Venezuelan mobile operator Digitel has disclosed that its 4G LTE network has reached a total of roughly 100,000 active customers since being launched commercially a year ago, while it has deployed 900 LTE base stations across main cities in all regions of the country. As reported by Telesemana, Digitel has already invested USD600 million in the development of its 3G and 4G networks in the last three years, according to executive Luis Bernardo Perez, who added that the main challenge facing the company is the inability to acquire sufficient volumes of mobile devices due to Venezuela’s foreign exchange controls.
Another publication, Alta Densidad, reported that Digitel’s LTE network coverage now reaches 108 towns and cities in 21 states, whilst quoting figures from the company saying that a secondary investment of over USD300 million is being spent on top of the USD500 million invested by late-2013 in the 3G/4G network. The investment programme has included a fully modernised IP-based transmission network linking over 1,500 base stations and fibre-optic infrastructure reaching over 3,000km – which will reach 4,000km by the end of the year. The operator says around 50% of its cell sites offer all three technology platforms – 2G, 3G and 4G LTE. The Alta Densidad article quotes Luis Bernardo Perez putting the number of LTE users at 80,000-100,000, while Perez also declared that voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) services were in the pipeline for launch soon.