My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How @Digiceljamaica and @FlowJamaica's 4G LTE Adoption may use Budget Tablets

Sunday, May 25, 2014

How @Digiceljamaica and @FlowJamaica's 4G LTE Adoption may use Budget Tablets

Both Telecom Provider Digicel and Telecom Provider LIME are gung-ho about 4G LTE (long Term Evolution).

They are BOTH dedicating sizeable chunks of their financial muscle towards building out their 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) Networks in the next 18 months as stated in my blog article entitledLIME and Digicel have purchase AWS and 700 MHZ Spectrum for 4G LTE - Spectrum Purchase by the Number with Strings Attached as Ministry gets kitty donations from Local Telcos”.

So what’s the state of the build-up of their Telecoms Infrastructure prior to going Supersonic by October 2015, 18 months from now and just in time for Christmas 2015? Especially in light of the fact that we’ve slipped yet again in the WEF’s (World Economic Forum) GITR (Global Information Technology Report) 2014 and IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) DigiLAC Indices as stated in my blog article entitledJamaica 86th in the WEP GITR 2014 Rankings – UNCHR Rights to Broadband Legislation to financial empower Jamaican and Caribbean Nationals”?

Telecom Provider Digicel – 25% Profit from ICT Start with Upgrades to 3G Network

Telecom Provider Digicel has already begun upgrades to their “4G” Infrastructure, which is really faster 3G, according to Digicel's Chief Technology Officer, Krishna Phillipps as stated in “Digicel says mobile 4G now 92% population coverage”, published Tuesday, May 20, 2014 10:18 AM, The Jamaica Observer.

A Digicel Press Release fielded by Digicel's Chief Technology Officer, Krishna Phillipps indicates their main contractor, Ericsson, has been a busy little honey badger, quote: “Digicel is already making significant headway in increasing Jamaica’s mobile broadband footprint in every parish and ensuring that people across Jamaica have access to the fastest and most reliable mobile broadband network. As part of the recent expansions, we deployed 170 new 4G Mobile sites across the island to expand coverage and increase 4G Mobile capacity in all 14 parishes. We also deployed 17 new 2G and 4G sites to improve coverage in many rural areas”.

The news seems to be getting better for customers in the remotest parts of Jamaica. This is especially true as it relates to their access to Data Services, in which Telecom Provider Digicel is set to grow by 25% as reported in my blog article entitledDigicel to invest US$85 million in 4G LTE Network - 25% of Total revenue from ICT as 4G LTE Investments designed to weather the coming Summer WhatsApp Storm”.

Distribution Director at Digicel, Patrick King throws some more stats on their Data Bonfire by the Seaside, quote: “We have seen an increase of over 200,000 subscribers on our 4G Mobile network over the last quarter and over 70 per cent increase in subscribers using our data plans as customers better manage their mobile internet experience”.

So taking their word at face value, are we looking at an improvement in access to Wireless Broadband among Jamaicans? First, attitudes towards Broadband have to change.

Telecom Provider LIME – Wireless Broadband as a way to put Meat on the Table

As I’d pointed out in my blog article entitledBlogging Competition as Digicel Teams up with The Jamaica Observer to celebrate World Telecommunications Day”, Telecom Provider LIME isn’t doing much this year.

In terms of promotions, they’re basically been rehashing their Talk EZ Plans, even as WhatsApp threatens to make Voice Telecoms extinct by June 2014 as stated in my blog article entitled “WhatsApp VoIP Calling in Second Quarter of 2014 - WhatsApp kills International Calling at the Advent of Facetime-eqsue Premium Video VoIP Calling on smartphones”.

Still they’re pushing forward in their ramp-up towards deploying their 4G LTE Network with assistance from their Telecom Equiptment Supplier Ericsson as stated in “LIME invests billions in mobile network”, published Monday May 19, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner. World Telecommunications Day saw them highlighting a study done jointly by Telecom Equiptment Supplier Ericsson and Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology that indicates a strong connection between access to Wireless Broadband and Increased Earnings.

