Update (9 OCT 2017) : Digicel Trinidad 4G LTE Network
Update (9 DEC 2016) : Finally one of the carriers has launched LTE. See the following blog posts. (Although a full rollout depends on the award of 700 Mhz spectrum)
Update (29 AUG 2016) : The last bit of news on this topic came from a July 2016 Guardian article. Here are three excerpts from that article. I am guessing the third mobile provider could be Flow (Cable and Wireless/Liberty) and let’s see how long again before we get news on LTE licenses, testing and deployment (on mobile phones) in Trinidad.
A third mobile provider is coming and could be awarded its licence as early as September, 2016.
In a mid-December 2015 interview with the T&T Guardian, chairman of TSTT Emile Elias signaled that TSTT should be one of the companies awarded that third license. Both Digicel and Cable & Wireless Communications had been shortlisted by TATT to receive the two 4G-LTE licences.
Asked whether he had a definitive date for the award of the 4G-LTE license, he said: “No, but it would be in shortest possible time, that’s my aim because it has been outstanding for awhile. That process has been ongoing for two years, that is something that I have been aiming at to bring to some conclusion. I am hoping to see the back of that (the conclusion) by September.”
Update (11 SEP 2014) : According to the article in this newspapers clipping Digicel has applied for an LTE license from TATT. So we have confirmation that they are going LTE we just don’t know exactly when. Someone landed on this blog searching for “digicel rolling out lte network trinidad” which to me says that word of this is out there. Also, they are rolling out a fibre optic network to provide internet and subscription TV. Exciting times for Trinidad and Tobago.
Update (25 APR 2014) : Excerpts from an ad (Blink Wireless Broadband powered by Huawei Technology) in today’s Guardian epaper. Looks like for now this LTE rollout is for wireless broadband and not mobiles. They speak of 10Mbps speeds, much less than what LTE is capable of, meaning just like their WIMAX and HSPA+ networks, speeds are capped. Not surprising given the cost and other factors releated to their internet backbone and network.
The impact of Milestone initiatives such as these will benefit all throughout our twin-isle Republic. — The Honourable Nizam Baksh
I am thankful to blink | bmobile for choosing Golden Lane Community as one of the first to get the service, and I challenge the company to continue enabling this and other communities in need in Tobago. — Assemblyman Godwin Adams
Tuesday April 15th 2014 marked the dawn of a new era for the communities of Sangre Chiquito, Trinidad, and Golden Lane, Tobago, with the simultaneous launch of Blink Wireless Broadband. This is part of blink | bmobile’s 5-year Internet plan to improve the existing Broadband Coverage in Trinidad and Tobago. The launch events underscore the Company’s commitment to ensuring that our Nation’s citizens, in every community, are served by state-of-the-art communications. Built upon LTE (Long Term Evolution) Technology – the next stage of the wireless broadband evolution – BLINK Wireless Broadband provides Internet access at data speeds of up to 10 Mbps, opening up new horizons in Education, Security, Home, Entertainment, E-commerce and much more. blink | bmobile is proudly committed to ensuring that every community has Internet access, in our march towards making Trinidad and Tobago one of the best-connected countries in the Caribbean.
Update (22 APR 2014) : Wow. I was shocked to read in this mornings Trinidad Express epaper that Blink Broadband had launched 4G LTE in selected areas such as Sangre Chiquito and Golden Lane, Tobago. The Bridge Of Hope Children’s home is the recipient of this service free for 1 year. I’m embedding the article here as I cannot find it in the online edition. Read it and make of it what you will and share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
So both carriers are running a HSPA+ 4G network on the 1900 MHz band. We’ve been enjoying this for many months now. So what’s next? Would it be LTE? I came across this excerpt from a Trinidad Guardian article
Delves said Digicel was also interested in bringing long-term evolution (LTE) to T&T and was looking at responding to the request for proposals (RFP) issued by the Telecoms Authority of T&T. “We are currently reviewing that document that has been issued with TATT. We are going to make sure we are at the forefront of technology.
“Basically it’s what they call a beauty contest, so they will find a criteria and then you put in your best bid based on their criteria, which involves things like coverage, speed of roaming. “The LTE is the future. We’re the first operator in the Caribbean to bring LTE. We have knowledge and history in LTE and hopefully that should go in our favour,” Delves said. Deadline for the RFP ends on March 21, 2014.
There is RFPs for a third mobile operator and the 700 MHz band. In my mind any LTE network will have to coexist with a HSPA+ network for the many phones that are not LTE compatible. Also, sooner or later we’ll be talking about 5G. This post will be updated as more information comes to hand. What are your thoughts?