The Bahamas Telecommunication Company (BTC) plans to begin deploying a 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in early 2013, the Tribune reports. The full network rollout is expected to take 12-18 months and is slated to begin in January 2013, though services are to be made available within three months. BTC’s chief executive Geoff Houston said the company would initially target areas of high capacity demand but had made a commitment to provide coverage across the islands as part of the cellco’s 4G concession agreement. Houston, added that the company was keen to ‘move quickly to the next generation and put LTE in place,’ following the launch of its HSDPA platform in December last year, which BTC currently markets as ‘4G’. In terms of cost, Houston said that whilst the ‘4G’ HSDPA network cost BHD42 million-BHD44 million (USD41.74 million-USD43.73 million), the LTE deployment will be ‘another significant amount on that: it’s millions of dollars that will be invested into the LTE.’ As previously noted by CommsUpdate, sector watchdog the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) awarded BTC a 15-year licence for the use of 24MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz range.
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