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BTC reaches new tech ‘milestone’

First LTE data call on system ahead of full roll-out of upgraded wireless network

Published: Oct 28, 2013

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BTC’s cellular customers on New Providence are one step closer to enjoying super-fast Long Term Evolution (LTE) this Christmas as a result of the very first LTE data call – commonly referred to as an “Internet download” - on the BTC network early Saturday morning.

This major milestone brings The Bahamas closer to having a world-class wireless network that will provide the latest generation of super fast 4G mobile services to BTC customers, the company stated in a release.

“There is a lot of excitement within the team as a result of us making our very first LTE data call on our network early this morning,” said Antonio Stubbs Sr. VP Technical Services Organization.

“This is a major milestone for us in the roll-out of our LTE network as it marks the first time all elements of our own BTC core and cell radio infrastructure were used to do an LTE transaction. Over the next five to six weeks, we are now able to ramp up our implementation of LTE radio hardware and integrate into our billing and other systems.”

Marlon Johnson, senior vice-president, brands and communication, explained that LTE means that everything on a BTC mobile will be that much faster due to more sophisticated applications.

“Data downloads and video streaming for instance will be noticeable faster and coverage extended.  This new LTE network will put BTC on par with any mobile carrier in the world in terms of data performance. It will also allow for exciting commercial applications – allowing businesses to conduct commerce wirelessly on a very fast and ultra reliable platform,” noted Johnson.

LTE delivery will be in two phases. Phase one is scheduled to begin in time for Christmas on New Providence, and Phase II which includes Grand Bahama, Abaco and Eleuthera in early 2014.  Other major islands of The Bahamas will follow thereafter.  Customers can also look forward to a range of new smart phones, apps and accessories that enable and make the most of everything LTE.

The LTE investment is part of a broader investment in the full mobile infrastructure this fiscal year which will approach some $20 million.

In addition to LTE, the company is also investing in improving the data and voice performance of their 4G networks throughout the country, with a consistent aim to improve the customer experience.

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