Why RJR HDTV coming against Digicel and LIME 4G LTE and FTTH

Jamaica, as many of my reader know, has the slowest Data speeds in the world as I’d reported in my article “Digicel and LIME identified by Netflix’s ISP Index as the Slowest in the Caribbean”. This was way in December 2014 and with Christmas 2015 fast approaching, we’re not expecting them to get much faster.

But we are expecting both Digicel and LIME to launch 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution soon, now that LIME has finally taken on the name FLOW Jamaica as I’d predicted in LIME Jamaica Goes with the FLOW thanks to Caribbean-wide Survey.

Geezam - Why RJR HDTV coming against Digicel and LIME 4G LTE and FTTH - 26-09-2015 LHDEER

LIME Jamaica officially changed to FLOW Jamaica on Monday August 31st 2015 as thanks to a Caribbean-wide vote, the name was found to have more sex appeal.

The Call Center, which was manned since August 2012 by Spanish speaking staff in  El Salvador from BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) company TELUS from Canada, will now be located in Jamaica staffed by Jamaicans.

LIME’s Call Center moved from El Salvador – Opportunities for Jamaican Call Center Agents in December 2015

Yes I did say Jamaicans; the staff will need to be of a much higher standard that what I typically known pass in most Call Centers, to quote Garry Sinclair: “The contact care centre will facilitate voice, email, chat, live-chat capabilities. The ideal persons we are looking for is someone matriculating towards tertiary education, or a first-degree graduate who is passionate about customers and embrace technologies – someone who will be capable of handling a level of responsibility and autonomy to create a truly passionate customer-care professional”.

Apparently following on a plan laid out by CWC (Cable and Wireless Communications) Chief Executive Phil Bentley in May 2015, this Call Center is being moved as Jamaicans weren’t at al taken by Spanish accent of the TELUS Call Center agents, despite the fact we’re in the Latin American section of the Caribbean, suggesting that Jamaicans should be multi-lingual people.

This move, also a part of the rebranding to FLOW Jamaica, means some 350 seats will be available for Jamaican Call Center agents, to quote Garry Sinclair: “We are changing the brand to Flow as of this weekend, and you are going to see large billboards reflecting that change. Yes, we are going to create new jobs – at least 350 with our first-class, First World contact care centre, which will be relocated to Jamaica”.

Digicel and NBA are now in a deal for content on Digicel SportsMax hints at Digicel ramping up for a 4G LTE and FTTH (Fiber to the House) push by December 2015 as predicted in Digicel Sportsmax NBA deal means fiber and 4G LTE coming this year.

So with LIME setting up their Call Center, does that mean 4G LTE will also be coming by Christmas 2015?

LIME and Digicel 4G LTE and FTTH – Why RJR might Go HDTV as the World is slowly going 4G LTE

If both Telecom Provider go FTTH and 4G LTE by December 2015, then the merger of the RJR Communications Group and the Jamaica Gleaner, now called GCML (Gleaner Company Media Limited), would have to start bearing fruit by going HDTV.

After all, a lot of content that broadcast in the US of A is show in HD.

Many Jamaican who have lost access to nineteen (19) popular cable channels such as HBO as noted in HBO back on Cable as Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica regulates may not like going back to watching NTSC standard broadcast.

So when alternatives from Digicel and LIME come on stream, literally, the GCML will have to make the decision to go HDTV. When Digicel sand LIME finally go 4G LTE in the Fourth Quarter of 2015, they’ll join a huge list of countries that have gone HDTV since the Third Quarter of 2015 according to a report from OpenSignal titled The State of LTE (September 2015).

The data was collected from some 325,221 global 4G LTE users over the period June 2015 to August 2015 toting Android smartphone with a special OpenSignal app installed. No iOS from Apple iPhones data is included, but given the popularity of the Android Smartphone, it can be said to be representative of the smartphone population in most countries.

