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Thread: CARICEL - Jamaica's third mobile services provider

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by psilos View Post
    The main issue with unlimited plans on 3G mobile networks is the fact that voice is also shared on the medium so there is a risk of data usage affecting the voice part of the network due to capacity. Backhaul also plays a very important part but I think FLOW has that covered in spades as a good portion of their sites are directly covered via fibre.

    The whitelisting and the daily cap is a good idea and I hope your suggestion is pursued.
    To further add to this, even on Digicel's highest end plan (I think it's the MaxSmart plan) which allows 10 GB per month, they engage in heavy handed leveraging of the FUPA on subscribers of that plan. 3G is also affected by the number of subcribers on it and will "breathe" i.e. decrease its coverage geography to provide better service to those well within the cell or the site will ask the User Equipment (your phone) to do a reselect to 2G. Digicel is particularly affected by this and therefore they see it necessary to curtail any "super-users" on their network despite them going to DC-HSDPA (42 Mbit/s max) in Kingston and MoBay from what I've seen.

    In terms of backhaul capacity, I can only speak to FLOW's network capacity. Where they haven't fiber backahul, they use IP/MPLS or Alcatel-Lucent MPR 9500 microwave radios that provide up 1 Gbit/s on a single carrier (which they might be using currently, they can scale/aggregate the carriers to increase that capacity as required) or even Ericsson radios that perform just as well. You'd find the microwave radios used in rural areas or dense urban rooftop sites. Hub sites in MoBay & KGN are all fiber fed. I've seen FLOW's Huawei equipment (North Coast) that aren't even fiber do DL speeds up to 18 Mbit/s when it has no network load, given the network's theoretical limit is 21 Mbit/s.... it's insanity.

    FLOW's speak of lack of capacity originates from capacity issues with 3G technology (which was never meant originally to be a data bearer, only improved voice was conceived). They whitelist their company developed apps as well as Wikipedia but unlimited everything would reek havoc on the network resources. One 3G cell site can only serve around 360 in URA-PCH (i.e. the most low-powered state your phone's HSPA radio can go into - no data transfer taking place), having unlimited users would cause huge slowdowns and worse, a network faliure.

    Once we've gone LTE, a network purpose built for data (no cell breathing, 3x user capacity etc.), we will have unlimited plans... Let's just be ready to pay that hefty price lol.

  2. #22
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    @Brandysull

    Can you provide us with info on this Caricel company. E.g., technical capacities as per their equipment and such.
    1.8 Ghz Pentium 4 (OC'd.) / Intel P4 (478) Motherboard / 800MHz DDR / 256 Mb DDR RAM / 40GB Seagate / RIVA TNT2 Pro 32MB / 24X12X24 Sony CDRW+ / 18" View Sonic CRT / Windows ME Yes it will play Doom... i plan on trying Crysis 3 one of these days.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gW33Zy View Post
    @Brandysull

    Can you provide us with info on this Caricel company. E.g., technical capacities as per their equipment and such.
    The most I know at the moment is that they appear to be sharing sites with Digicel or FLOW or both. I also know that they haven't their own Evolved Packet Core (unlike the incumbents) and have enlisted Globecomm for their Hosted EPC and Network Operations Centre in the USA.

    To do this, Caricel has a Converged Packet Gateway (CPG) which merges local (in Jamaica) network entities such as billing and provisioning with the core network in the US. The CPG allows for anywhere between 20 Mbit/s to 40 Gbit/s of overall capacity.

