LIME unveils investments in updated infrastructure

Mobile data speeds double and will double again before end of the year.

Telecommunications company LIME is in the process of upgrading its mobile network to introduce 4G LTE services, the fastest available mobile data technology, before the end of the year.  

As a result, LIME mobile data users will see a major improvement in download speeds and service performance, said new LIME Cayman CEO Bill McCabe during a press conference Tuesday. 

Mr. McCabe, who replaced Tony Ritch one month ago, said he has the backing to deliver more than $30 million of infrastructure investment this year and in 2014. The first part of the investment, announced Tuesday, is the deployment of dual carrier technology which immediately doubles available mobile data speeds.  

“It gives customers greater capacity, better coverage and better access to our network and it will deliver speeds that Cayman has never seen before,” Mr. McCabe said.  

It will be followed by rolling out nationwide, next generation LTE network capability in the Cayman Islands before Christmas. The move will unleash the power of smartphones and tablets over a mobile network, Mr. McCabe said. “In many cases it leaves Wi-Fi for dust. 

“A good quality 4G/LTE mobile network is the difference between just being connected and being able to really get things done over a mobile network.” In an auction in July, LIME obtained the license for the spectrum required to broadcast U.S.-standard LTE in the Cayman Islands.  

“The mobile technology that we are using is the same one that is used by AT&T and Verizon in the United States, which is why [the auction] was so hotly contested, because it means that it is compatible with one of our nearest neighbors for travel reasons,” Mr. McCabe said. It also ensures that mobile phones with 4G LTE capability available in the market today or purchased in the U.S. will work in Cayman.  

The remainder of LIME’s infrastructure investment will be the replacement of the existing copper network with fiber to accommodate increasing data needs. LIME expects to connect “thousands of homes” by early next year with a view to have a nationwide fiber coverage in the medium term. 

“It is my ambition and determination to ensure that we are not just one of the best connected countries in the region but one of the best connected countries in the world. I think that is critical for our future and our growth, but also our customers,” the new CEO said. 

To complement its enhanced mobile data services, LIME is launching from Thursday a new price plan, allowing customers to select the amount of mobile data, voice and texts they want. It puts customers in complete control of what they want to buy and allows them to design a plan that suits their needs in a fair and transparent way, Mr. McCabe said. 

The new “MyPlan” service notifies customers when they get close to and reach their data limits, and charges a lower out of bundle rate of 3c/Mb for customers exceeding their selected monthly data allowance.  

“I think people have been nervous about that in the past,” Mr. McCabe said, adding that the price that is charged for the overreach is now virtually the same as the in bundle price. 

The new plan includes calls to more than 100 countries within the bundle at the same rate. If customers don’t use all their allocation of voice, data or texts during a month, then LIME will roll the unused part of the bundle over to the next month rather than take it back.