With regard to LIME’s announcement that it will be the first to launch “4G” across the Caribbean – I would like to take this opportunity to clear up a few important points.
The motivation for this is to inform consumers and businesses of the facts – and help them cut through some of the grossly misleading marketing messages LIME has put out.
LIME said it is “first” to launch 4G in the region – not the case. Much like it said it was the first to launch Mobile TV – again not the case since Digicel launched it four years ago in Jamaica.
The truth is LIME will use what is referred to as HSPA+ technology for the services it is calling 4G but it is not the first to deploy this technology.
Digicel launched HSPA+ technology in Bermuda and the French West Indies last year (under the banner 3G+). The reason we called it 3G+ is that, at the time, HSPA+ was not considered a 4G technology. However HSPA+ has since been re-classified by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) to be counted as 4G.
HSPA+ technology delivers speeds up to five times faster than traditional 3G technologies currently used by LIME in Jamaica.
So, it is true to say that Digicel already delivers 4G technology – using HSPA+ technology and WiMAX both classified as 4G technologies by the ITU – in the Caribbean (and specifically in the Cayman Islands and Jamaica) and indeed was the “first” to do so.
Digicel is also gearing up to launch HSPA+ technology across the Dutch Caribbean in a matter of weeks, intends to roll out HSPA+ in Jamaica (once the Claro acquisition is approved) and will steadily bring this to other markets in the near future.
LIME’s announcement actually raises more questions than it answers as to its commitment to the customers of the Caribbean. Here is a company that is making a big deal out of upgrading its out of date 2G networks to EDGE. Meanwhile, Digicel has been delivering EDGE services across all of its 32 markets across the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific since 2008.
Most importantly for the island of Dominica is the following question;
Why has it taken LIME over 3 years to move from GPRS to EDGE.
In fact by LIME’s own admission from their press release “the move from 2G services, to both EDGE and 4G will be like going from riding a bicycle to driving a Ferrari,” as it was a massive step forward for mobile service. This being the case then Digicel in Dominica has had a far superior network for three years at least and furthermore LIME’s customers whom they purport to be doing all this for have been paying for old technology for all this time.
Digicel prides itself on delivering the best value, best service and best network to customers across the globe. That is why we continue to be the first to deliver the best and most innovative technologies to customers having already invested over US$85 million in rolling out HSPA+ and WiMAX services across the region and why we continue to ensure that we are on the side of the customer at all times and in everything we do.
I trust the media will attempt to broach these questions with LIME and be able to bring the answers to the Dominican public who deserve to know the answers to these very important questions.
There is a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk.