Science and Technology Minister Dr Rupert Griffith has said customers are experiencing problems with mobile services because State telecoms provider TSTT cannot access the required speed on its 4G spectrum.
"Until they get the spectrum, until they can access 100 kilobytes per second speed, there will be droppage in the system," Griffith told the Express yesterday during a break in the ICT Business and Innovation Symposium 2012.
He called 4G in Trinidad and Tobago is "a work in progress".
"They should receive that spectrum by the end of this year—perhaps just before Christmas to facilitate 100kbps speed. The Telecommunications Authority (TATT) is supposed to approve that but they are still building out the spectrum (specifications) for them. What we have with 4G now is building it out, advertising it, putting certain capacity in place, but because of the rapid build out because we don't have 100kbps speed you will have droppage and that is what is causing the difficulty right now, among other things in the system right now," Griffith said.
On Sunday several TSTT mobile customers on the Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) network experienced a disruption in data services.
Bmobile had on Sunday evening acknowledged the interruption on its Facebook page, attributing the disruption to maintenance work aimed at improving reliability on the GSM network.
"On recognising this unintended effect, we reversed changes made to the GSM system and regular data services were restored. We sincerely regret any inconvenience and assure customers that no billing charges would have been applied for unsuccessful attempts at sending and receiving data during this time," the company said.
A TSTT spokesperson told the Express yesterday that the interruption affected some customers on both the GSM and 4G in accessing data services. Regarding the Minister's statements the spokesperson was unaware of any move by the company to increase its spectrumand said the veracity needed to be confirmed. TSTT had launched its 4G network earlier this month.
The Express also contacted TATT's chairman Selby Wilson, who, although he was not in the country, said TATT has received no application from TSTT in respect to increasing its spectrum.
"They have not approached us for any additional spectrum. They will know their needs and have not approached us," he said, adding that he was also not aware to what the Minister was referring.
The National Spectrum Plan defines the radio frequency spectrum as a scarce national resource essential for the provision of a wide range of activities, including national defence, public safety, air, land and sea transportation, broadcasting and commercial telecommunications services.