Digicel Bermuda switched on its 4G LTE network yesterday (25 May), claiming to offer mobile data speeds up to ten times faster than those previously available. The deployment of the new island-wide network has been an ongoing project this year, and the cellco says to ensure a smooth commercial launch it has spent the past three weeks installing, adjusting and upgrading equipment. Digicel now has 47 cell sites in Bermuda, including three high capacity mobile sites being used for the duration of the America’s Cup, the company confirmed in a press release. The LTE network uses the lower 700MHz band frequency to improve the quality and coverage of voice calls indoors and outdoors, overcoming previous general weaknesses encountered in Bermuda due to the thick stone walls of many buildings and the island’s hilly topography, local press reports. ‘We’ve replaced every single piece of equipment around the island. That’s cables, antennas, bases, everything,’ said Neil Lupsic, Digicel Bermuda’s chief technology officer. The network strength and coverage has also been improved to eliminate dropped calls in busy locations, Mr Lupsic noted, adding: ‘There is improved indoor and outdoor coverage as a result of the spectrum allocation from the regulator. We implemented that at the same time as the LTE additions.’ Digicel’s new 4G infrastructure stretches beyond the island, reaching twelve miles out to Challenger Banks, with the company also noting that voice calls will continue to be carried on a 3G network which has been ‘enhanced for better performance’. The company’s LTE network rollout forms part of a USD60 million investment in its telecommunications infrastructure on the island, which includes the ongoing instalment of fibre-optic internet cabling directly to homes and businesses.
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