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Digicel quietly testing 4G for August launch

Published:Sunday | June 27, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Digicel Jamaica is now quietly selecting individuals to test the performance of its new 4G WiMAX network, which well-placed sources say will come to market two months behind deadline.

The company has about 1,000 persons, mostly staff members, to pilot the new network that the company has pumped billions into building.

It now has a deadline of August to roll out the 4G service to Jamaican subscribers, but with no indication yet as to cost.

Digicel Jamaica's corporate communications manager, Jacqueline Burrell Clarke, said the company would make no official comment on 4G, saying only that its deployment would be soon.

Last year, chief executive officer Mark Linehan, at the announcement of the project to create the new network, said it would have been up and running by the second quarter of this year, somewhere between April and June - a deadline that closes in one week.

It is Digicel's modus operandi to do big marketing blitzes, which it is yet to launch for 4G, a faster network with increased capacity for voice, video and data, and which will allow the company to sell broadband ser-vices to a wider market of residential clients. It already offers wireless broadband to corporate customers.

Its competitors, LIME Jamaica and Claro Jamaica, offer 3G services.

According to Digicel, the 4G network at launch will cover 60 per cent of the population, with coverage in all 14 parishes - with further roll-out continuing across Jamaica driven by customer demand.

The company plans to offer netbooks as enticement for new clients.