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Thread: Which Network is the best Flow or Digicel

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan77791 View Post
    Yes that is true, but to be fair to Digicel. They are currently in expansion and upgrading works. So I guess that is the reason for the very slow data speeds. I too have slow data speeds from Digicel, and I am in Kingston. Which is supposed to be fully covered with LTE. We don't have it where I am, but it should be here soon I guess. My phone picks up a band 4 and band 17 both of the 10Mhz variety. So Digicel is trying to respond in due course. My issue with Flow is the persistent issue they have with credit being taken off customers accounts and not so accommodating data plans.
    Full disclosure, I've not had those issues before... Further, the combo plans have been nothing but tremendous to the point where now I have 20 GB of rollover data accrued since mid-May. What makes it even better for me is that coverage in Montego Bay & Kingston is supreme; once can rest assured that anything they need to do online can be done in seconds. Heck, my battery life is better than some of my friends on Digicel with iPhone X!

    On the network side, for the moment, Digicel's Band 4 deployment(s) seem to be confined to Kingston & St. Andrew (heavily trafficked areas) and, their network quality since the ZTE upgrade in some areas according to some has taken a bad turn. Digicel has alot of work to do to catch up to FLOW. It's a pity I hadn't the screenshot which I took a speed test where both a Digicel & FLOW cell tower were located about 3 city blocks from each other (Fairview, Montego Bay) around 5 in the afternoon; Both were reporting full bars (iPhone 8 Plus on FLOW & iPhone X on Digicel). The iPhone X on Digicel hit 57 Mbit/s; excellent speed and would seem that their LTE layer was likely unloaded. On the FLOW iPhone 8 Plus, it hit 101 Mbit/s; near 2x the speed of Digicel - and carrier aggregation hadn't even been active on the iPhone on FLOW. Digicel needs to optimize, optimize, optimize! I gave FLOW flack for the substandard experience that I had last year this time (which was when they started the LTE deployments) and now, after months of work, it is impressive! Handovers happen without dropping... calls NEVER go to 2G and phones hand up to LTE after a call almost instantly! FLOW may be the smaller network in number but the tech behind it is the one to beat.
    Last edited by Brandysull; Jun 1, 2018 at 12:35 AM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by khat17 View Post
    FLOW mobile data is far superior currently. I see that maybe in future Digicel may improve, but this is why I use both networks for different things. If you don't drive around much then either one is fine. But speed tests will show that Digicel is slower. For now.
    You see, the cureent spectrum roadmap alread has FLOW in the lead... I've been privy to some proprietary data that has Digicel only really being able to match (at best) what C&W has in spectrum assets (because in Mobile, spectrum is king!). A number of strategies can be undertaken by Digicel to really realize some speed advantage but it comes at a penalty of devices that can address all those Resource Blocks & Bands are well out of the price range of regular Jamaicans; futile! I can't believe that the team at Cable & Wireless actually did their homework for once; I realize the genius that had LIME backing out of buying Band 13 when it was for auction and acquiring additional AWS & PCS spectrum instead. Capacity was what was going to drive their growth and now the fruits are being born. Digicel can match in speed certainly, but in order to do so, it must set out more capital outlay to acquire additional licences while their competition does not - because it owns enough spectrum to compete aptly.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandysull View Post
    Full disclosure, I've not had those issues before... Further, the combo plans have been nothing but tremendous to the point where now I have 20 GB of rollover data accrued since mid-May. What makes it even better for me is that coverage in Montego Bay & Kingston is supreme; once can rest assured that anything they need to do online can be done in seconds. Heck, my battery life is better than some of my friends on Digicel with iPhone X!

