Pan-Caribbean mobile group Digicel has suggested that customers of its unit in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are likely to experience ‘4G’ connectivity for the first time within the next month. Discussing the USD6 million rollout, commercial manager Su Thomas told Virgin Islands News Online: ‘It is an exciting time for Digicel, so we are investing all of this money into a technology that will be launched very soon and we hope to bring better value again to the BVI as we have done with phones and calling rates and we are going to endeavour to bring that with the 4G launch as well. It is an investment that we are very excited about and it is going to deliver something extra to our customers that they have not had before’. The USD6 million budget takes the running total of investment in the BVI to more than USD30 million, Ms Thomas confirmed.
Despite branding its imminent data network upgrade ‘4G’, Digicel is actually referring to a HSPA+ service, capable of offering theoretical maximum download speeds of 21.1Mbps. The Jamaica-based, Irish-owned mobile group has taken steps to expand its data services across the comparatively under-served Lesser Antilles region, with HSPA+ deployments in the likes of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao (the so-called ‘ABC Islands’). In the BVI Digicel competes with fellow regional giant LIME and local mobile operator CCT Wireless. Pan-Caribbean rival LIME inaugurated its first HSPA+ network in the Cayman Islands in August 2011, which was followed by an additional launch in Barbados in November that year. The BVI was third in line for the upgrade, with services going live in July 2012.