Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), under the banner of its DigiCell Mobile brand, and its telecommunications vendor-partner Huawei Technologies, announced on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the roll-out of its nationwide 4G LTE network, expected for launch in December of this year.
The installation of DigiCell's brand new 4G LTE mobile network throughout Belize will position BTL to be the first and only telecommunications provider to have this high speed mobile service throughout the country – and at speeds and quality that will ultimately be superior to that of any provider within the country, or elsewhere throughout the Caribbean & Central American region.
The term "4G LTE" refers to the Fourth Generation, Long Term Evolution mobile technology that allows for data speed bursts surpassing 100 Megabytes per second (Mbps), alongside reduced latency and improved stability and capacity.
Huawei Technologies, also present at the press conference, has been selected as the vendor for the LTE network. Huawei is a global leader in mobile technology with over 240 4G LTE deployments worldwide. Overall, Huawei wireless networks are used by more than 500 mobile operators worldwide, serving more than 2 billion customers.
"BTL has made the very conscious decision to install LTE throughout the entire country wherever we have current mobile coverage – and not simply do a partial installation in select places. It is an important differentiator between us and our competitor, as we believe that it is critical that as many Belizeans as possible have access to this cutting edge high speed mobile technology," noted Anwar Barrow, Chairman of the BTL Executive Committee. "Furthermore, in our next phase of mobile deployment we will be adding more than 60 additional cell sites throughout the country, ensuring that DigiCell will have unmatched reach and capacity in Belize.
"We are also very pleased to work with a company of the stature and competence of Huawei Technologies. They will bring significant experience and expertise to the project – not only during the implementation phase, but even after the initial LTE installation. They are charged with ensuring that the LTE service will work optimally, and that our BTL team members are fully trained to manage the new network on an ongoing basis," Barrow continued.
The investment in a new nationwide 4G LTE network and related components is expected to top BZE $40 million (US $20 million). The investment is part of a broader strategic effort of the company to modernize both its mobile and landline plant to radically improve broadband connectivity and quality across the country.
"Huawei's goal in this long-term partnership with BTL for managed services, fixed broadband and LTE is to make DigiCell the fastest, most reliable network possible for all Belizeans," said He Ming, President of Huawei Technologies USA. "Our customer-centric approach also includes Huawei providing the latest training to the BTL team so they can ensure the ongoing quality of the network and the voice and data services delivered to their customers."