Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) announced today that it is getting ready to commission five new cell sites, four of which will be completed and in service before the end of April. The four that are coming on stream include sites at Sea Breeze, Soldier Road, Nassau Village and – just in time for the expected full stadium at the upcoming BTC Carifta Games – the National Sporting Complex near the Government High School. By the beginning of summer, the company hopes to have finalized site location and completed installation of a new site on Shirley Street in the vicinity of the Mackey Street intersection to help address heavy demand in the Palmdale area.
“We have spent $42 million on brand new 2G and 4G networks in the last eighteen months, totally replacing our obsolete mobile network. With this new network, we have seen – over the last twelve months – growth in mobile voice traffic of some 60 percent and growth in data traffic of some astounding 27,000 percent with the introduction of the 4G network. The number of mobile calls on the BTC network has gone up from 2.6 million calls per day to around 3.1 million calls– a growth of some 500,000 calls per day on the new network. These growth numbers surpassed even our ambitious targets for cellular use,” noted Marlon Johnson, Sr. Vice President of Marketing & Communications.
“What those robust numbers have shown BTC is that the pent up demand for both voice and data was extraordinary. Naturally, this is a welcome development for BTC but it has led to voice and data congestion is some areas of New Providence. These new cellular towers will help alleviate much of this congestion and provide even better data and voice services to our mobile customers”.
The company notes that it has also made modifications to existing cellular radio and equipment to address “call issues” areas along Bay Street/JFK Connector Road, the Westridge area, the Cable Beach strip near the Development Bank, the Eastern Road near Blair Estates, and the Sir Milo Butler Highway. These “tweaks” and others planned in the network will fix many of the chronic call disruptions that some customers now face given the rapid increase in call volumes and mobile internet use.
BTC’s cellular customers will also soon have access to even faster data speeds with the introduction of LTE – Long Term Evolution. Already in the testing phase this next generation of high speed data will allow some customers access to speeds 4 times faster than 4G. The LTE network is expected to come on stream in late 2013.
The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) is the leading telecoms operator in The Bahamas. BTC is jointly owned by Cable & Wireless Communications (51%) and the Government of The Bahamas (49%). Cable & Wireless Communications has both management and Board control.