Digicel 4G Mobile is Ready! Rumours or Facts? – 4G Mobile for Jamaica in July
As the clash of the telecom titans ensue Jamaican consumers continue to benefit from rates slashed down by as much as 70% resulting from the pressure the two telecom giants, LIME and Digicel, are applying to each other. Digicel Jamaica, whose investors made back 100% of their investment in Jamaica within 3 years of operations here, has finally decided to go all the way to offer “value” for customers. Its unfortunate, that its in response to competition with LIME rather than, out of the kindness of their hearts, genuinely seek better savings for Jamaicans; considering the fact that a large chunk of their customers are not high income earners who continuously struggle with financial difficulties. But I will get more into that in another article.
Digicel answered LIME’s reduction in call rates to $2.99 per minute with a $2.89 per minute uppercut and an extra freeness jab to the jaw of free local and international nights, free text messages and free credit. So at present, Digicel is offering the best value for money for voice and I would say is winning this round of the battle.
Who Will Ultimately Win This Battle?
For me, I’m not loyal to any phone company, whoever offers the best service with best rates, they’re going to get my business. Right now I’m with LIME mainly because of their 3G data service which is much more viable than Digicel’s expensive EDGE. But wait, that’s about to change very soon as Digicel earlier this year announced that they are upgrading their networks to begin offering true 4G HSPA+ mobile data services to customers. In their release on Facebook they stated, “our 4G Mobile is the next step in high speed mobile internet with speeds of up to five times faster than the standard legacy 3G technology. We will be investing another US$30 million in delivering island-wide coverage to over 80% of the population enabling customers to enjoy a better experience through faster access to files…” (Link to the original release - https://www.facebook.com/digiceljamaicafan/posts/10150463220497307)
Upon first hearing this news, I was a bit skeptical since I have always been unhappy with the quality of their service but its time to give a second thought, especially to the prospect of 4G mobile data.
A working 4G network with rock bottom prices = a winner.
Digicel is Testing Their 4G Mobile Publicly
Over the past couple of weeks many Digicel customers have begun to experience the speeds of the 4G network as they test the service across Kingston, St. Catherine, St. James and other scattered territories. Users with specific 4G enabled phones have started to see the “4G” icon pop-up on the screens replacing the common EDGE.
Below is a screenshot from a Digicel customer with a speed test resulting in a 5.32 Mbps download speed. Unheard of from Digicel and is a real indication that 4G mobile is well on its way.
Rumours have it that Digicel will be rolling the new 4G mobile service in July. If this is the case then LIME will be fighting a losing battle unless they have been secretly building a 4G network of their own waiting on the right moment to strike. Also, bear in mind that Digicel has sucessfully rolled out 4G mobile in Trinidad and Tobago so there is no doubt that its on it way here in Jamaica.
Digicel Trinidad & Tobago 4G Coverage Map:
Digicel has positioned itself well to maintain control of the market and are spending all that cash they make from us to launch aggressive marketing campaigns and promotions designed to appeal to consumers’ sweet tooth and force LIME out of the competition. In my honest opinion, LIME will suffer severely if they can’t match 4G data and cannot rely solely on the prospect of number portability, which will allow consumers to switch to any phone company while maintaining the same phone number. Digicel is ready to kill LIME and are obviously willing to be radical to win customers, at the end of the day customers will have 4G data and voice at unprecedented rates. Consumers will be comfortable.
What are your thoughts?
Who will ultimately capture and hold market share? Will Digicel’s launch of the 4G mobile data service crush LIME once and for all? Let us know in the comments section below.
**Update** – June 24, 2012
LIME is in fact testing the 4G version of their mobile data service with select customers. Having spoken with a few of the chosen LIME customers they have commented that Digicel’s 4G mobile is faster and more stable than LIME’s version. Stay tuned.