    This type of network setup will allow Caricel to have a price advantage over their competitors for a myriad of reasons I won't bore you with. I'll speak more on the network's actual speed when I have information on it's spectrum allocation and the vendors they're using.
    Last edited by Brandysull; May 25, 2016 at 02:26 AM.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandysull View Post
    (T-Mobile had a huge VoLTE outage some months ago..
    We have this a lot with JPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandysull View Post
    The kind of capital required to mitigate VoLTE issues + do LTE Cat 4 & 6 upgrades can only feasibly (in my eyes) originate from FLOW's parent company..........................The more prudent solution would be for CariCel to have a nationwide roaming agreement with Digicel and/or FLOW for 2G/3G for voice. Hopefully, that would kick Digicel and FLOW into moving their UMTS networks to AMR-WB, a far more cost effective solution for a market such as Jamaica......................but carriers and vendors are moving to EVS (similar to AAC-ELD - Apple's Facetime audio codec - offering frequency range as just as wide as a human can hear). I hope they go with that plan rather than being purely LTE or go LTE islandwide QUICK......
    This is why I say I'm waiting to see how it plays out. Every single company that has been in Jamaica has found ways to milk the market before pretending to be nice in the end. Competition is always a good thing. Regardless of who is coming, my largest issue with the two current networks would be the voice handover. It sucks royally - but seems to be far worse on FLOW. Here I thought (with the new automated recordings and all) that they would be getting things ready and improved.........

    This move for LTE is also the reason I have my eye on some Chinese phones like: http://ulefone.com/products/power/features.html

    What would REALLY be nice is if the providers would see threads like this and listen or participate. Feedback from users and those like @Brandysull who follow mobile technology might actually help to push them in the right direction. Fat chance...........
    Knowing the solution doesn't mean knowing the method. Yet answering correctly and regurgitation are considered "learning" and "knowledge".

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    Quote Originally Posted by khat17 View Post
    We have this a lot with JPS.



    This is why I say I'm waiting to see how it plays out. Every single company that has been in Jamaica has found ways to milk the market before pretending to be nice in the end. Competition is always a good thing. Regardless of who is coming, my largest issue with the two current networks would be the voice handover. It sucks royally - but seems to be far worse on FLOW. Here I thought (with the new automated recordings and all) that they would be getting things ready and improved.........

    This move for LTE is also the reason I have my eye on some Chinese phones like: http://ulefone.com/products/power/features.html

    What would REALLY be nice is if the providers would see threads like this and listen or participate. Feedback from users and those like @Brandysull who follow mobile technology might actually help to push them in the right direction. Fat chance...........
    I find that alot of the feedback (whether from Facebook or Twitter) from users fall on deaf ears especially in Jamaica. I cannot understand why companies like FLOW (who posses such great potential more so than its competitor) continue to dish out shoddy service. Many of the issues/mistakes that are happening in that company derive from lack of listening. Never mind them going Triple carrier HSPA in Kingston and then secretly removing the 1 of the 3 carriers and THEN have the nerve to tell ME that nothing of the sort has happened. Meanwhile, Digicel massacres FLOW on peak H+ speeds in Kingston..... the only things saving them is price and network capacity.

    Both FLOW and Digicel know exactly what they are doing. FLOW, I suppose, is too caught up in M&As to care at this moment and Digicel, is in a frantic race to become a fully fledged telecoms operator as their mobile segment has taken a turn for the worst.

    Hopefully, Caricel will influence these other carriers to INNOVATE and move the market from a 4 year stagnation. I still have nightmares about this....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandysull View Post
    I find that alot of the feedback (whether from Facebook or Twitter) from users fall on deaf ears especially in Jamaica. I cannot understand why companies like FLOW (who posses such great potential more so than its competitor) continue to dish out shoddy service. Many of the issues/mistakes that are happening in that company derive from lack of listening. Never mind them going Triple carrier HSPA in Kingston and then secretly removing the 1 of the 3 carriers .
    Explain what u mean by them removing 2 of 3 carriers and the triple part. Also I wonder why Flow has such slow speeds in Kingston ...infact their 4G service seems to have some kinda "keep alive" feature where the moment it isn't transmitting u find that the plus disappears or the H. It's as if it keeps cycling thru or keeps reconnecting each time u send a data. Digicel seems always on ... I also notice the signal bar on my flow phone fluctuates far more often such that I have to wonder if the breeze affecting the service.


