Luis Bernardo Perez, commercial vice-president for Venezuela’s third largest cellular operator Digitel, has given details of the GSM/UMTS network operator’s current expansion and upgrade programme, including ‘a large-scale expansion plan for Caracas, Maracay and the Central Plains’, involving 2G and 3G upgrades costing over USD10 million. In an interview published by Entornointeligente.com, Perez said that users would feel the benefits of improvements including swapping outdated network infrastructure over the next six months, experiencing enhanced data speeds and voice services. He also said that the domestically-owned operator will activate the first 1,000km of its new high speed fibre-optic backbone network which would also give a marked improvement to data services. Furthermore, according to the VP, new 1800MHz band frequencies are earmarked for data and voice services expansion in addition to Digitel’s existing 900MHz 2G/3G spectrum. Digitel will eventually adopt 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) for high speed data services, Perez added, although he said it currently lacked the required spectrum resources to do so, and had recently requested additional 1800MHz frequencies from the regulatory authorities.