Above: The TSTT launch event at the Savannah this evening. Photos by Mark Lyndersay.
TSTT’S bmobile brand launched a new, free WiFi network at the Queen’s Park Savannah this evening.
The company ran 25 kilometres of fiber and installed 58 wireless access points to build the wireless mesh, which was implemented in partnership with Huawei.
“We responded to a mandate by the Public Utilities Minister, Robert Le Hunte who asked that it be completed before Christmas,” said the company’s CEO Dr Ronald Walcott at a lavish launch under a big top tent opposite Whitehall at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Users will have a half hour of free access to the service and Walcott hinted vaguely at plans to monetize use beyond that.
According to TSTT, “Users are allowed one 30-minute session every 24 hours. After a user is logged out, s/he has to wait 24 hours before accessing another 30 minute session.”
The new Wi-Fi mesh is provisioned with a 5 megabit connection and at the launch event a speed test clocked speeds of 6.25 megabits on download and 7.27 megabits on upload.
Connections made during the launch were marred by a warning about an outdated SSL certificate, which might point to security issues on the network until it is addressed. In response to a query about the matter, TSTT responded at midday on December 20, 2019, “The certificate will be updated within a week or so when we relocate some of our websites.”
The service is available immediately to any user with a WiFi capable device, not just bmobile customers.
“The best coverage is along the footpath,” said Walcott to an audience heavily weighted with Ministers of Government and other public sector notables.
“We have upgraded our technology, we are the first company to launch a 5G network in the English-speaking Caribbean,” Walcott said.
“We are about moving Trinidad and Tobago into the fourth Industrial revolution and connectivity is the new world order.”
“We want to provide ubiquitous broadband for all. Everyone should have access to broadband that is affordable.”
“We are committed to bridging the digital divide. We wanted to fulfill our mandate to provide pervasive broadband access.”[Edited on December 20 to add TSTT response on SSL Certificate.] [Edited on December 21 to add TSTT response on access policy.]