Introduction of 4G LTE and 3G technologies
UTS has designed and is set to start building the first 4G LTE network on the island of Saba after a successful launch of the service in St. Maarten. Doing business under the name of UTS-WICC and partnered with SATEL on offering its Chippie mobile service, the company will commence building Saba’s first 4G LTE network within short. While building and rolling out the 4G LTE network, UTS will also be introducing 3G mobile service on the island. Both classes of technologies will be utilized to provide better service to customers. Whether the customer has a 4G LTE compatible smartphone or a phone that supports 3G technology, they will be able to enjoy blazing fast mobile internet speeds. After the successful launch of LTE on St Maarten, Saba will be the next market in the Eastern Caribbean whose customers will be benefitting from this better service.
The company will also be building additional sites to provide better mobile coverage for the island of Saba. The current amount of 4 GSM sites will be expanded with the construction of two additional sites. The total of 6 sites will offer both 4G LTE and 3G service. These new sites will enhance service in areas where the coverage needs improvement. The most notable improvements will be in Windwardside and The Bottom.
The equipment to be installed has already been secured and is currently being shipped to Saba for install. Installations are scheduled during the second quarter of 2016 and will be carried out by UTS and SATEL engineers in collaboration with local contractors, and further supported by the vendor of the mobile equipment to be installed. Testing will be completed and inspection will take place by the end of the second quarter of 2016.
Capacity and speed upgrades
With the recent decision to lower the fees mobile operators have to pay to the Supervisory Telecom Agency, which regulates telecom for the island, the costs of operation in Saba will become lower. This reduction will allow UTS to invest substantially in enhancements to the mobile infrastructure on Saba, such as the increases in coverage and speed enhancements. Another such significant investment is in more capacity. UTS has its own fiber transport on the SSCS fiber cable between St. Maarten and Saba. This fiber replaces the microwave technology which used to be the primary link between the islands. This microwave technology will remain in operation as backup connectivity. Obtaining this capacity on the SSCS fiber system which allow UTS to offer the consumer better connectivity and faster speeds on the Chippie mobile network.
With Chippie mobile service in Saba being part of the overall Chippieland network, Saba customers are able to travel with their Chippie number to other islands and continue using mobile service at local rates. This means that Saba customers traveling to St. Maarten or elsewhere within Chippie 3G and 4G LTE coverage will be able to travel with no interruption to their high speed mobile internet service. The new service is not only a convenience for Sabans traveling abroad though. The availability of high speed mobile internet on the smallest island in Dutch Caribbean will also be good for visiting tourists and business travelers coming to the island. They can continue using their mobile service while roaming with their ‘foreign’ number and conduct ‘business as usual’.
UTS expects to launch the 3G and 4G LTE service commercially in the beginning of the third quarter. UTS’ commercial team is diligently planning the introduction of this exciting new service and will offer the Saba consumer attractive packages to use this enhanced service. Soon customers will also be able to enjoy the same service that Chippie customers on St. Maarten have been able to benefit from. The enhanced service will enable access to all the latest apps and access high quality content at lightning-fast speeds. A fantastic experience for the user because content such as Netflix, Skype, Youtube and more will run with ease on the new network.
UTS Eastern Caribbean Chief Executive Officer, Glen Carty states: ‘We would like to first and foremost thank our customers for being patient and loyal Chippie customers while awaiting the enhancement of service which is now coming with the introduction of high speed mobile internet. We appreciate their custom throughout the years. We would also like to thank the government of Saba for working along with us in realizing the planned enhancements. Our long-time business partners, SATEL have been a valuable partner over the years we look forward to a continued positive and mutually beneficial working relationship. We thank them for their years of pleasant partnership and cooperation. We would also like to express our appreciation to the Agentschap for working along with us and issuing the necessary cooperation in our progress towards a milestone. We are excited to bring the smallest island in the Caribbean and perhaps in the world a 4G LTE network.
Source: St. Martin News Network UTS to launch LTE service in Saba.