Digicel announces LTE network completion

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Above: Jabbor Kayumov with DigicelTT’s Ookla Speedtest award at today’s Business Update meeting with the media. Photos by Mark Lyndersay.

Digicel today announced that it had completed 98 percent of the $250 million upgrade of its network three months in advance of its scheduled deadline.

CEO Jabbor Kayumov challenged users to test the network using SpeedTest software to compare network speeds and latency against its competition.

The company showed off its award for the fastest mobile network speeds from Ookla.
Holding the award, Kayumov said that “And this was months ago, before our finalization of the rollout.”
“Our technical team is constantly working to optimise network speeds and response.”

The company also announced the expansion of its Home and Entertainment fibre and entertainment product, with a new zone activated in Valencia, which added another 3,500 homes passed to the wired network. This was added to a total of 300,000 homes passed overall in the network.

Bryan Sealy

The company will bring its 777 competition to a close on November 09 with an event at its Port of Spain Head Office and anyone who has called into the service is eligible for the final million-dollar payout.
There have been a thousand winners to date in the call-in lottery, with seven customers winning ten thousand dollars and 42 customers winning Samsung S9 smartphones.

The 777 competition cost the company US$200,000, but that’s just a curtain raiser for a massive Christmas 2018 campaign will immediately follow the million dollar competition  payout. The new campaign, set for mid-November, will cost US$4 million and will touch a large profile of Digicel’s customer base.

“Everyone will get something in their Christmas stocking,”Kayumov said.
“I know the details and I’ m very excited. It echoes the buzz of the campaigns that Digicel hosted in its earliest days here.”

“We are spending to drive technology change and upgrade. The network is superior now, You can’t compare our LTE coverage with anyone else.”
“We had some hiccups with voice [during the upgrade], but the customer experience will be that those problems are going away. We want everyone to experience LTE.”

This big spend is a drive to migrate customers with older equipment to a network that’s data driven, in an acknowledgement of a communications landscape that sees voice revenue declining inexorably.

“We are orienting our business to the digital end and accepting that voice is declining,” said Kayumov.
“We are working to optimise our customers’ experience with data. Operators are providing access and OTT provides customer services on top of that.”

“We are spending to drive technology change and upgrade. The network is superior now, You can’t compare out LTE coverage with anyone else. We had some hiccups with voice, and now customer experience will be that those problems are going away.”
“We need customers to be working with LTE enabled devices in order to get the best experience using the new network.”

“We are orienting our business to the digital end and accepting that voice is declining,” said Kayumov.
“We are working to optimise our customers’ experience with data. Operators are providing access and OTT provides customer services on top of that.”

In February 2017, Digicel announced global cuts in staff of 25 percent as one measure in addressing the debt burden the company was operating under as a first step in the Digicel 2030 Transformation programme.
Human Resource Manager Bryan Sealy explained that Digicel Trinidad and Tobago implemented job cuts that reduced its workforce by 15 percent.

“Most were voluntary,” Sealy said.
The company has since reengineered its employee requirements and that has led to additional hiring.
“This is a profitable company,”Kayumov said.