Majority state-owned telecommunications provider, TSTT, yesterday launched a 4G LTE mobile broadband service in T&T, even as its chairman, Emile Elias, criticised the sector's regulator for not making the spectrum for 4G LTE available to the company.
In speaking about the new technology, company officials emphasized that TSTT is the first company in the country to provide the service, which delivers enhanced speeds for mobile data.
Addressing a news conference at TSTT's headquarters in Port-of-Spain, the company's CEO Ronald Walcott said: "Our customers can now experience ultra-fast broadband speeds on their mobile devices, with speeds that are as much as ten times faster than you can get from anywhere else in Trinidad and Tobago right now. Our 4G LTE Mobile service is at worldwide standards."
Last week Friday, in commemorating the first anniversary of the board's stewardship, TSTT outlined a $1.9 billion financing agreement with Republic Bank Limited to support its $3.7 billion, five-year investment and transformation plan and the launch of the new converged bmobile brand.
Walcott said yesterday: "I would like to remind everyone that we have had the only 4G LTE Wireless Broadband service throughout Trinidad and Tobago for quite some time. That is fixed 4G LTE broadband for your homes and offices. What we are bringing to you today is a brand new mobile experience to the people of Trinidad and Tobago: Mobile 4G LTE for your mobile devices."
He continued, "We invite you to go to our bmobile retail stores and distribution outlets today and sign up to enjoy this powerful new solution. All you need is a LTE compatible SIM card and mobile device and with our new 4G LTE Mobile service, you will be able to do everything that you are accustomed to at much faster speeds."
4G means the fourth and latest generation of data technology for cellular networks. LTE, which stands for "Long Term Evolution," is the fastest 4G technology available today for the transmission of data on mobile devices and is the go-to solution for people with smartphones, tablets and laptops who need very fast data speeds for Web browsing, app use and email when they're on the move and out of the range of their Wi-Fi networks.
Walcott said that TSTT was using its existing 1900 MHz spectrum to provide the 4G LTE service. This would allow the company to deploy the service in Port of Spain, San Fernando, Scarborough and their environs in phase 1 of the project.
For TSTT to provide national coverage it would need to get the 700 MHz spectrum that they applied for in 2014, Walcott said, adding: "I want to reiterate that it is our expectation that we will be able to continue to roll out our 4G LTE Mobile service in the 700 MHz band which is the most standard spectrum for the LTE deployment because of its propagating characteristics which includes the ability to have the type of geographic coverage that we want. This will ensure that we can provide this solution throughout the length and breadth of T&T so that everyone can be a part of this modern and exciting era."
Speaking after Walcott, TSTT chairman Elias said he had message for T&T "and for those who have been conspiring TSTT."
His message was: "TSTT is Trinidad and Tobago and Trinidad and Tobago is TSTT."
Elias said TSTT has a plan, which is working "and anybody who stands in the way of that happening is going to come up against the very resolute board and management of TSTT."
The company's chairman said TSTT has demanded the 700 MHz spectrum from its regulator, the Telecommunications Authority of T&T and TSTT is contemplating legal action against TATT, if necessary, to ensure that the company gets the allocation of spectrum.
He said three years ago elements of the previous boards of TATT and National Enterprises Ltd, which holds 51 per cent of TSTT for the government, "were involved in what I consider to be a conspiracy to damage TSTT. Whoever the cap fits let them wear it. And if they get me damned vexed I might start naming names."