading full
service communications company in Saskatchewan, providing voice, date,
Internet, text and messaging services over a fully-digital network, as
well as cellular, paging and Fleetnet 800 service through its SaskTel
Mobility division.

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For more information, contact:

Brian Topp
Deputy Chief of Staff
Room 457, The Peninsula Hotel, Manilla
Phone: (632) 810-3456



BACKGROUNDER

SaskTel International Is Helping Bring
Phone Service To The Rural Philippines

A Canadian Firm is building a complete, turn-key rural
telecommunications network for the Government of the Philippines in 28
provinces throughout the country.

A letter of intent, to be signed between SaskTel, SR Telecom of Quebec
and the Philippines government, will launch negotiations on a financing
package for a fourth phase for the project.

SaskTel International's project in the Philippines began in 1989, when
the Government of Canada and the Government of the Philippines signed
an agreement to provide financing for a rural communications project -
35 per cent of the funding for the project came from a grant from the
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and 65 per cent
through a government-to-government commercial loan.

SaskTel International was awarded phase one of the resulting Municipal
Telephone Project Office rural communications program in 1991. A phase
two contract was awarded in 1992, bringing the total contract amount to
over $42 million.

In 1993, SaskTel International and SR Telecom began work on phase three
- a $32.5 million extension designed to bring final coverage to 28
provinces.

Public Call Offices (PCOs) with two to six lines were established in
each affected municipality. The systems that were installed brought
the first and only forms of telecommunications available to
inhabitants.

SaskTel and SR Telecom will now enter into negotiations with the
Government of the Philippines on a financing arrangement to implement
phase four - which would expand the networks to cover outlying
communities ("Barangays") in the Muslim Mindanao region.

As currently conceived, phase four of the plan is estimated to cost US
$30 million and will be financed largely on commercial terms.

It is anticipated that about 3,000 sites would be engineered, designed
and constructed in phase four - mostly in the remote, unserved regions
of Mindanao, which currently have no effective telecommunications.

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