Local press reports in Fiji indicate that plans are under way for a major network upgrade for mobile operator Digicel Fiji. Its estimated cost is about $13.7 million. The network upgrade aims to boost LTE coverage across the country’s islands.
A lot has already been done to improve LTE coverage in Fiji but this upgrade will add further improvements across Fiji with the ultimate aim of providing LTE/4G to even the remotest areas, including the Lau Group, Koro Island, Taveuni and Vanua Levu.
In fact, the operator has spent around $6.4 million since late 2019 to add capacity to its LTE network. It has also upgraded most of its cell sites in main urban centres to 4.5G LTE-Advanced Pro technology.
Among the reasons cited for the increased LTE coverage has been the massive rise in data traffic demand – estimated at about 40 per cent – during the recent coronavirus-inspired lockdown.
Digicel Fiji says it has not let go of any of its staff during the pandemic, although the company has had to deal with a number of challenges caused by the effect of job losses on disposable income, not least the impact on SKY Pacific, a Digicel-owned pay TV service.
In June 2019 we reported that Research & Markets had described Fiji as having the highest mobile and internet penetration in the Pacific Islands, and had said that it was a leading market to watch in terms of both 4G LTE and 5G development in this region.