Georgetown, Guyana – Moviestar Guyana, a Guyanese digital television company announced via their Facebook page that it plans to test 24 high definition channels over its new TD-Lte 4G network currently being deployed across the Capital City, Georgetown.
The company via its social networking page had been telling customers since 2011 that in 2012 they would change the face of communication in Guyana with true 4G power. For a country like Guyana, the company’s words are promising as it provides new hopes for customers with limited entertainment choices on an overloaded data system. Currently existing is Wimax and DSl with an over reliance on outdated microwave and 2.5G networks being used for wireless broadband delivery.
But what is TD-Lte and what does it mean for the people of Guyana?
TD-Lte is the latest 4G craze hitting the world of power hungry mobile broadband users. As our phones, tablets, computers became more advanced and complex we started demanding more by accessing the internet with our devices. Networks upgraded from 2.5G to 3G in order to supply this demands but as devices continue to evolve consumers saw the need to stream videos, music, watch Live TV ect on the go. However, this created a problem for network operators, heavy data usage started to make networks slower and more 3G upgrades would still be restricted and unable to supply demands.
Operators needed a wireless technology that was faster and bigger to supply the demands of growing consumer broadband needs.
First Developed as LTE, Long Term Evolution is a highly optimized mobile broadband solution designed to deliver high-speed broadband data, voice (VoIP), and Multimedia services faster, reliable and most important cheaper than existing 3G technologies. LTE is essentially a fourth generation technology capable of achieving download speeds of 150mbps, with upload speeds of over 80mbps and much greater ground coverage from a single cell tower.
TD- LTE short for Time Division LTE, is essentially the same technology as LTE. TD- LTE is China’s homegrown 4G mobile telecommunications technology and standard co-developed, since late 2007. While LTE uses two streams on the wireless spectrum to upload/download, TD- LTE uses only one on a wireless stream with less traffic.
Deploying over its existing IP infrastructure Moviestar plans to use its TD-LTE network to improve its existing digital television service by offering, HD, VOD (Video on Demand), Internet and Voice. The company seems particular interested in the HD and VOD offerings as it complements its current TV offerings and will allow users to select and watch/listen to higher quality video or audio content as they demand and choose.
One interesting fact is that TD-LTE is being touted as the mobile network of the future and increasing mobile providers are picking up the network for broadband deployment. There are already a number of phones on the market capable of receiving LTE data as the American company Verizon already uses it. China Mobile will be using the TD- LTE on its network of 600M Subscribers and Japan’s Docomo also plan to deploy the technology. Could this mean that Companies who deploy LTE technology could essentially become mobile network operators? Moviestar a CableTV provider may very well provide mobile phone/data services in Guyana breaking the duopoly currently owned by regional giant Digicel and native Guyana Telephone and Telegraph.
Moreover, with testing beginning and the instillation of a new main Transmission tower Moviestar Guyana plans to provide TV content to Mobile Phones, Tablet PC, and in cars as mentioned on their Facebook page. According to their page, 16 LTE towers are planned for the capital city alone, and when completed Georgetown will have fully functioning TD-LTE Data coverage capable of providing far more than just TV service. The Georgetown block is expected to be completed within six months aiming for nationwide coverage by the end of 2012.
At this point, it is unclear whether the company plans to fully exploit its network resources for the betterment of the country’s IT infrastructure. The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company; with the monopoly on data for a few more years, is extremely inefficient at providing proper data services to Guyanese. Guyana being one of countries in the region with the worst consumer data availability/speed, one doubts that embarrassing fact will change almost immediately after full LTE deployment but for those of us who know the possibilities of the new network, TD-LTE may change everything.
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