In that report, many countries have been shown to have gone the 4G LTE route. First I’ll show you the 4G LTE coverage by country for the Third Quarter of 2015.

4G LTE coverage by country for the Third Quarter of 2015

Then the 4G LTE Coverage by Network for the Third Quarter of 2015

4G LTE Coverage by Network for the Third Quarter of 2015

Speeds are important and the fastest 4G LTE Download speeds by country for the Third Quarter of 2015 is as shown below.

fastest 4G LTE coverage by country for the Third Quarter of 2015

And then finally 4G LTE Download Speeds coverage by Network for the Third Quarter of 2015

4G LTE Download Speeds coverage by Network for the Third Quarter of 2015

Ironically, Wi-Fi, particularly Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11ac which is everybody’s favorite free internet source at lunch time, is slower than typical 4G LTE as shown in the chart comparing Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G and 4G LTE for the Third Quarter of 2015. But even with top average speeds of 12 MBps as shown below, Wi-Fi tends to be more popular due to its ubiquitous nature, as almost every device has Wi-Fi built-in.

4G LTE Download Speeds vs wi-fi Third Quarter of 2015

So folk, that’s the state of Broadband Interne globally. What will our local Telecom Provider do to keep up with the rest of the world!?

4G and FTTH Christmas on the Horizon – LIME to use Dekal Wireless to fill in the blanks

With this in mind and a bid to get an advantage over Digicel and their coming 700Mhz 4G LTE Network, should we expect to see any of these Broadband products in the future LIME to upgrade Dekal Wireless, whom they’d announced that they’d acquired on Tuesday December 9th 2015 to be upgraded to islandwide coverage?

That’s the same time that Google will launch Android 6.0 Marshmallow as well as their next set of Nexus Smartphone powered by Huawei and LG as explained in Google Event on September 29th 2015 to launch Nexus running Marshmallow.

This might be possible, as they could use Dekal Wireless to fill in areas of coverage where it’s too expensive to provision 4G LTE. They could even use Dekal Wireless Municipal Wi-Fi to provide access to Google Fi, an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) slate to launch on Tuesday September 29th 2015.

In this manner, they make money from the rental of access to their MVNO platform, as Jamaica currently has twelve (12) MVNO licenses available for interested parties to utilize, albeit the Telecoms acts isn’t clear on how to proceed.

GCML vs the Telecom Providers – Possible decision to go HDTV and White Space Broadband Internet

Meanwhile here in Jamaica, expect a lot of major expansion announcement from GCML (Gleaner Company Media Limited) come December 2015. Not only can the possible announce plans to go to the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) to raise some JA$750 million in capital to go HDTV, but they can also look into the possibility of becoming a Telecom Provider themselves using White Spaces.

After all, if they go HDTV, a lot of spectrum will be free, particularly the unused blocks of spectrum in-between the 6 MHz NTSC Broadcast Channels often called white Spaces.

The RJR Communications Group can re-purpose these free and clear White Space Frequencies to provide Data Services not only to traditional Modems and Smartphone but also Mi-Fi like devices, allowing anyone to use their Broadband Internet Service on any device capable of using Wi-Fi.

This strategy makes sense, as they already own the White Space Spectrum and they’d be more in a position to use it to provide Internet access, being as Digicel and FLOW Jamaica and heavily invested in 4G LTE and FTTH. It might even be a case that they may be able to use the spectrum free of cost without having to pay for spectrum license, being as it’s already a part of their NTSC channels assigned to them as per the Radio Rediffusion Act.

This would make it possible for the RJR Communications Group to stream content using their own Servers and Internet access, making them truly independent of the Telecom Provider as well as competitive in terms of Content delivery, as Streaming over White Spaces Frequencies would be HDTV!

We’ll known by December 2015, when the FLOW Jamaica Call Center goes live and both Digicel and FLOW Jamaica might launch their respective 4G LTE and Fiber Optic FTTH Networks!

Here’s the link:

The State of LTE (September 2015)

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.