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LIME’s 4G Experience Centers challenge the Rise of Dekal Wireless Dragon

LIME has recently announced in the Media that they are going HSDPA+ (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) Release 7 by Monday March 12th 2012AD in what are called 4G Experience Centers, effectively a gigantic Open Sandbox. Something is now as it seems however….

For those following the now exciting developments in Telecoms, this is three (3) days after   Digicel’s extended offer to migrate customers away from CLARO Jamaica ends on Friday March 9th 2012AD, which Digicel has further extended until the Saturday March 31st 2012AD.

lime full logo LIME’s 4G Experience Centers challenge the Rise of Dekal Wireless Dragon

It’s also ten (10) days since Digicel announced their One Rate Calling Plan, for which I wrote a neat piece “Digicel Introduces One Rate Calling for $8.99 in Jamaica”.

 

According to LIME’s rather Press Release, quote: “Starting Monday, the company will be rolling out the red carpet for customers at select LIME locations across the island for them to be the first to experience the superior technology which is only available in the United States, Japan and some European nations. The enhanced services in what have been dubbed ’4G Experience Zones’ will be concentrated in key commercial and residential districts.”

LIME’s 4G Experience Centers are in the following areas:

  •  New Kingston along Knutsford Boulevard
  • Carlton Crescent in Kingston
  • Half-Way Tree Road in Kingston
  • Portmore Mall in Portmore and those lucky enough to live near the Mall (shout out to the CSA at West Cal Center!!)
  • Fairview Mall in Montego Bay, St James

LIME has not announced having LTE (Long Term Evolution) License, thus logically 4G must be HSDPA+ Release 7 Network that they had announced on Tuesday May 17th 2011AD, World Telecommunications and Information Society Day.

The list of compatible devices is literally a smoking Gun for HSDPA+:

LIME has pushed up the timeframe, as that would have landed, counting from the announcement on Tuesday May 17th 2011AD by LIME Caribbean CEO David Shaw, on December 2012AD.

So why the rush? For one thing, it cannot be a response to Digicel’s acquisition of CLARO 3G Network and License, as the Network is not yet ready for Prime Time.

Fellow blogger Horace in his article “Digicel’s Internet Bundle leaves a lot to be desired” pointed out the deficiencies in Telecom Provider  Digicel’s offer of 3G service using bundles with Megabyte sizes that are unrealistic and do not reflect actual internet usage.

In the process of acquiring CLARO 3G customer’s, Digicel has thrown out the previous Unlimited model with a  ramp down in speed to EDGE for exceeding the Data Cap for Prepaid and replaced it with Prepaid Data Bundles and an overage charged of JA$15.00 for exceeding the Plans shown below:

Type Prepaid Data Plan Contract Duration Data Bundle Limit Cost (JA$)
2G 30 Day 60MB 650.00
2G 30 Day 150MB 1600.00
3G 1 Day 500MB 300.00
3G 7 Day 1GB 1500.00
3G 14 Day 2GB 2500.00
3G 30 Day 3GB 3500.00

Digicel is still testing out CLARO newly acquired 3G Networks using the Migrated CLARO customers and secretly testing out HSDPA+ Release 7 on selected customers.

Their Telecom Engineers are fully aware that they cannot go full HSDPA+ Release 7 as announced back in 2011AD which at best effort is capable of specs in the 42MBps best effort. In order to be able to even conceivably provide such speeds,  they would have to continue the upgrade CLARO Jamaica’s IP RAN (IP Radio Access Network) powered mainly by Alcatel-Lucent Radios to a Fiber Optic Backhaul to handle the expected traffic increase.

An upgrade which had begun in 2009AD by CLARO which placed Fiber Optic Cable from the MSC in New Kingston to Spanish Town and should be completed by Digicel if they are serious about LTE! Worse Digicel is yet to finish the MSC (Mobile Switching Center) build-out in Duncans, Trelawny.

Coupled with the fact that to date there has been no response by  Digicel in the Media to LIME’s 4G Experience Centers makes it obvious the Digicel is not the real reason for the upping of the upgrade schedule by LIME.

Then who, pray tell, is LIME afraid of?

One simple answer: Wayne Chen and Lee’s Family owned Municipal Wi-Fi Network Dekal Wireless and Nubian-1- Tech Services Limited. They have been silently and stealthily expanding into Kingston, stealing BOTH LIME and  Digicel customers as mused in Crouching LIME Huawei E586 Mi-Fi – Hidden Dekal Wireless Dragon.

Digicel’s recent JA$8.99 One Rate Calling Plan as announced with much fanfare in “Digicel Introduces One Rate Calling for $8.99 in Jamaica” also may be a fear response to the growing power of Dekal Wireless and Nubian-1- Tech Services Limited.

And it is set to get worse, this time with the canon swung around and aiming straight at the Free-To-Air Broadcasters!

This as the Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Providers may be set to benefit from DSO (Digital Switch Over) which may soon be forced upon the Free-To-Air Broadcasters, namely Television Jamaica, a subsidiary of the RJR Communications Limited and CVM TV, a subsidiary of the CVM Communications Group by Senator Phillip Paulwell in a meeting later this April 2012AD.

The aim is to relinquish Free-To-Air Broadcasters “squatting” on spectrum and so-called “White” Space Frequencies in the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and VHF (Very High Frequency) range for NTSC (National Television Selection Committee) Standard Free-To-Air Broadcasting.

Boom time for FDI (Foreign Direct Investor) Telecoms Providers planning to come to Jamaica and in search of High Bandwidth and frequencies bands with good carry through concrete walls and steel! Ditto that for the Government of Jamaica, which will now benefit from the inflow of foreign exchange from the sale of such “White” Space Frequencies, UHF and VHF frequencies to the coming influx of Wireless Data Service Providers.

This spells doom, however, for both the established Free-To-Air Broadcasters and struggling Telecoms Providers, who have the most to lose if their overpriced “4G”offerings are exposed by this influx of low-cost high-speed Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Network Providers.

This as most devices already have Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) built-in, from smartphones to Tablets, which most American consumers are flocking! Jamaicans would do wise to pay heed and follow this trend among our Neighbours up to the North.

Hence LIME 4G Experience Centers and their early launch of 4G and Digicel’s testing heralds the coming future influx of Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks powered by the soon-to-be-made-available Spectrum from DSO (Digital Switch Over) by Broadcasters.

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 LIME’s 4G Experience Centers challenge the Rise of Dekal Wireless Dragon
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.
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2 Responses to "LIME’s 4G Experience Centers challenge the Rise of Dekal Wireless Dragon"

  1. LTGJAMAICA says:

    Well at least Lime is trying to release a true 4G serviced. These Metro based WIFI service provides very poor signals so essentially i do not expect them to trouble the mobile internet market. The solution based on the signal strength observed is best suited for a Fixed wireless set up in rural areas.

    • Lindsworth says:

      Hello LTGJamaica:

      That may be true. But their services were overpriced recently until Dekal Wireless began taking away their marketshare in the country arras where they thought nobody lived by setting up their low-cost infrastructure. Suddenly LIME drops their prices. I’d say they are scared of the prospect that sometime in the future, these Municipal Wi-Fi networks powered by FLOW will be their undoing, mainly due to the prevalence of Wi-Fi Radios built into most laptops and smartphones since 2009AD.

      So true 4G…..maybe. Competitive in terms of pricing…only since May 1st 2012. all thank to pressure from Dekal Wireless and small operators like them, powered by head-end supplied by FLOW…..

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