DIGICEL first to launch LTE net­work

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany Digicel, on Thurs­day launched its is­land-wide Long Term Evo­lu­tion (LTE) net­work in Saint Lu­cia; the only such net­work on is­land. The net­work is an up­grade to the pre­vi­ous 4G net­work and pro­vides faster up­load and down­load in­ter­net speeds.

“To­day marks a mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion for not only us at Digicel, but most im­por­tantly for this coun­try, as we bring to you its very first is­land-wide LTE net­work,” said CEO Siob­han James Alexan­der.

“We have lis­tened to the pleas for faster speed, im­proved ser­vice, bet­ter value, and we are com­mit­ting to a trans­for­ma­tional ex­pe­ri­ence to our peo­ple of Saint Lu­cia,” she added. “The is­land-wide LTE net­work will de­liver up to ten times faster than your cur­rent 4G ser­vice, af­ford­ing you con­nec­tiv­ity any­time, and any­where.”

The new net­work can only be used when on a pre­paid, or a post­paid Digicel plan. The com­pany is also in­tro­duc­ing a new fea­ture that of­fers cus­tomers up to 50gigs of data with two hours of free video stream­ing every day.

The process of join­ing the new net­work first re­quires users to up­grade their SIM cards at a Digicel out­let, free of charge. This change is re­quired as the out­dated SIM cards are un­able to han­dle the new net­work.

“We have a lot of tenured per­sons on our net­work,” said the CEO, “cus­tomers who’ve been there fif­teen years and ten years. Ten years ago the tech­nol­ogy was 2G which was very ana­log.”

Ad­di­tion­ally: “There’s a built-in speed into the SIM; these SIMS can’t now in­ter­act with the new net­work and so it’s im­per­a­tive that the first step is to get a new SIM. If you have an old SIM you won’t see the net­work.”

Step two re­quires cus­tomers to own a smart­phone ca­pa­ble of han­dling the net­work. “We are ac­tu­ally mes­sag­ing per­sons to in­form how to get a mac ad­dress on their phone. We then send you to our web­site and it will let you know if your phone is com­pat­i­ble or not.

“We rec­og­nize that there are cus­tomers who buy their phones from other car­ri­ers; we en­cour­age them to visit the web­site to un­der­stand if their phones are not com­pat­i­ble.”

The fi­nal step in­volves chang­ing the net­work set­tings on your smart­phone to the ‘LTE’ op­tion. “Most of us prob­a­bly had 3G/2G; you need to change it.”

Although the new net­work is now avail­able, cus­tomers are not forced to make the switch and can re­main on their cur­rent ser­vice. “We haven’t got­ten rid of 2G or 3G, we won’t shut down the other two net­works. The switch won’t be manda­tory; we won’t force you but we would en­cour­age you.”

Digicel CEO Siob­han James Alexan­der at Thurs­day’s press launch.

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