BY OYAOL NGIRAIRIKL
Journal Staff

 

Jon Nathan Denight, (left) vice president of marketing, and Andrew M. Gayle, chief operating officer, both with GTA, announced the launch of GTA’s 5G network at the telecom company’s Experience Center at the Camacho Landmark Center in Tamuning on Nov. 17. Photo by Oyaol Ngirairikl

“Some of our customers might have already noticed, if they have 5G (capable) phones, that they have 5G,” said Andrew M. Gayle, GTA chief operating officer.

The telecom company held a press conference Nov. 17 announcing the launch of 5G on its wireless network. The company had made the latest technology available a few days before the official announcement.

As to what does 5G means for customers, Gayle said, “Better coverage and more speed.

“Customers who have 5G enabled phones will be able to take advantage of the capabilities of our 5G network, which includes faster download speeds, lower latency, etc.”

He said as customers tap into the 5G network they’ll see download speeds up that average about 50% higher than the 4G network.

Users can expect faster speeds while streaming video, gaming online and downloading files. All GTA Postpaid wireless customers get 5G access for free with a compatible 5G smartphone, according to GTA officials.  

He said this is just the first step for GTA and the “evolution of our 5G wireless network.” GTA’s wireless network provides “the most 5G coverage on Guam, with even more sites planned for the future.”  

5G is the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. The 5G wireless technology is meant to deliver higher peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users. Higher performance and improved efficiency empower new user experiences and connects new industries. 

“We have spent a tremendous amount of money on both our internal resources, our internal network, expanding our cellular sites, as well as purchasing spectrum … which is meant to continue to service our customers and their wireless needs and their needs to come,” Gayle said.

GTA won three licenses for $16,565,000 in a Federal Communications Commission auction held earlier this year, as earlier reported. Gayle said the purchase equates to 67megahertz of mid-band spectrums on the 2.5 gigahertz range. Mid-band spectrum is very valuable to cellular because it offers a compromise between capacity and coverage.   

Gayle touted GTA’s leadership in the telecom industry, saying the company was the first to offer wireless service, and first to offer Blackberry as well as iPhones.

“With our technology we’re trying to have a balancing act between coverage and speed. We’ve launched with more than a third of our sites having 5G capabilities. These sites go from the central and northern areas, and we’ll be expanding in the coming years in the northern, central and into the southern sites as we continue to expand our network,” he said. “We’re (currently) covering Tamuning, Tumon, Harmon, Maite, Barrigada, Hagatna, Agana Heights, Chalan Pago, Mangilao around (the University of Guam and Guam Community College) and also areas of Yigo near the Astumbo area and Andersen Air Force Base and Latte Heights area. And we have sites in Agat near the Agat community center as well as the Nimitz Hill area.”

In a written statement, Roland Certeza, president and CEO of GTA, said, “GTA has a long history of connecting Guam both locally and to the world. Our incredible team of almost 500 employees work hard every day making sure our island has fast and reliable telecommunication services. We’re excited to launch 5G today and will continue to expand Guam’s Best Mobile Service. In fact, we recently invested millions in buying even more spectrum to make sure we can continue to provide the island with the best, most reliable network now and into the future.” mbj