My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Digicel and WiMax - Mars Attack

Monday, July 12, 2010

Digicel and WiMax - Mars Attack

Veni, Vidi, Vici
I came, I saw, I conquered

Julius Caesar, Letter to Amantius, 47 BC

Telecom Provider Digicel indeed has painted themselves a fine portrait of a conqueror worthy of the Great Caesar in the guise of Group CEO Colm Delves, who expounds on their victories in the article “Digicel looks beyond to expand its 32 markets”, published Friday June 25th 2010 by Al Edwards, The Jamaica Observer.

Despite being detailed, revealed that which people wished to hear: Telecom Provider Digicel is indeed planning to launch WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Broadband Network under the brand name Digicel Broadband which now been confirmed in the article “Digicel quietly testing 4G for August launch”, published Sunday June 27th 2010 by Mark Titus, Gleaner Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

 And they have a new phone in the works, which CEO Colm Delves codenames the “ChinaBerry”. This exciting tit-bit had many a pundit excited, as the current “flagship” phone for Telecom Provider Digicel, the Blackberry Storm 2, was not at all living up to the hype that was generated about it, so soundings of a cheaper Blackberry alternative which was just as addictive were promising.

Even Digicel Rising Stars, which was mentioned in another article, specifically as it relates to the controversy surrounding its Host and Chill Room host as mentioned in the article “Rising Star host search tomorow - Kiki addresses rumors”, published Monday March 29th 2010, The Monday Star had everyone eating out of Telecom Provider Digicel’s hands.

Especially after the Show Producer Sharon Schroeter made mention of a “surprise” in the set design as stated in the article “New-look Digicel Rising Stars for Season 7”, published Friday, July 02, 2010,The Jamaica Observer, ENTERTAINMENT. In the article, Show Producer Sharon Schroeter is quoted as saying “The set is awesome. It's a very high-tech set that has never been used for a live television show locally before. We saw it and loved it instantly and we think it will just blow everybody away on July 4.”

The article also confirms the aforementioned Monday Star article, in starting that the show’s one (1) hour Sunday Show and thirty (30) minute Results Show format on Friday has been abandoned for a condensed new hour and a half (1 ½) format aired only on Sundays from 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm, facilitating more time for voting and generating a more easily controlled advertising revenue, as the (30) minute results show on Friday was possibly wasted production time, with few heavy-hitters other than title sponsors lining up to take advantage of that time slot.

The same sponsors are back in the form of Telecom Provider Digicel, Pepsi, KFC and the RJR Communications Group to bedazzle us with their products as they serve up a sumptuous feast of music and the Courtleigh Hotel is once again the home of the show, no doubt a more cozy and crowd-controlled arena, home to the competition since 2004.

Also this time around, Digicel Rising Stars is taking advantage of the new up and coming phenomenon of FaceBook and Twitter in the form of fan pages, already with in excess of one hundred thousand (100,000) fans on either social network as stated in the article Digicel gains 100,000 Facebook fans in under 100 days”, published Wednesday, 17 March 2010 by TechJamaica.

With a two (2) hour final show planned, the as-yet seen Chill Room Host Miss Kitty (Digicel Rising Stars peeps, I prefer Tami Chynn or Tessanne Chin!!) after Kerie-Ann Lewis-Thombs, otherwise known as “Kiki”  under dubious circumstances as stated in the articleRising Star host search tomorow - Kiki addresses rumors”, published Monday March 29th 2010, The Jamaica Star left.

With Lady Rennae in the hot seat and Yendi Phillips out of the picture and now the proud winner of back-to-back titles of Miss Jamaica World and Miss Jamaica Universe as stated in the article “Yendi again”, published Monday, July 05, 2010, ENTERTAINMENT, The Jamaica Observer, the show is basically set to rock for Season 7!!

Then the Big day came. It came on no more fitting a day than the celebration of the Independence Day of the United States of America or ID4 as many condense it without losing its savor. Digicel Rising Stars, after starting with flashback shows on Sunday June 6th 2010 with its new hour and a half (1 ½) format, with the three (3) subsequent Sundays focused on the show auditions.

Launching with a bang on Sunday July 4th 2010 with a new Host in the form of Lady Rennae, vouched via the votes of the viewing audience and a gold star-shaped set and (yes, dare I say it!!) a gigantic telepresence screen, not exactly G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra but the same concept, as the large HD screen most likely will be used at some point in the show for a video calling demonstration of the capabilities of WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Broadband Network.

The show, however, is yet to be declared a success in my eyes, as the Chill Room, according to anecdotal sources on Facebook, was MIA (Missing in Action), apparently due to the lack of a Chill Room Host, which in light of the troubles at the Magnum King and Queens of Dancehall, should have axed Miss Kitty and replaced her with Tami Chynn, who has appeared on Smile Jamaica and ER on Television Jamaica in the capacity as a host and thus this “screen test” is all that is needed to prep her for the post, with her sister Tessanne Chin as backup.

