UTS to build 4G network on Saba

Telecom provider UTS has designed and is set to start building the first 4G LTE network on Saba after a successful launch of the service in St. Maarten. Doing business under the name UTS-WICC and partnered with SATEL on offering its Chippie mobile service, the company will commence building Saba’s first 4G LTE network within short, UTS said.

While building and rolling out the 4G LTE network, UTS will also be introducing 3G mobile service on Saba to provide better service to its customers. Whether the customer has a 4G LTE compatible smartphone or a phone that supports 3G technology, they will be able to enjoy fast mobile Internet speeds, UTS said. Saba will be the next market in the Eastern Caribbean whose customers will be benefitting from this service.

Technical Manager UTS Eastern Caribbean Leonardo Juan Pedro (right) showing UTS Chief Executive Officer Glen Carty the LTE core infrastructure that will be installed in Saba.
Technical Manager UTS Eastern Caribbean Leonardo Juan Pedro (right) showing UTS Chief Executive Officer Glen Carty the LTE core infrastructure that will be installed in Saba.

The company will also be building additional sites to improve mobile coverage on Saba. The current number of four GSM sites will be expanded with the construction of two additional sites. These six sites are to offer both 4G LTE and 3G service. The most notable improvements will be in Windwardside and The Bottom.

The equipment to be installed has already been secured and is currently being shipped to Saba for installation in the second quarter of 2016. The work will be carried out by UTS’ and SATEL’s engineers, in collaboration with local contractors, and supported by the vendor of the mo bile equipment. Testing is expected to be completed and inspection will take place by mid-year.

With the recent ministerial decision to lower the fees mobile operators have to pay to the Supervisory Telecom Agency, which regulates telecom in the Caribbean Netherlands, the cost of operation in Saba will become lower.

“This reduction would allow UTS to invest substantially in enhancements to the mobile infrastructure on Saba, such as the increases in coverage and speed enhancements. Another such significant investment is in more capacity,” UTS said in a statement.

UTS has its own transport on the SSCS fibre-optic cable between St. Maarten and Saba. This fibre replaces the microwave technology which used to be the primary link between these islands. The microwave technology will remain in operation as backup. The fibre system allows UTS to offer the consumer better connectivity and faster speeds on its Chippie mobile network.

UTS expects to launch the 3G and 4G LTE service commercially in the beginning of the third quarter. “We would like to thank the government of Saba for working along with us in realizing the planned enhancements. Our longtime business partner SATEL has been a valuable partner over the years…We thank them for their years of pleasant partnership and cooperation.

We would also like to express our appreciation to the agency for working along with us and issuing the necessary cooperation in our progress towards a milestone. We are excited to bring the smallest island in the Caribbean and perhaps in the world a 4G LTE network,” UTS Eastern Caribbean Chief Executive Officer Glen Carty stated.

The Daily Herald.

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