LIME's 4G upgrade reaches Mandeville

BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 24, 2014

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LIME's 4G network expansion has reached Mandeville, the telecommunications provider said.


"At the same time, subscribers in neighbouring Clarendon, the Corporate Area and parts of St Thomas have been feeling the vastly improved experience as LIME's US$79 million ($8.8 billion) mobile upgrade and expansion project stretches into more communities across Jamaica," said the company in a press statement.


The network upgrade is part of a bigger US$1 billion expansion of high-speed mobile Internet service across 13 Caribbean markets where LIME operates.


To date, the company has 'ripped and replaced' 126 mobile sites with 4G technology, bringing forward the completion date closer to the end of 2014. Previously, the company targeted a completion date in mid-2015.


"Kingston and St Andrew is almost completed with only a few cell sites remaining and work is currently being carried out in St Catherine," LIME's corporate communications manager, Elon Parkinson told the Caribbean Business Report.


Earlier this year, LIME recorded its highest number of complaints to the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) based on poor service quality and interruption of service.


However, Parkinson blamed the service quality issues on the retrofitting of the mobile network which resulted in some customers being temporarily unplugged from the system.


The project, which was launched in early March, has since benefited customers in Manchester and Clarendon. The upgrade is expected to result in better service connections and broadband speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, among other benefits.


So far, a total of US$310 million has been disbursed across the Caribbean markets to carry out upgrading functions.


However, Jamaica is far ahead of the other markets, most of which has just started the project.


"LIME's investment is a big boost to regional economies," LIME Caribbean CEO Martin Roos stated in a press release.


"The value of having advanced, globally competitive technology that offers faster speeds, greater reliability, enhanced capability, more capacity and improved resilience, particularly in this hurricane belt, cannot be overstated."


The network upgrade serves to unleash the full potential of these islands by fostering greater economic development, advancing educational opportunities, E-commerce, healthcare innovations among a myriad of other intrinsic benefits, according to the release.


Other markets benefiting from the upgrade include Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines and Turks and Caicos Islands.


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