But is there more “cake and ale” as Shakespeare no doubt would no doubt demand? Looks like this is just the beginning of more controversy in Digicel Rising Stars? Stay tuned…........

Seems I spoke too soon with regards to Telecom Provider Digicel. Telecom Provider Digicel on Thursday July 1st 2010, launched yet another re-hash of their popular “top up with JA$200 promotions to win”, this time re-branded as Digicel Juss Buss. Albeit rebranding, I love the way they do it every time, this time inclusive of a song idea in HD and a dance to go with the new promotion.

Cleverly enough, they have kept the Digicel Gimme 5 Promotion going in the background, thus making John Public wonder if Telecom Provider Digicel plans to just make it a permanent feature of their network as it is hugely popular with its customers. Then the bomb dropped.

While on my way home from Mandeville on Wednesday July 7th 2010 (long story, will explain later!!) and chatting it up with a NCU (Northern Caribbean University) Broadcasting student, I heard a news item on the radio which suggested that Telecom Provider LIME was launching LIME TV later this Summer of 2010. LIME TV, the much rumored repackaged DirectTV counterpoint to DigiTV as stated in the article DigiTV launch for 2009 - Mobile Provider branches into TV”, published Friday November 14th 2009 by Ross Sheil, Online Co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer already launched in Tonga, Samoa and other Pacific Islands.

This offering from Telecom Provider LIME, is as yet confirmed, as I am yet to read any newspaper articles confirming the same. I have heard no more about this announcement from Telecom Provider LIME.

But like Telecom Provider Digicel, Telecom Provider LIME also launched a promotion for the Summer of 2010 on Thursday July 1st 2010 with the Apple iPad, possibly the Apple iPad 3G or the Apple iPad 3G +Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) as one of their prizes, confirming what I had suspected: Telecom Provider CLARO may not necessarily be the exclusive Telecom Partner for the Apple iPad, albeit one promotion does not a confirmed assumption make.

Then Telecom Provider Digicel  had to out do themselves. Telecom Provider Digicel, via one of its Marketing Managers, came on Smile Jamaica on Friday July 9th 2010, Television Jamaica and announced not only its continuing support for Reggae Sumfest on the proviso of artistes singing clean music, Konscience being named as being part of a promotional drive thought their thirty two (32) market and doing some futuristic booth at the Denbigh Agricultural Show

Telecom Provider Digicel also plans to launch a new Mobile Phone device, a possibly replacement for their “flagship” phone, in the form of the Motorola Droid a Google Android phone, and yes, a phone which I had designed both in terms of the advertising and design specs to Motorola as well as suggesting its network, Telecom Provider Verizon, even naming its cousins, the Motorola Droid Shadow, later rebranded as the Motorola Droid X as shown in the video CNET First Look Motorola Droid X for Verizon Wireless, aired Wednesday June 23 2010 by Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor, CNET News.

It appears that this phone, to be rebranded the Motorola Mainstream for Telecom Provider Digicel’s markets, may in fact be the first 4G phone in the Caribbean specifically designed for Telecom Provider Digicel’s WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Broadband Network, much in the same way the HTC EVO 4G was the first 4G phone on sale in the United States of America as shown in the video CNET Buzz Report, aired Thursday March 23rd 2010, by Molly Wood, Executive Editor, CNET News.

John Public is therefore giddy with excitement with the prospect of another touch screen smart phone coming to Jamaica, as the Blackberry is now a relic of the 90’s with it QWERTY keyboard, trackball and poor Internet browser.

It time that Telecom Provider Digicel the “Bigger, Better, Network” come with something more exciting as part of its launch for its new WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Broadband Network, bristling with faster-than-3G speeds and promising a better Customer Care experience and faster download and upload times on par with Clearwire or even Sprint in the United States of America.

Thus, John Public is expecting more touch screen phones from HTC, the main and cheaper manufacturer of smart phone now all the rage in the United States, not because of its pricing point. But because HTC has a range of touch screen smart phones that are possible Apple iPhone killers, especially as the HTC Droid Incredible was voted the People’s Choice in CNET Prizefight HTC Droid Incredible vs Apple iPhone 3GS, aired Tuesday April 20th 2010 by Brian Tong, Executive Editor, CNET News.

It was later named the Editor’s Choice in CNET First Look HTC Droid Incredible (Verizon Wireless) aired Monday April 19th 2010 by Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor, CNET News.

With the only common threat to the Telecom Provider CLARO, Telecom Provider LIME and Telecom Provider Digicel in launching their various offerings on Wireless Broadband being Municipal Wireless Operator Dekal Wireless, much touted and spoken of in rather vague terms in my blog article entitled “CLARO and the Coming of Municipal Wi-Fi - Shadows of the Empire”, Telecom Provider Digicel may yet declare “Veni, Vidi, Vici” in the Wireless Broadband arena…………. if Telecom Provider Digicel can live up to the hype typical of the “Bigger, Better Network”.

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