Digicel accuses LIME of ‘grossly misleading’ 4G claim

| 24/05/2011

(CNS): In the wake of LIME’s recent announcement that it will be the first telecommunication’s company to bring 4G technology to the Caribbean its regional competitor has accused the firm of misleading messages. In a letter to the Jamaican Observer, Monday, Mark Linehan CEO, of Digicel stated thatthis claim to be the first was not the case. He said LIME would be using HSPA+ technology for the services it is calling 4G but it is not the first to deploy this technology. He said the technology was previously described as 3G+ when launched by Digicel but it has since been reclassified by the ITU.

“Digicel launched HSPA+ technology in Bermuda and the French West Indies last year (under the banner 3G+). The reason we called it 3G+ is that, at the time, HSPA+ was not considered a 4G technology. However, HSPA+ has since been reclassified by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) to be counted as 4G,” Linehan wrote in his letter to the Jamaican press.

He said that Digicel already delivers 4G technology – using HSPA+ technology and WiMAX both classified as 4G technologies by the ITU – in the Caribbean and specifically in the Cayman Islands and Jamaica and was the "first" to do so.

The Jamaican Digicel boss said it was gearing up to launch the same technology across the Dutch Caribbean in a matter of weeks and to other markets in the near future.

“LIME's announcement actually raises more questions than answers as to its commitment to the customers of the Caribbean. Here is a company that is making a big deal out of upgrading its outdated 2G networks to EDGE. Meanwhile, Digicel has been delivering EDGE services across all of its 32 markets across the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific since 2008,” Linehan added about his firm’s rival.

Digicel had already invested $85 million in rolling out HSPA+ and WiMAX services across the region, he said in the correspondence. Last week Cayman’s LIME boss Tony Ritch said that his company would be investing around $80million to roll out what is said was 4G technology.

Describing the service as lightening fast, Ritch claimed LIME was the first in the Caribbean to launch the service. In response to queries on CNS about the technology and whether phones in existing use would work on the new network LIME confirmed that it would not be deploying CDM and admitted that the technology was based on HSPA+.

CNS contacted LIME for comment in connection with the letter from Lineham but the firm said it did not wish to comment at this time.

See full letter here

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Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    They need to fix the main issues and thats better internet speed, affordable plan rates and of course their customer service cuz i constantly having issues with the internet that keeps dropping and it annoys me…

  2. Anonymous says:

    To be fair I couldn't give a monkeys who delivers which service to Bermuda or the Dutch Antilles or what they call it. All I care about is getting a faster speed for data on my cell phone here in Cayman at a reasonable price. I know that's not going to happen in my lifetime, but maybe a reasonable speed at an only slightly extortionate price, that's as good as it'll get.

    We are years behind already with neither network even offering 3G which has been around for donkeys. Until I see 4G or 3G+ or whatever they want to call it, I'll reserve judgement.

    One of them needs to pull their finger out and start offering decent speeds at fair prices.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The problem with Digcel is they come into the Cayman market running off their branding that they can deliver this and that. They try to compete with the other top data providers that offer fiber, copper & higher bandwidth broadband services by trying to add the “white toaster” wifi with 4G and knocking down big time business customers doors about they can offer 4G etc.


    Oh but, nooooo, they had to be greedy & went the wrong route pulling that stunt and now it has back fired. Their focus should have been to the mobile application and its bigger better (and trying) network and not roosted with the BIG guns of the data services arena.  

    They boost that they have a Bigger Better Network to the island, but their networks sit in the back yard of the north sound (behind CUC) inside 20 foot containers anchored down with 8” blocks and you calling yourselves that bigger better network. Your networks will be like what happened to the Kon Tike (a local party boat with thatched leaves looking top) some years ago when the owners tied it to 2 coconuts trees, and after the passing storm, the Tike was gone. A few weeks later, it was seen headed towards the Gulf of Mexico pulling them 2 coconut trees. So, your yet to be tested in the next Ivan or a similar hurricane.

    Sorry Digi – Bo-Bo, but I’ll stick to Lemonade and I’ll drink to that.   
     

  4. Dred says:

    They both bleed us dry. They are like vampires. They catch us with the stare (ads) then lure us in only to bite us and suck us dry of money.

  5. The Lone Haranguer says:

    I think my phone is still 2 G !!!! I have just mastered texting.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I heard Digi is looking at Cayman right now for HSPA+ along with many other Caribbean islands …which is the same technology as LIME is launching….so it seems like we will have 4G choice sooner rather than later…..sweet!

