LIVE FROM MOBILE 360 LATIN AMERICA: Latin America and Caribbean operator group Digicel sees LTE as “a next step, but not an immediate next step,” in many of its markets, as it still has work to do driving adoption of data services among its customer base.
Paul Byrne, head of 4G products for Digicel Jamaica, said that while the company has launched LTE services in a handful of markets, it is “examining the opportunities on a case-by-case basis”.
“What we are seeing is that our efforts to drive data usage on our existing networks remains a big focus – educating customers to understand more about what data is all about and its benefits. We see a lot of customers with smartphones who don’t use data at all and these are target customers at the moment. And then we see others who are on pay-as-you-go, and some who are buying plans,” he said.
“We need to get our customers to walk before we run. We will move to LTE across all of our markets in time, but it’s not something we are going to do in the short term unless opportunities arrive that we are willing to take,” he continued.
Byrne was optimistic about the potential of LTE to provide benefits once it is in place. “In the markets where we have launched LTE, I think the learning is that even where you have pricing similar to 3G pricing, there is an ARPU uplift. So you don’t need to price differently for LTE to make money,” he said.