First LTE network on the island of Saipan
Ericsson has been selected by IT&E to enhance its radio and core network in the CNMI following the devastating impact last month of Typhoon Soudelor. IT&E will not only more than double its HSPA network capacity in Saipan, Rota, and Tinian, but will also launch a new, 4G LTE network on Saipan.
Ericsson will enable IT&E to meet growing customer demand for mobile data and wireless broadband services while delivering superior network performance. On 4G LTE, IT&E customers will be able to enjoy an improved smartphone experience, with faster Web browsing, downloads, video on demand, and many other services.
On Aug. 3, 2015, Saipan, a commonwealth of the United States located in the Western Pacific, was struck by the typhoon, causing extensive damage and leaving hundreds homeless. Soudelor was the worst storm to strike Saipan in nearly 30 years.
“Following the typhoon, the safety of our customers was our top priority,” Jim Oehlerking, IT&E CEO, says: “By deploying the latest network technology from Ericsson, we will now be able to immediately locate those in need and get them help quickly and efficiently. Moreover, we remain aggressive on our outlook for the CNMI and continue to invest heavily in its development.”
Wireless communications and Internet access via mobile Devices are key elements in enabling recovery teams to secure vital resources such as water, food, shelter, and health care in times of emergency. The investment made by IT&E in the partnership with Ericsson will support the relief efforts of teams such as the American Red Cross, Karidat, and others who can help the recovery of the residents of Saipan.
Equipment began arriving on Saipan in late August, despite difficult logistical conditions on the island. The first benefits of the joint IT&E and Ericsson efforts to improve communications should be seen as early as September.
Angel Ruiz, head of Ericsson North America, says: “Ericsson has a history of working closely with its operator customers to provide vital communications to communities in times of disaster. We’re committed to working closely with IT&E to bring next-generation wireless networks to the residents of the CNMI, to benefit them during this time of crisis and for the long-term technological growth of the island.” (IT&E)