Choice Wireless, a mobile operator based on the Virgin Islands (US), has announced the completion of five new 3G base transceiver stations (BTS), the Virgin Islands Daily News reports. On the island of St Croix, new cell sites have been constructed at Mary’s Fancy, Grove Place and Hotel-on-the-Cay and in downtown Christiansted, whilst on St Thomas, a new tower has been deployed at Sugar Estate, alongside a number of other network upgrades. The website adds that Choice plans to install five more BTS before the end of the year, with the locations listed as Bugby Hole (St Croix) and Stalley/Hillcrest, Frenchtown, Caret Bay and Mahogany Run (all St Thomas).
The Virgin Islands (US) is an atypical telecoms market, insofar as its wireless sector contains a mixture of local companies – Choice Wireless and Innovative Telephone (formerly Vitelcom) – and regional offshoots of US operators. AT&T and Sprint are believed to have long-established spectrum allocations covering the islands, and T-Mobile USA acquired frequencies there following its 2007 purchase of SunCom Wireless Holdings although it is unclear if they were ever used. Of the major US cellcos, only Verizon lacks a direct presence on the island, relying instead on international roaming agreements with its rivals. The market falls under the regulatory control of US telecoms watchdog, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).