Roll-out of 5G in Jamaica
Friday, February 14, 2020
As the world moves to upgrade existing 4G wireless networks to the next generation of 5G, Government involvement will be crucial towards its success, according to Rohan Pottinger, chief technology officer at Digicel Jamaica.
Pottinger was speaking recently on what is needed to create the local infrastructure to support 5G, at a public forum, 'For Better or Worse? The Pros and Cons of 5G' hosted by the Mona School of Business & Management (MSBM) at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies.
“For us to get the speeds possible with 5G, we need to be able to create connections back to the main system which connects the world. Currently, Digicel and Flow are the only providers with the largest bandwidth, but much more is needed,” Pottinger said.
He noted that currently there were challenges in the building of new transmitter towers, due to legislation. According to him, the launch of 5G networks in Jamaica would require more than triple the number of towers now installed.
“Government involvement is, therefore, crucial to the roll-out of 5G in Jamaica. So, legislation allowing for the erection of towers and funding would aid the process,” Pottinger said.
“As King Canute said, you cannot tell the tide to stay back. When technology advances you either stay behind or join it. The question then is: “How do we use it to our benefit?” asked McBean.
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