At the 33rd CANTO Annual Conference & Trade Exhibition, John Reid, CEO of C&W Communications (C&W), announced that C&W has completed a groundbreaking pre-5G (fifth generation wireless broadband technology) trial in Antigua. Once installed, Antigua will be the first country in the region with the most advanced pre-5G network, delivering download peak speeds of up to 800 Mbps. In the trial’s next phase, the company expects to test a 5G prototype reaching 2 to 5 Gbps peak speeds, which will have a profound positive impact on the island.
The announcement came as part of Reid’s keynote address to prominent Caribbean officials at the 33rd CANTO Annual Conference & Trade Exhibition in the Dominican Republic.
“These are exciting times for C&W Communications, as we continue to invest and develop more pioneering innovations to meet the needs of our customers and enable growth in the region through transformative technology,” said Reid.
“This pre-5G trial in the Caribbean, is a significant step towards the evolution of C&W’s mobile networks across the region to 5G, and providing Gigabit speeds to our customers in Antigua,” he continued.
C&W’s pre-5G technology trial, a combined effort with parent company Liberty Global, is based on LTE Advanced Pro (LTE-A Pro), the latest LTE evolution, that delivers lower latency, more capacity and improved reliability for customers. This translates into a faster mobile internet experience where customers can better participate in advanced technology such as richer video experience and new apps.
In early October, the company will further test a 5G prototype network designed to deliver wireless data connections above 2 Gbps. If the trials are successful, and the business case favorable, the Company plans to invest another $5 million in Antigua alone to significantly upgrade the wireless infrastructure there. C&W has invested $1.5 billion in the region over the last three years.
5G is a new set of standards beyond traditional 4G/LTE technologies. This set of standards will allow operators to deliver wireless data connections above 1 Gbps and to enable the Internet of Things (IoT). C&W’s pre-5G trial and 5G prototype trials are part of a partnership with Ericsson, who will provide the equipment and software in Antigua and across the Caribbean.