IT&E, a provider of fixed and mobile services in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), has announced the commercial launch of its LTE network on the island of Saipan. Marianas Variety writes that the new 4G service is now available to all IT&E wireless customers with an LTE-capable phone at no additional charge. The company has installed six fully operational sites covering the areas of Garapan, Gualo Rai, Kanat Tabla, Susupe, Chalan Kanoa and Mt. Tapochau. ‘This new LTE network and expanded 4G [HSPA] network represents another substantial investment in the CNMI but, it is only part of the estimated USD30 million additional investment that IT&E has committed to make in the CNMI,’ said John M. Compton, IT&E’s chief operating officer, adding: ‘In addition to this expanded wireless network, we have begun the installation of a fibre-optic network in Saipan, as well as other projects that are all designed to increase the quality of our services to all of our customers.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, IT&E selected Ericsson to enhance the radio and core networks, following the impact of Typhoon Soudelor in August. IT&E said the work would double the capacity of its existing HSPA networks on Saipan, Rota and Tinian, as well as see the launch of a new 4G LTE network on Saipan. The Swedish vendor said the network enhancements would enable IT&E to meet growing customer demand for mobile data and wireless broadband services, while delivering improved network performance.