Business

LIME opts for LTE mobile technology

Integrated Telecoms provider LIME granted a new 15-year telecoms licence by the Government on Wednesday.

Friday, April 04, 2014    

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LIME invested US$30 million or J$3.25 billion to secure a new operating licence and additional high-speed mobile data spectrum. This will allow LIME to transition to a LongTerm Evolution (LTE) network through the deployment of AWS spectrum.

LIME is investing up to US$79 million or J$8.7 billion to upgrade and expand its existing 4G service. It is switching its cell sites over to 4G technology tp deliver mobile speeds of up to 21 Mbps.

Speaking with Caribbean Business Report from LIME's Kingston headquarters yesterday, a LIME spokesperson said: "As stated by Minister Paulwell on Wednesday, use of the 700 Megahertz spectrum was negotiated by Digicel for the agreed price of US$25 million. LIME elected to bid for a block of alternative LTE spectrum using Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum.

"The frequency range of AWS is 1,700 - 2,100 Megahertz. At that band level, transmission of the LTE signal is more challenging than at the lower 700 megahertz band which has better in-built penetration. 700MHz has a lower band, this allows a carrier to cover more area with less cell sites (faster to market). Nonetheless, several carriers in the United States are using AWS. In fact, three of the top five mobile providers in the US (ATT, T-Mobile & Verizon Wireless) supplement their transmission of LTE services via AWS spectrum.

"Therefore, AWS sits virtually shoulder-to-shoulder with 700 MHZ LTE spectrum, although the latter is better known and associated with LTE technology by members of the public including the media.

"Our mission will have to be to create deeper understanding within the public domain that AWS is just as good for transmitting LTE signals. Expectedly, Digicel will push hard to delineate the technologies and to say that they have the superior version. This makes it even more important for us to generate the understanding from very early so that confusion does not prevail."

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