    On the network side, for the moment, Digicel's Band 4 deployment(s) seem to be confined to Kingston & St. Andrew (heavily trafficked areas) and, their network quality since the ZTE upgrade in some areas according to some has taken a bad turn. Digicel has alot of work to do to catch up to FLOW. It's a pity I hadn't the screenshot which I took a speed test where both a Digicel & FLOW cell tower were located about 3 city blocks from each other (Fairview, Montego Bay) around 5 in the afternoon; Both were reporting full bars (iPhone 8 Plus on FLOW & iPhone X on Digicel). The iPhone X on Digicel hit 57 Mbit/s; excellent speed and would seem that their LTE layer was likely unloaded. On the FLOW iPhone 8 Plus, it hit 101 Mbit/s; near 2x the speed of Digicel - and carrier aggregation hadn't even been active on the iPhone on FLOW. Digicel needs to optimize, optimize, optimize! I gave FLOW flack for the substandard experience that I had last year this time (which was when they started the LTE deployments) and now, after months of work, it is impressive! Handovers happen without dropping... calls NEVER go to 2G and phones hand up to LTE after a call almost instantly! FLOW may be the smaller network in number but the tech behind it is the one to beat.
    Lucky you, I constantly have issues with Flows system taking my call credit and reserving it for data. This happens only on LTE, so I dont know. Digicel is doomed in the competition if it is taking so long to upgrade and compete. Digicel LTE is super slow, God I dont know what is happening to them. #bigtingsagwaan only for tariffs and plans. But not for the Network. That is why I will stick it out with Flow. Flow on the other hand needs to make it more easier to join their Network, I mean why do I need to go in store to re register a Sim Card and prepaid account?. Why cant that be done via Customer Care like Digicel, once I can verify?.Too much security protocols that are unnecessary and inconvenient.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandysull View Post
    You see, the cureent spectrum roadmap alread has FLOW in the lead... I've been privy to some proprietary data that has Digicel only really being able to match (at best) what C&W has in spectrum assets (because in Mobile, spectrum is king!). A number of strategies can be undertaken by Digicel to really realize some speed advantage but it comes at a penalty of devices that can address all those Resource Blocks & Bands are well out of the price range of regular Jamaicans; futile! I can't believe that the team at Cable & Wireless actually did their homework for once; I realize the genius that had LIME backing out of buying Band 13 when it was for auction and acquiring additional AWS & PCS spectrum instead. Capacity was what was going to drive their growth and now the fruits are being born. Digicel can match in speed certainly, but in order to do so, it must set out more capital outlay to acquire additional licences while their competition does not - because it owns enough spectrum to compete aptly.
    What I don't understand is why doesn't flow have a aggressive drive to add more subscribers to the network. Flow has a beast of a Network, but it fails to attract more subscribers to its Network. Digicel on the other hand focuses on added value services to its users. It makes no sense to have a powerful Network like Flows, but they don't get full utilization and revenue from it. What I would like to know though, using your knowledge and articulate understanding of telecoms and Network operations. Can Digicel customers, especially us in Kingston expect average data speeds of 60Mbps?. I am considering getting a Digicel Sim for data use as well, but trusting and reading your synopsis of Digicels woes. I'm not sure if I'm willing to go that route. I would love to use Digicel, but they cant compete with Flow in speed and capacity can they?. I have yet to see a recent speed test posted by users of the new 'Lit' LTE Network, Digicel says its Jamaica's fastest. So why dont they prove it to us.

  5. #25
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    Bear in mind that people still have the sour LIME taste in their mouths. The constant re-branding hasn't prevented people from finding out, and as long as the service remains the same - slow rollouts and terrible service/customer service - they could advertise all they want. What is being done now is more along the lines of letting their provided services speak instead of customer service and general service.

    Let me put the services into perspective.

    DIGICEL
    At current you are barely able to get through to a human. Everything goes through online platforms or automated menus. You can talk to persons online, but sometimes it's difficult all the same. Digicel has good 4G and LTE connections (where available) to their radios/stations. But that's it. TO THE RADIO/STATION. The traffic/bandwidth from there is obviously not ready. Their fiber services seem to be great, but the rollout is slow. After being in the country for a bit their MO changed to somewhat match FLOW/LIME/CWJ. Basically, milk the people and match the pricing. It's not about beating them anymore. The fact that there's competition is good enough - which to be honest, sometimes it is but sometimes it isn't. The fact that you have a choice is good. Unlike other countries where multiple telecoms companies are all owned by the same parent - so you really only have an illusion of choice. It's not as bad out here, but how many companies have fiber going out of the island? Anyways.

