Telecom Cook Islands (TCI) has announced that 3G W-CDMA-based mobile data services are now available to its customers on a commercial basis, initially on the largest island Rarotonga only, following 3G tests carried out during February 2014 with its existing 2.5G mobile data users with compatible devices. The launch of 3G mobile internet services is supported by TCI’s increased international bandwidth via its partnership with medium earth orbit satellite (MEO) operator O3b Networks. Following successful trials of O3b’s system in the Cook Islands completed in December 2013, the O3b bandwidth went live commercially today (12 March 2014), according to an announcement from the Channel Islands-based satellite provider on 10 March which TCI posted on its Facebook social networking page alongside its 3G launch updates. TeleGeography says that the O3b bandwidth will enable TCI to offer mobile/fixed internet speeds at up to around five times faster than its previous services on Rarotonga and around 20 times faster on outlying islands. As well as advertising a new range of 3G smartphones on its website including the Huawei Y210, TCI has launched a new range of ‘Anytime’ mobile post-paid plans, effective March 2014 (featuring inclusive data up to 1GB per month), alongside mobile pre-paid data plans, and a new range of post-paid fixed DSL broadband packages (effective 1 March) with download speeds ranging up to 12Mbps (which TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database shows is quadruple the 3Mbps maximum DSL speed TCI offered in Q3 2013).
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