The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) rolled out its 4G LTE mobile service to customers on Wednesday in selected areas of Guyana, saying it needed more spectrum to provide that upgraded mobile internet service for both 4G LTE and 5G.
Speaking at the public launch of the service, which is available in Demerara and New Amsterdam, Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes called on GTT to expand the service.
“So in this context, I specifically lobby for those on the Upper East Coast, the Corentyne Coast, the East Bank Berbice corridor. I’m happy that you make areas in Berbice and Essequibo but (GTT’s) CEO Justin Nedd knows I get the question all the time and I dutifully forward it to him and I know we got a partnership that we’re going to be delivering more as soon as we can,” she said.
But Nedd says the expansion of the 4G LTE service countrywide depends on the provision of more spectrum, an issue on which government and the telecommunications company are discussing,
“In terms of where next? Again, we need spectrum. (We) are in discussion with the government to get that spectrum and once we get that spectrum, we’ll continue to roll out the 4G because we absolutely believe that the people of Guyana deserve it,” he said.
Nedd says GTT also needs more spectrum if it is to provide 5G service for which it has the technical capacity to do. “So in terms of launching 5G. Again, it is just a matter of getting the necessary spectrum and working on the economics because a 5G phone… is as much as a US$1,000 and where we are now in the country, I don’t see many people with a US$1,000 phones,” he said.
GTT and its closest rival, Digicel (Guyana) have been calling on government to liberalise the telecommunications sector to provide for additional spectrum that would allow them to offer value-added services.
The recently-established National Telecommunications Authority (NTA), the successor to the National Frequency Management Unit, is now responsible for the allocation of spectrum. Full legal and regulatory liberalisation of the telecommunications sector is said to be dependent on GTT and the Guyana Revenue Authority settling multi-million-dollar tax liabilities.