In a surprise move, Digicel’s British Virgin Islands’ subsidiary has announced a ‘significant’ upgrade to its EDGE network, promising to deliver a better user experience and faster transmission speeds for customers. Phase one of the two-stage upgrade is now complete, and the cellco claims that the work paves the way for the launch of its HSPA+ network later this year. Incoming Digicel BVI CEO, Declan Cassidy, commented: ‘As part of our promise to deliver the best network to our customers across BVI, we are delighted to announce the successful upgrade of our current EDGE network which is now delivering speeds twice as fast as before. And that is only the start of it. With phase two of the upgrade still to come, this is only setting the scene for what will be the fastest mobile internet browsing experience on the island when we launch 4G [technically HSPA+] mobile later this year. 4G mobile is part of Digicel’s overall technology strategy. For us, we didn’t believe 3G was significantly better than EDGE and so we are leapfrogging 3G and building a 4G network based on HSPA+ technology – which is five times faster than traditional 3G technologies’.
As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate in March, Digicel’s rival LIME confirmed that work was underway to upgrade its own EDGE network to support HSPA+, although that month’s tentative deadline passed without a confirmed HSPA+ launch. In the Virgin Islands (UK)’s wireless sector Digicel competes with fellow regional giant LIME and local mobile operator CCT Wireless.