4G service to improve by year end- Telecommunications Minister
Digicel Guyana launched its long-awaited 4G network service on May 07, 2016 and GTT launched its service subsequently, however, both are still to meet the required expectations of their customers.
The numerous complaints from customers have captured the attention of the Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes who noted during a recent press conference that she is engaging the companies on the matter.
She noted that a meeting was hosted with GTT last week while a meeting is scheduled with Digicel this week.
“I think with what we are experiencing now, come by the end of the year, it is going to be chalk and cheese…I met with GTT up to yesterday and I have received those assurances” Minister Hughes said.
The minister acknowledged that the companies were given insufficient time to begin the implementation of its 4G services and therefore is unable to offer the best.
“They are aware, I have reminded them of that and in fairness to the telephone companies, we really gave them a short space of time to put out 4G. I had a situation of having thousands of people coming to Guyana in the month of May and…I said to them ‘please go, see what you can do’ and therefore now they are having to build out that network. That means, importing specific pieces of equipment, it means retraining…I am confident that this is a period of transition” she explained.
Government allocated spectrum to offer 4G services in April, ahead of the Nation’s 50th Independence anniversary celebrations in May. This was done to ensure that thousands visiting for the events can access live stream and/or upload audio, video and images. Subsequently, the two service providers launched their 4G services.
However, this was done under conditions pending the National Assembly’s approval and eventual presidential assent of the long-awaited Telecommunications legislation.
The Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill 2016 was eventually passed in the National Assembly on July 18, 2016, paving the way for the liberalisation of the sector, which is currently ongoing.