Vodafone Fiji has upgraded parts of its LTE network with LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology and set out its stall to upgrade an additional 75 base transceiver stations (BTS) to 4G+ over the coming months. Currently, the cellco’s 4G+ network is limited to ten base stations on Suva, although acting CEO Ronald Prasad says efforts are underway to have 85 online within the next three months. Vodafone Fiji, which is controlled by Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH), is the sole Fijian mobile operator offering LTE-A, Prasad said.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Vodafone Fiji began offering GSM-900 services in July 1994 and added GPRS capability in 2005; its 2G network comprises more than 260 BTS, offering coverage to 95% of Fiji’s population, predominantly on the two largest islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, but also extending to Koro Island, Vanubalavu, Wakaya, Ovalau, Kadavu, Naigani, Vomo and Malolo. Meanwhile its 3G and 3G+ (i.e. HSPA+ with peak speeds of 21Mbps) is also available to 95% of Fijians, and 4G coverage extends to almost every major city and town in both Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. In July 2013 Vodafone successfully filled its 30MHz quota for 4G spectrum in the government’s frequency auction, having offered FJD144,000 (USD68,200) for each of the six 1800MHz frequency blocks it purchased (i.e. FJD864,000). Its network, based on LTE, went live in December that year, with the firm saying two weeks later that some 4,000 customers had already signed up for the new service, with this figure having increased to an estimated 120,000 to date.