Curacao-based mobile group United Telecommunication Services (UTS) has announced plans to introduce 4G LTE technology on the Caribbean island territory of Sint Eustatius, which has been classified as a ‘special municipality’ of the Netherlands since October 2010. To facilitate the imminent launch, the cellco has formed a new company – UTS-WICC – which holds an operating concession for the island territory. According to local press reports UTS has previously offered on-island connectivity via an agreement with Eutel, Sint Eustatius’ domestic provider. As a result of the new launch, UTS mobile numbers will now start with the ‘319’ prefix instead of the ‘318’ prefix currently in use.
Speaking earlier in the year, UTS Eastern Caribbean CEO, Glen Carty commented: ‘UTS would like to thank the government of Sint Eustatius for the trust put into us as a corporate citizen in granting UTS-WICC the necessary permission to do business, invest and expand in Sint Eustatius.’
Sint Maarten-based telecoms provider TelEm Group, which has a concurrent resale agreement with Eutel, has been allowed to re-use the ‘318’ number range, although customers will be required to swap SIM cards in order to keep their preferred prefix. The TelEm SIM swap will take place on 1 December. Angel Richardson, Carrier Relations Officer at TelEm Group, commented: ‘We see no reason to change that arrangement, and we are very happy to go into this new agreement with Eutel, in the interest of the local company and its own local customer base.’