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Jamaican Operator Aiming for 3G Launch in November

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Cable and Wireless Jamaica (C&WJ) expects to launch its 3G network on 15th November, according to the company's senior vice president of business sales, Leroy Reid. Speaking at a local conference, he said that the company would have a phased rollout initially in the main business district along with St Catherine and St Thomas.

Errol Miller, C&WJ's vice-president for corporate communication and corporate affairs, confirmed to the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper that the launch would occur in November, but not the exact date.

Ericsson is providing network backbone upgrade as part of a USD30 million contract which was announced in July this year, while Nokia Siemens won the USD40 million "next generation wireless network" upgrade late last year.

There are also reports that the company is considering a brandname change from C&WJ to "Lime" - although this was not confirmed. Rival operator, MiPhone recently rebrand as Claro - matching the branding from its parent company, America Movil. Oceanic Digital Jamaica, the parent company of MiPhone was brought by America Movil last year for USD70 million.

Estimates from the Mobile World for the end of the first half of this year report that Digicel is currently the largest mobile operator in Jamaica, with an estimated 1.92 million subscribers. Former incumbent operator C&W has around 657,000 customers - but this is hampered by the fact that 251,000 of its customers are still using two legacy AMPS and TDMA networks. MiPhone, which is currently a CDMA operator and plans to build a GSM overlay network trails with 238,000 subscribers.

On the web: Jamaica Gleaner - Mobile World

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Tags: iphone  ericsson  cdma  america movil  digicel  siemens  claro  tdma  3g network  Jamaica