THE Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) is awaiting wider spectrum in order to upgrade the 4.5 LTE (Long Term Evolution) for its mobile network and is “ready to go” once all necessary approvals are given.
In a recent exclusive interview with the Guyana Chronicle, GTT Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Damian Blackburn, shared that the company is “desperate to invest” in upgrading its mobile network, and is in discussion with the government to procure the necessary approvals to move forward with the upgrade.
“We want to take the network that we’ve got now to 4.5 LTE as fast as possible. [But] we have to have enough spectrum awarded to us by the government, so there’s an ongoing consultation around that. As soon as the government gives us the spectrum rights that we need, we’re ready to go. The cheques have been written, so we would be doing that as fast as we can,” Blackburn explained.
The 4.5G LTE or LTE Advanced, as it is sometimes referred to, is the next-generation cellular standard that offers enhanced capabilities over the 4G LTE. The 4G LTE is currently the highest broadband level being offered in Guyana by both of the country’s two mobile telecommunications providers.
The 4.5G LTE is considered a stepping stone to 5G and will make it easier for an eventual upgrade to 5G.
GTT had last upgraded its mobile network to 4G in 2019, offering faster download and upload speeds on mobile devices for photos, videos, improved mobile application performance, higher definition of online gaming videos and reliable connectivity to maximise the potential on consumer mobile devices.
Now the company wants to strive to higher heights in keeping with the fast pace of the telecommunications sector.
“The 4.5G LTE is fantastic for what people generally need to do in Guyana; it revolutionises your mobile experience. I just came from The Bahamas where we introduced that technology in 2016. It’s amazing,” Blackburn stated.
A telecommunications veteran, prior to coming to Guyana, Blackburn was most recently Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ALIV, a telecommunications provider in The Bahamas, which came into being when the telecommunications monopoly in that country was dissolved in 2016.
Blackburn said having understood what 4.5G LTE will mean for consumers in Guyana, he is excited to introduce it here.
“The data speeds that you get now you can truly use for Internet access, and I can’t wait to see everybody on that spectrum; however, to do it we have to have the right things in place. Some of the things are in our control, some are not. Where they are not in our control it’s not an excuse, we still have to try hard with the older stuff,” he noted.