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Digicel Launches 4G...again..

The marketing folks over by Digicel are at it again.  "Coming soon: 4G Mobile from Digicel".  The average man on the street will probably ask: "didn't they already launch 4G"?  And rightly so!  The marketing buffoons over at Big Red already mired the water in 2010 by relaunching the WiMAX product, which they had for years, branding it as 4G.  This led to debates and lawsuits over false advertising and the like.

Eventually the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) ruled that there was "no breach" on the part of Digicel.  But that was only because the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) changed the rules in December 2010.  I still maintain that the change shouldn't have saved Digicel, since their network was an old standard of WiMAX (802.16e) and not the mobile standard (802.16m) which has been deployed elsewhere in the world.

Putting aside personal and technical opinions on what constitues 4G, the fact is that Digicel did this to maintain an image of innovation while they sat on their laurels with an outdated network.  Both LIME and Claro had superior networks, and superior data services.  In an attempt to seem up to date, and even ahead of the game, Digicel took their failed WiMAX business product, dusted it off, applied some spit and shine, and put on a big marketing campaign to capitalize on the hullabaloo about 4G.

Move forward to 2012, and it appears that Digicel will be rolling out a network worthy of the 4G moniker.  They simply steal acquire Claro's 3G network, spend 30 million dollars to upgrade it, and voilà!, they will have 4G for real.

For years I've complained that Digicel has done nothing innovative since they entered the market, and squashed LIME (formerly Cable & Wireless).  It appears this is about to change.  My dislike for Big Red aside, I think this will ultimately be good for consumers.  Competition in the mobile data space is well needed.  LIME and Claro did a good job advancing the cause of the mobile warrior, with their superior data services.  Now that Claro has fallen, Digicel is finally making a foray into the arena, and the war begins anew.  I hope LIME beats them to a red pulp!
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