    • frank rizzo says:

      When you get true 4G you will need new phones. I believe HSPA+  (3.5G) is a software tweak of HSPA (3G).

  7. Sarah says:

    They're developing 5G right now, in a secret lab known as the G-spot — but nobody can find it.

  8. Who cares says:

    Who cares? They both suck big-time!!!

     

  9. Anonymous says:

    wow, what a bizarre PR move from Digicel….how can they possibly win this argument? it just wounds like sour grapes…..and nobody cares who's got 3G or 4G or the heeby geeby's…..just stop dropping our calls….and maybe lower the bl**dy rates!!!  and just because LIME got out in a huge press release, now Digicel are all in a tizzy…….i'd score this one to LIME…..but everyone at LIMe and DIGICEL Corporate should really focus on trying to improve service…..and maybe answering the customer service phone lines? would it be too much to ask if those phones could be answered by someone in Cayman?!!

  10. Caymanian Concern says:

    Wah, wah, wah….give us speed, decent customer service, and fair prices and stop your whining.  We still only have two expensive mobile choices. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    The 4G that Digicel offers in Cayman is not on your MOBILE phone!

    It is WiMAX which is used in wireless broadband delivery and is unreliable at best. In fact LIME did a trial way back as did Digicel and concluded that it was not up to the standard that their customers was used to even though it was fast to deploy. They scrapped the Idea in Cayman and continued with the more resilient ADSL for broadband services. A wise decision if you ask me. Just ask anyone with the WiMAX solution offered by Digicel.

    • Anonymous says:

      Digicel's WiMAX  also blocks satilite radio which we used to be able to recieve.  Until that is rectified I will never use them.

      • frank rizzo says:

        So that's why my Sirius reception died. Cheeky b@stards.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes. With the launch of Digicel WiMax broadband service in Grand Cayman they interrupted the satellite radio signals from both Sirus and XM at the time. Further evidence of this is and how poor Digicel’s broadband service is, your satellite radio will continue to work from the North Side junction headed east as at that time their signal did not cover the eastern part of the island and I am pretty sure that it still doesn’t.

          But you should ask the question as to why the local regulatory authority The ICTA allowed Digicel’s service to spill over into another spectrum and disrupt those services. Yes the satellite radio companies do not have licences to operate in Cayman however, the point is Digicel has to be operating outside the spectrum they have been licensed to use by the said regulator.

    • Anonymous says:

      I must say this has to be one of the most intelligent responses I have seen posted as it relates to this topic.

      What LIME will be offering is completely different than what Digi is offering, I think we all Digi offers a WiMax solution to deliver broadband to customers which they know themselves to be crap when customers call to complain their CRS won’t even answer the calls when they are challenged by the customer.

      Bottom line Digi didn’t see this one coming LIME got out in front of them on this one.

      Bring on the 4-G LIME

  12. Freedom Man says:

    Digicel is the one using false advertising claiming they have 4G.  I bought one of their so called "4G" modems and it is slower than dile up.  After having their service agent come to my home and try to convince me that it was "4G" speed he finally broke down and agreed that it was very slow and not actually "4G" but most people who complain just accept it and keep the service.  I would suggest not getting involved with Digicel "4G" service as it is a fraud!

    • Caymanian Concern says:

      So WHERE is the ICTA's response to all this?  I'm sorry, but the fat-cats who collect HUGE paychecks and go with the Minister's on cell phone buying jolly trips to Spain need to step up and earn their paychecks.  

      Give a press release which explains what services are currently offered and act to clear up any confusion on licensing and speeds offered.  Period.

      ICTA should not hide, this is your AUTHORITY now use it.  More damn government waste of salaries.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Is there any reason why Digicel do not provide 4G for their MOBILE users in markets where LIME is a competiter?? French, Dutch Caribbean and Bermuda are not LIME markets.

    • Anonymous says:

      How is Digicel even able to provide 3G or 4G in other markets. By buying their competitors networks', from companies like Claro? These are ready made networks that they barely have to put any work into. Sure, I don't doubt it's a wise business move but this article says Digicel claims $85 mill investment to LIME's $80 mil. What a tit for tat. I would say they overpaid $5 mil for their networks.  Will they pass that charge on to you?

  14. Recently Enlightened says:

    Its all marketing tricks.

    http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2011-05-10/