According to their Study, in Developed World countries like the US of A, Canada, Japan, South Korea and EU (European Union), the increase in Annual Incomes of Homes saw a dramatic rise:

1.      U$2,100 (JA$230,000) in the Annual Incomes of homes with 4 MBps Speed increase
2.      U$1,500 (JA$165,000) in the Annual Incomes of homes with 8 MBps Speed increase

In Developing World Countries like Jamaica, the increase in Annual Incomes of Homes isn't as much, but it's still significant:

1.      U$800 (J$88,000) in the Annual Incomes of homes with 0.5 MBps Speed increase
2.      U$600 (J$66,000) in the Annual Incomes of homes with 4 MBps Speed increase

To this end, Telecom Provider LIME is selling Wireless Broadband, specifically Browse and Talk as described in my blog article entitled “LIME's Postpaid Plus and JA$200 per week Blackberry Plans - Browse and Talk is proof that Postpaid and Data Services are all the Rage as MNP and LNP approaches on May 2014” on the idea that merely possessing it makes you wealthier, which is isn't true.

This is really dependent on how Jamaicans use Broadband to make money online, which according to the Dr. Hopeton Dunn Caribbean ICT Indicators and Broadband Survey in 2011 STILL centers around Social Networking as lamented in my Geezam blog article entitled “Jamaica’s Low Net Penetration – Broadband Internet A Universal Right”.

The Study also makes no recommendation for the implementation of the UNCHR (United Nations Charter of Human Rights) as it relates to Access to Broadband Internet, something that is necessary to empower citizens with the idea that having access to Broadband is a right on the same level as access to Electricity and Potable Drinking Water.

If Telecom Provider LIME really is selling Wireless Broadband on the idea that it makes more money, they need to sponsor FREE Seminars or disburse step-by step information in the form of e-books, YouTube Videos and other forms of Social Media as well as published material detailing step-by-step how to make money online.

This in a manner similar to how I’ve published suggestions to kickstart this desire among Jamaicans by showing them a pathway to making Money online as stated in my blog article entitled “How Jamaicans can Legally make US Dollars as Freelance worker Online - Jamaican Flexworking to make money from the Internet”  and via EBay as stated in my blog article entitled How to make money as an EBay Seller online - Everything in Jamaica from Rare Coins to Unique Craft Items”.

Telecom Providers and 4G LTE Adoptions – Budget Tablets with Microsoft Productivity Software Needed

Making money, especially now, is the imperative for most Jamaicans as stated in my blog article entitled Jamaica's 700MHz Spectrum Auction fails to attract bidders on Friday October 11 2013 - Jamaicans Lack interest in Broadband Internet and no Telecom Regulator for the Sector”. Thus adoption of 4G LTE is dependent on whether or not having Faster Speed Wireless Broadband will increase my life chances or will just make my Facebook and Instagram Accounts load Faster.

Most Jamaicans still don’t have low cost access to a Desktop or Laptop computer, one of the issues mentioned in the Dr. Hopeton Dunn Caribbean ICT Indicators and Broadband Survey in 2011 as a Barrier to Access to Broadband Internet.

To this end, BOTH Telecom Providers need to not only agitate the GOJ (Government of Jamaica) for UNCHR (United Nations Charter of Human Rights) as it relates to Access to Broadband Internet to be implemented, but also to provide cheaper devices. We now have cheaper smartphones as explained in my blog article entitled Digicel reports increases in Data Services, DL600 and DL700 sales in 2013 - LIME's all about the Benjamins from 4G LTE making Digicel Captain America The Winter Soldier”.

To do meaningful work online, we need devices for content creation. Current Tablet designs just don’t have the processing power, Memory, SSD (Solid State Drive) Space, software and ease of use to be useful.

The New and improved Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a glimmer of hope in the Tablet World with its meatier processor and Microsoft Office Software and other software Tools for on-the-go Content Creation as described in my blog article entitled Microsoft launches Surface Pro 3 - Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 puts Kibosh on Tablets with Apple having to make a larger Keyboard iPad”.

Hopefully, other Tablet Makers will take their design cues from Microsoft and make Tablet that is not only good at playing Fruit Ninja, but also at getting actual work done. Lower the prices and make the Tablets affordable and the local Telecom Providers worry about adoption of 4G LTE will be a lingering thought.

This as a budget Tablets that has Microsoft Productivity Software and other Software on it will hasten 4G LTE Adoption as was the case with the DL600 and DL700 smartphones as explained in my blog article entitled Jamaicans falls in love with Digicel's DL600 and DL700 during Christmas 2013 - Sub-US$100 smartphones driving rapid smartphone adoption in Jamaica as Manufacturing is Possible”.

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