October 31, 2020

Get ready 4(G) Usain!


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He’s the fastest man in the world… and now Usain Bolt could soon be sprinting to Cayman to help Digicel.

The telecommunications giant are in talks with the Jamaican athlete to get him to visit as part of their 4G promotions.

Digicel CEO, Victor Corcoran said of Bolt: “He is fun and he has speed, the appeal of Digicel‘s 4G. He may come and we are talking to him.”

Bolt from the blue for Digicel

Jamaican superstar sprinter Usain Bolt may visit the Cayman Islands this month as part of a Digicel promotion for its new 4G network, due for commercial launch in the next two weeks.

The company would not confirm Mr Bolt’s visit, but said executives were in talks with the world-class runner and regional hero, but said they hoped to conclude an agreement shortly.

“Usain Bolt has a long-standing history with Digicel,” Digicel Cayman CEO Victor Corcoran told iNews on Tuesday,

“Our [4G] commercial launch will be over the next 10 days, and we will come out with the various plans, but we will build our campaign around Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man.

“He is fun and he has speed, the appeal of Digicel‘s 4G. He may come and we are talking to him,” he said.

Mr Corcoran said the 4G technical launch had actually come on Monday, 3 October, capping at least two years of preparation.

Digicel CEO Victor Corcoran

The 4G mobile network, he said was “evolved from the 3G network, meaning 4G is similar to 3G, but with enhanced data capacity. It gives access to streaming video, and is the first mobile internet device to focus on entertainment and fun.

“The benefit is that you can get the best out of your devices,” Mr Cocoran said. “It means quick fun and efficiency, and is great for work, especially if you are on the road a lot.”

The nickname for fourth-generation wireless, 4G is the latest development in broadband mobile communications, superceding the 3G, launched in the early 2000s.

Controversy has surrounded the definition of 4G ever since the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) said in November last year that it required a mobile device to exchange data at 100 Millibita per second.

While no commercial networks have achieved those speeds, ITU definitions have little legal weight and have rarely governed branding decisions, while, globally, competing networks declared themselves as “4G” long before the ITU spoke.

For consumers, 4G has become a marketing term to indicate significantly faster data speeds, while the ITUI has since backtracked and declared 4G should include the WIMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access), LTE (Long Term Evolution) and HSPA (high speed packet access) networks deployed by major US carriers.

Mr Corcoran said Digicel Cayman had initially built “two solid 2G networks, and installed the 4G network on top. It is superfast and any 3G phone, including Apple’s i-Phone, can access the 4G network, although they will not have 4G functionality.”

“It offers music, video, Facebook, all the social networks, you can upload pictures and have faster access for games and those networks,” he said.

The company employs both the WIMAX and HSPA-plus networks: the former for internal modems, for example, tablet devices in the home or office, and the latter for “heavy users” seeking broad mobility, Mr Corcoran said.

“It comes over our 4G mobile network so works on all 3G and 4G devices, a wide range of toys. It means you can roam, even, travel abroad,”
he said. “A $150 cigarette-sized “MiFi” packet, carried in a breast pocket, turns anyone into a walking 4G WiFi hotspot It’s a portable, cost-effective device and it works anywhere and with any device, and several people can attach to it at the same time.

“The competition, has the HSPA-plus network, but not the WIMAX, meaning Digicel, offers more choices and more value”.

RIM, the Canadian manufacturer of BlackBerry, has launched three new 4G devices, while Mr Corcoran himself uses a Samsung Galaxy 2, launched just this month, “offering the full benefits of a 4G phone,” he said.

Digicel was developing commercial plans that would be offered during the rollout.



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