IT&E, a provider of telecommunications services in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), has launched what it claims to be Guam’s first Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband network. According to the operator, the service provides maximum download speeds of up to 20Mbps and is available ‘from Yigo to Agat’, although coverage does not yet extend to the villages of Talofofo, Inarajan, Malesso and Umatac. In May 2012 Swedish telecoms equipment vendor Ericsson announced a series of deals to deploy 4G LTE networks for a number of small-scale rural mobile operators, including IT&E.
In other news, GTA TeleGuam has announced plans to invest USD10 million in its network in 2012. The funds will be used to upgrade its backhaul, widen its 3G network footprint and improve indoor coverage in specific areas with distributed antenna systems. The company said that the backhaul improvements will increase capacity on its wireless network by 400% on one-third of all of its 3G sites. GTA has also invested in the deployment of a portable cell on wheels (COW) to boost wireless coverage in the Naval Base and Santa Rita areas. Commenting on the developments, Andrew Gayle, GTA’s chief operating officer, said: ‘We remain committed to providing excellent coverage to all areas around the island including our military bases and the addition of these new cell sites, the recent backhaul upgrades, and the COW allows us to provide our wireless customers with improved service, better reception, and fewer dropped calls.’ He added that the COW can be deployed elsewhere for special events and large gatherings, or used to provide relief in additional coverage areas while permanent sites are being constructed.