    FLOW
    Being the larger company - worse with the Liberty Global acquisition - they have a lot more firepower. IMO, LG probably gave them a mandate to bring things up to a certain level but they're dragging their feet to milk what they can out of the people. They have the ABILITY to provide better service at a reduced cost. They have more people in call centers with scripts, but that's highly annoying for persons with partial technical knowledge, or people who think they have technical knowledge like myself. It's annoying to talk to someone that knows nothing, but worse to not talk to a person at all (looking at you Digicel). The transition has been slow, but it's nice to know that we're not using 10 year old thrown out technology from the first world countries anymore. Customer service is non-existent though. Had a case where a friend had dropped service (from 1Mb down to about 128Kb) for 2 years with both of us calling at least once each month. It took a visit to their head office and sitting in with a manager to get it sorted. Problem was fixed in 1 week PLUS he got a speed upgrade - after hearing for 5 years or more that he would not get beyond 1Mb. I've had an attempted break-in years ago and the persons cut the telephone lines (old POTS) with a machete. The two lines were side-by-side. I reported both and for weeks nobody came. I went out and soldered the wires and called and cussed from the "defective" line. Tech came and fixed the one that I had patched. Left the other one alone. Told me only one was reported. All it needed was 2 jelly crimps. Guy left. I was still being billed for the unfixed line for years.

    SUMMARY
    Digicel provides competition but can't actually compete with the giant if it wakes up. The giant can get away with doing nothing because it's a giant - it's been here forever as well. FLOW has the potential to steamroll everything that comes along, and could probably buy out Digicel as well. They may not do it because of the new regulations, but they can drag their feet for the upgrades unless the parent starts poking them to get going.

    Digicel has had problems 15 years ago with signal in Kingston and they still do. Corporate entities did experiments back then and found that Digicel lost signal in stairwells, elevators and buildings in the corporate areas while CWJ/LIME/FLOW had less problems. Most likely due to their network saturation and the spectrum they operate on, but Digicel still has the same problems today and either they haven't done anything about it or they are focusing on other aspects of the business.

    All companies do business to make money. Some companies are actually centered around the customer while the money-making aspect is secondary. As many of these companies are run by accountants and business-persons instead of actual technical personnel or people with some technical knowledge, the vision of providing better services to attract customers by word-of-mouth is practically non-existent. But. We will see.
    Knowing the solution doesn't mean knowing the method. Yet answering correctly and regurgitation are considered "learning" and "knowledge".

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan77791 View Post
    What I don't understand is why doesn't flow have a aggressive drive to add more subscribers to the network. Flow has a beast of a Network, but it fails to attract more subscribers to its Network. Digicel on the other hand focuses on added value services to its users. It makes no sense to have a powerful Network like Flows, but they don't get full utilization and revenue from it. What I would like to know though, using your knowledge and articulate understanding of telecoms and Network operations. Can Digicel customers, especially us in Kingston expect average data speeds of 60Mbps?. I am considering getting a Digicel Sim for data use as well, but trusting and reading your synopsis of Digicels woes. I'm not sure if I'm willing to go that route. I would love to use Digicel, but they cant compete with Flow in speed and capacity can they?. I have yet to see a recent speed test posted by users of the new 'Lit' LTE Network, Digicel says its Jamaica's fastest. So why dont they prove it to us.
    I could not agree with you more... FLOW really does need to push for more net-adds.I guess there will be more promotions of the network coming up soon. As for whether Digicel can relibaly sustain an average of 60 Mbit/s on LTE? on Band 17? Verizon's LTE network from 2010 to 2013 exemplifies this; no. In fact, here's a screenshot of Digicel LTE vs. FLOW LTE in Negril.





    Digicel will remain usable undoubtedly but a speed advantage will not exist.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by khat17 View Post
    Bear in mind that people still have the sour LIME taste in their mouths. The constant re-branding hasn't prevented people from finding out, and as long as the service remains the same - slow rollouts and terrible service/customer service - they could advertise all they want. What is being done now is more along the lines of letting their provided services speak instead of customer service and general service.

    Let me put the services into perspective.

    DIGICEL
    At current you are barely able to get through to a human. Everything goes through online platforms or automated menus. You can talk to persons online, but sometimes it's difficult all the same. Digicel has good 4G and LTE connections (where available) to their radios/stations. But that's it. TO THE RADIO/STATION. The traffic/bandwidth from there is obviously not ready. Their fiber services seem to be great, but the rollout is slow. After being in the country for a bit their MO changed to somewhat match FLOW/LIME/CWJ. Basically, milk the people and match the pricing. It's not about beating them anymore. The fact that there's competition is good enough - which to be honest, sometimes it is but sometimes it isn't. The fact that you have a choice is good. Unlike other countries where multiple telecoms companies are all owned by the same parent - so you really only have an illusion of choice. It's not as bad out here, but how many companies have fiber going out of the island? Anyways.

