My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: US$50 million 60Mbps Digicel LTE Network as Caricel and FLOW prep for August 2016 Launch

Sunday, June 12, 2016

US$50 million 60Mbps Digicel LTE Network as Caricel and FLOW prep for August 2016 Launch

“It's a significant milestone for Jamaica. We've invested in innovation that can empower consumers and businesses to reach a new potential as they explore, discover and unleash fresh possibilities online with LTE”

Digicel CEO David Butler commenting on their launch of 4G LTE on Thursday June 8th 2016

As if on cue, Digicel has gone ahead and launched their 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) Network.

From June 2, 2016

The soft launch for their 4G LTE, called Digicel LTE, took place on Thursday June 9th 2016, with Prepaid and postpaid plans being announced on Friday June 10th 2016 as stated in the article “Digicel Invests $6b In LTE Network, Touts Tenfold Increase In Data Speed”, Published Friday June 10, 2016 by Steven Jackson, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Scope out this video on Digicel’s YouTube channel that explains what Digicel LTE is all about!

More on that in Kelroy’s Geezam blog article entitled “Digicel switches on 4G LTE Network in Jamaica”! For now, on to the main event!

Digicel LTE Soft Launch – 2 Years of preparation for their 60 Mbps 4G LTE Network

The Media that were invited to the soft launch were shown downloads tests maxing out at 60 Mbps as noted in the article “Digicel launches Jamaica’s first LTE Network”, published Thursday June 9th 2016 by LoopJamaica.

For Digicel, this was two (2) years in the making, but Jamaica deserves the best LTE to quote CEO Butler: “"We're focused on always delivering the most advanced mobile network technology that fits our customers' lifestyle and budget. The activation of our LTE network is a major step in this direction”.

Digicel LTE - Kingston and Mobay only as Islandwide launch coming in August 2016

Currently only Kingston and Montego Bay can experience Digicel LTE, but Digicel claims that their network, which was built out by Ericsson, is capable of hitting speeds as high as 100 Mpbs.
From June 2, 2016
Already there are Digicel LTE Prepaid and Postpaid plans available, once you dial *147# or Text 107 to 137 for details on Digicel LTE!

Despite this, Digicel LTE is gaining traction, with 7000 persons already signing up to try out the faster Network as per this Tweet on Digicel's Twitter page:

So what are the Digicel LTE Data Plans like?

Digicel LTE Data Plans – Very Fast but Very Expensive as Caricel can strike

The Digicel LTE Launch represents an investment of some US$50 million ($6 billion) which began with buying their 700 MHz spectrum in 2014 as noted in my blog article entitled “LIME and Digicel have purchase AWS and 700 MHZ Spectrum for 4G LTE”.

Already the Data Plans are out for 4G LTE and they are a bit on the high side, with Data Plan costing JA$900 for 1GB of Data that lasts 7 days; Text 107 to 137 for details on Digicel LTE!

Still, to me it's a bit satisfying to note that we're also the first in the Caribbean to get 4G LTE, with Digicel forgoing more lucrative markets such as Bermuda  as noted in my blog article entitled “How Digicel’s and CellOne LTE in Bermuda means 75 Mbps speeds coming to Jamaica”.

But will this be fast and competitive enough a price to beat Caricel? My next article answers this question!

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