    I would be stationary and the signal dancing up and down. Flow has serious network issues which I cannot seem to get why they still keep that non funciatonal billing system. Even the calling features such as call forwarding are almost never activated or working or changeable on any flow phones I have come across. I have to always call customer care and have them manual add and remove the features.

    Simple things like that is what gets me upset. Then again there is no one who listens. The management doesn't even know who is who in their department. Tired to suggest products to them and instead nowadays suggest to Digicel who in my view implemented a few suggestions a few months back. Flow issue is management. They need to shake up and fire everyone. All the legacy lime workers.

    Also what about micro cell sites? Does that have the same 360 restrictions? Also does edge count towards this limit? Can't the providers add equipment to the back end to increase this number per cell site? What is even stopping dekal wireless from blanketing the Kingston area with stable WiFi and does their service have a limit in terms of subscriber per site and what would it be in your view?

    I think flow would win big if they provided dekal service free for those who subscribe to their data plan or broadband at home service.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by 876 View Post
    Explain what u mean by them removing 2 of 3 carriers and the triple part. Also I wonder why Flow has such slow speeds in Kingston ...infact their 4G service seems to have some kinda "keep alive" feature where the moment it isn't transmitting u find that the plus disappears or the H. It's as if it keeps cycling thru or keeps reconnecting each time u send a data. Digicel seems always on ... I also notice the signal bar on my flow phone fluctuates far more often such that I have to wonder if the breeze affecting the service.


    I would be stationary and the signal dancing up and down. Flow has serious network issues
    Think of the 3G network as being accesible by lanes. These lanes are what we refer to as carriers. FLOW essentially, in November, went to 3 carriers of WCDMA/3G. It was actually really cool to see they cared enough to bump up capacity to levels not even the big guys overseas did. They had 2 carriers on 1900 MHz and 1 on 850 MHz. What I had recommended was going DC-HSDPA with the 2 1900 MHz but by March, it VANISHED. Kingston was put to dual carrier (1 850 MHz and 1 1900 MHz) like the rest of Jamaica.

    The jumping around of the signal is as a result of frequency handover, FLOW (and every other network) has certain priorites set in your phone's SIM card (pushed OTA) for frequencies to use. FLOW's primary frequency is 850 MHz but when your phone needs to go up to CELL_DCH or an active download session, the phone will want to go to the higher capacity 1900 MHz. These 2 bands have completely different propogational qualities hence the "jumping" in RSSI or Signal strength.

    In regards to the limit, the 360 subscriber limit is only pertinent to each "card" (I'm drawing from specs of the DUW 20 01 card used by Ericsson sites which FLOW & Digicel use). A site can have more than 1 card which means it can serve more than 360 but it's not possible to know the specific figure from the outside hence I make the assumption that each site has a single card with 3 sectors being run from it. These cards are usually supplemented with a DUG card which is soley GSM and DUL card which is soley LTE.

    Small cells are a thing I would like Jamaican operators to start looking at. Small cells are important especially in areas where we have high concentrations of people like HWT, Downtown etc. An alternative to this is WiFi offloading, where network operators provide complimentary subscriber-only WiFi access at certain points of interest like a cafe, a stadium, an airport etc. I think FLOW hasn't a subscriber only stipulation but I have seen them partner with Island Grill and other establishments to create WiFi hotspots. Even more so, making Dekal access free for subscribers to a data plan and/or a broadband package would be a huge incentive to join FLOW.

  8. #28
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    I believe the roaming thingy will work well for them because it will lessen the buildout cost. Just wondering how they gonna do lte on shared towers

  9. #29
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    Shared towers just means that they physically share the tower structure. So each carrier has their antennas and base station equipment on the ground. Its a common practice all over the world. The sample image below has about 4-5 different companies sharing the same tower.


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    Person with more money or who owns the pole gets the top ???
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