    FLOW
    Being the larger company - worse with the Liberty Global acquisition - they have a lot more firepower. IMO, LG probably gave them a mandate to bring things up to a certain level but they're dragging their feet to milk what they can out of the people. They have the ABILITY to provide better service at a reduced cost. They have more people in call centers with scripts, but that's highly annoying for persons with partial technical knowledge, or people who think they have technical knowledge like myself. It's annoying to talk to someone that knows nothing, but worse to not talk to a person at all (looking at you Digicel). The transition has been slow, but it's nice to know that we're not using 10 year old thrown out technology from the first world countries anymore. Customer service is non-existent though. Had a case where a friend had dropped service (from 1Mb down to about 128Kb) for 2 years with both of us calling at least once each month. It took a visit to their head office and sitting in with a manager to get it sorted. Problem was fixed in 1 week PLUS he got a speed upgrade - after hearing for 5 years or more that he would not get beyond 1Mb. I've had an attempted break-in years ago and the persons cut the telephone lines (old POTS) with a machete. The two lines were side-by-side. I reported both and for weeks nobody came. I went out and soldered the wires and called and cussed from the "defective" line. Tech came and fixed the one that I had patched. Left the other one alone. Told me only one was reported. All it needed was 2 jelly crimps. Guy left. I was still being billed for the unfixed line for years.

    SUMMARY
    Digicel provides competition but can't actually compete with the giant if it wakes up. The giant can get away with doing nothing because it's a giant - it's been here forever as well. FLOW has the potential to steamroll everything that comes along, and could probably buy out Digicel as well. They may not do it because of the new regulations, but they can drag their feet for the upgrades unless the parent starts poking them to get going.

    Digicel has had problems 15 years ago with signal in Kingston and they still do. Corporate entities did experiments back then and found that Digicel lost signal in stairwells, elevators and buildings in the corporate areas while CWJ/LIME/FLOW had less problems. Most likely due to their network saturation and the spectrum they operate on, but Digicel still has the same problems today and either they haven't done anything about it or they are focusing on other aspects of the business.

    All companies do business to make money. Some companies are actually centered around the customer while the money-making aspect is secondary. As many of these companies are run by accountants and business-persons instead of actual technical personnel or people with some technical knowledge, the vision of providing better services to attract customers by word-of-mouth is practically non-existent. But. We will see.
    Agreed! But again times are changing... I do believe that both entities can, in future, reliably provide services with greater quality and higher throughput/capacity concomitant with a growing and elevated standard of living. The deeper pockets of FLOW today, coupled with the competitive drive of Digicel will continue to push Jamaica further up the technology chain. Both entities have their deep rooted issues but, with added focus on ensuring they keep their promises and we keep them honest, we will surely be FAR more advanced than we are even today.

  8. #28
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    Is that epistle really true? Currently in June 2018 Digicel has better value for money both in the mobile prepaid space and the residential triple play space.

    I am an extremely price conscious consumer and I can tell you I switched to Digicel Play years ago and after disconnecting my Digicel Postpaid in December 2014 and using LIME as my main provider. I returned to Digicel in April 2018.

    LIME cannot compete yes Digicel has gotten more automated yes none are really stellar providers BUT Digicel is better at this current moment that LIME.

  9. #29
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    Digicel can compete in the DIGICEL PLAY area because they are giving customers direct fiber. They can't compete in the mobile department. If you want LTE from Digicel for a month it's only one available plan for $4,000 per month - 6GB of data which isn't bad, but 400 talk minutes? Their regular data plan is $2,000 for 4GB of data and 2,000 minutes. Where is the comparison? And FLOW has better priced LTE data packages.
    Knowing the solution doesn't mean knowing the method. Yet answering correctly and regurgitation are considered "learning" and "knowledge".

  10. #30
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    Funny you say digicel cant compete in mobile yet they have probably twice the amount of mobile subscribers as flow. You guys talking about speed but the average customer which makes up the bulk of the network does not know or care how many Mb/s they are getting as long as whatsapp messages can send and instagram pics can load them good. Digicel has over a dozen different plans and add ons to choose from so most people find one that works for them and as long as the data last they are okay.
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