Digicel BVI states case for LTE; seeks to emulate sister companies in Antigua, Turks & Caicos with 700MHz rollout

9 Jul 2013

Digicel British Virgin Islands (BVI) has called on the government to speed up its allocation of spectrum suitable for Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. In a media briefing Digicel BVI CEO Declan Cassidy stated: ‘Following on from the Antiguan government awarding Digicel 700MHz spectrum early last year, which allowed the company to launch the Caribbean’s only LTE network outside of Puerto Rico, the regulator in Turks & Caicos has also completed its licensing process and awarded 700MHz spectrum to Digicel. Further to this it is believed that the regulator in [the] Cayman [Islands] is about to award the LTE 700MHz spectrum following the completion of a similar licensing process. In order for BVI to maintain its strong position as a world class financial hub we urge the government and in turn the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) to launch a selection process to identify the operator or operators who are best positioned to deliver a world class LTE network’.

Mr Cassidy added that Digicel BVI seeks to make use of the extensive technical know-how gained by its sister companies as it presses ahead with its own LTE deployment. ‘The Digicel board have approved expenditure for further LTE network rollouts and it would be regrettable if the BVI misses out as a result of the TRC not being enabled to mirror the actions of the regulators in other Caribbean Islands’, he added. Digicel inaugurated LTE services in November 2012, when it launched in Antigua & Barbuda. The parent company notes that the unit has already expanded its network capacity twice since then, and now offers downlink transmission speeds of up to 30Mbps. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate Digicel Turks & Caicos was awarded a 700MHz LTE licence in February 2013 following a two-stage bidding process that ran for around six months.