No Sign Of LTE For LIME
Jamaica's smallest mobile operator, LIME, has announced the upgrade of its network to HSPA+ technology on its network, offering mobile data download speeds up to 21Mbps. The announcement came just as the Spectrum Management Authority abandoned plans to auction 700MHz frequencies for LTE purposes. BMI believes the network upgrade is intended to be a cost effective stop gap measure before the company seeks spectrum for 4G services.
LIME's only rival, pan-Caribbean operator Digicel, already offers '4G' broadband services on its network. However, the company does not specify the technology used nor the speeds offered on its network but has been referring to its mobile broadband service as '4G' since its launch in August 2010, operating on WiMAX technology. While true LTE 4G services offer theoretical speeds up to 100Mbps, BMI believes that neither of Jamaica's operators has services with these speeds. Upgrading its network to 21Mbps, therefore, should see LIME remain competitive with its much larger rival.
3G and 4G take-up in Jamaica has been fairly limited with under 10% of subscribers using mobile data services at the end of 2012. BMI expects roll outs of new networks will encourage greater growth, as well as the improving prices for 3G-compatible handsets that will allow more subscribers to enter the market. Given the lack of LTE in Jamaica LIME's roll out makes sense allowing it to capitalise on the growing interest in mobile data and content and improve revenues.
|Growth Opportunities Are In Subscriber Upgrades|
|Mobile Forecasts, 2010-2017|