Digicel finally granted 700MHz spectrum in Trinidad

13 Oct 2020

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) reportedly awarded Digicel a 10MHz block of spectrum in the 700MHz band on 1 October 2020. In an interview with TechNewsTT.com, chief technical officer Chandrika Samaroo admitted that the block is half of what it needs to support its future 4G use, but it will be used alongside its existing spectrum holdings in the 850MHz, 1900MHz and AWS (1700MHz/2100MHz) bands. According to the CTO, 75% of the devices currently in use on its network should be able to access the 700MHz band and 86% of those devices are tri-band carrier aggregation (3C) compatible.

The executive told the website that Digicel has already deployed 200 700MHz-capable cell sites in areas of high demand. He commented: ‘Those sites will be activated over the next two to three weeks. We have purchased a second phase of 30 sites that will be installed by February or March and we are planning for another 80 sites. The first 200 sites were based on demand, but the world has changed, and the next 80 sites will address gaps in rural coverage.’

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Digicel launched 4G services in Trinidad and Tobago in July 2018. A dual-band LTE-A launch followed in November 2019. The distribution of the 700MHz band has been anticipated since at least 2013.