Monday 27 November 2023

Grenada is Slowly Progressing Towards High Speed 4G

Grenada is an island country consisting of Grenada itself and six smaller islands in the southeastern Caribbean. It's located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela, and southwest of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. About 126,000 inhabitants live on 348.5 km2 area.

Like on many Caribbean Islands there are these two usual providers: Digicel Grenada and Flow (by Cable & Wireless). Flow is the incumbent provider and Digicel came to the Caribbean 2001-6 to end this monopoly and has since become market leader in Grenada by aggressive marketing.

2G is on European bands while 3G is on US bands. Both operators have 2G/GSM on 900 and 1800 MHz. For 3G Flow uses 850 MHz (CLR band 5) while Digicel employs 1900 MHz (PCS band 2). 

Digicel Grenada, launched commercial 700MHz LTE network services in December 2018.

Flow addressed widespread criticism over the quality of its fixed broadband services by announcing it has spent XCD15 million (USD5.6 million) to provide faster web browsing for its subscriber base. As a result, they have been able to increase speeds from 15Mbps to 50Mbps, putting the country ‘on par’ with many developing nations.

Recently Grenadians have become more and more dissatisfied with the services provided by FLOW and Digicel. Many customers have reported losing money due to various reasons, including sudden deactivation of their numbers despite having substantial account balances. This issue raises significant concerns regarding transparency and accountability within these companies. Additionally, the quality of telephone and internet services provided by both FLOW and Digicel has been deemed unacceptable by many customers, particularly in rural areas where Flow Landline and broadband services have experienced prolonged outages.

In light of these failings, it is imperative that the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) in Grenada takes proactive measures to ensure that these companies meet accepted standards. If the NTRC fails to fulfill its responsibilities, it may be necessary for the government to intervene by considering potential changes in board membership.

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Jio 5G - Enabling India to go Digital

Jio, the incumbent Indian MNO, was in news recently for having rolled out 1 million 5G cells across India. An RCR Wireless article nicely summarised their announcement from the earning statement as follows:

Reliance Jio Infocomm has already deployed over 1 million 5G cells across India, the telco said in its earning statement.

Jio’s 5G network is currently providing coverage in nearly 8,000 towns and cities across India.

Jio also highlighted that it has contributed to 85% of the overall 5G capacity in the country. This has been powered by a 100% in-house 5G stack, designed, developed and manufactured in India, the telco added.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has been rapidly expanding its 5G network using Standalone (SA) architecture since October 2022. Reliance Jio had previously secured a mix of wireless spectrum for 5G across the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands. Jio is the only Indian operator with the 700 MHz low-band spectrum.

Earlier this month, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited demonstrated what it claims to be India’s first satellite-based giga-fiber service, dubbed JioSpaceFiber, at India Mobile Congress 2023.

The telco said the new offering aims to provide high-speed broadband services to hard-to-reach geographies across the country.

At the recent Brooklyn 6G Summit, Shyam Mardikar gave a keynote on how Jio 5G is enabling India to go Digital. His bio states: "Shyam Prabhakar Mardikar is responsible for Reliance Jio’s mobile network and leads the network strategy, design, and transformation towards making Jio’s mobile network fully converged, programable and future ready. Over past one year, he has successfully led world’s fastest 5G network creation with nearly 1 Mn 5G cells live.

His talk is embedded below:

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