Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) has selected Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies to roll out a nationwide 4G LTE network for its DigiCell mobile unit. The investment in the infrastructure and related components is expected to top BZD40 million (USD19.6 million) and forms part of a broader strategic effort to modernise the telco’s mobile and landline networks, as well as ‘radically improv[ing] broadband connectivity and quality across the country’. BTL expects the LTE network to be operational by December 2016.
Anwar Barrow, chairman of the BTL executive committee, commented: ‘BTL has made the very conscious decision to install LTE throughout the entire country wherever we have current mobile coverage – and not simply do a partial installation in select places. It is an important differentiator between us and our competitor [Smart], as we believe that it is critical that as many Belizeans as possible have access to this cutting edge high speed mobile technology … Furthermore, in our next phase of mobile deployment we will be adding more than 60 additional cell sites throughout the country, ensuring that DigiCell will have unmatched reach and capacity in Belize.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, rival Belizean mobile operator SpeedNet Communications, which trades as Smart, unveiled the country’s first LTE network on 15 December 2015, in Belize City. Citing investment worth BZD9 million, Smart claimed that ‘all towns and major highways’ were covered by year-end, with the islands of San Pedro and Caye Caulker witnessing 4G deployments in early January.