Digicel prepares to launch HSPA+, joining Islandcom

22 Nov 2012

GSM mobile operator Digicel Turks and Caicos has announced a project to deploy a ‘multimillion dollar 4G core network’ to support its upcoming launch of W-CDMA/HSPA+ 3.5G mobile services and future LTE evolutions. The Ericsson-supplied IP-based network is designed to provide mobile broadband speeds across the island nation for handset and modem users, and the upgrade work involves installing a new mobile switching centre as well as new cell sites. Henry Williams, technical chief at the local Digicel unit, said that the cellco is already in the process of installing the equipment, ahead of integration and testing phases, before finally launching the network, which it will market as ‘4G’ in common with most HSPA+ operators in the Americas/Caribbean regions. Digicel has not issued an actual launch date, but encouraged customers to buy compatible handsets on its network ‘for Christmas’. Digicel was beaten to the punch earlier this year by Turks and Caicos rival Islandcom which announced the launch of HSPA+ based services in the 850MHz frequency band in July (having previously introduced the islands’ first W-CDMA 3G network in mid-2010), while Cable & Wireless (LIME) Turks and Caicos is expected to roll out HSPA+ technology soon.