Liberty Says Improvements To Its Mobile Network, Infrastructure Are In The Works
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Liberty Mobile USVI gave an update Monday on fiber optic line installation and expansion of its mobile network and infrastructure in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI). Up to now, the company, formerly known as AT&T USVI, has deployed 5G mobile speeds throughout more than half of the territory. Once finished, the upgrades will provide resilience and redundancy against natural disasters and improved network performance in the USVI islands.
According to Naji Khoury, president and CEO of Liberty Mobile USVI, the company has already deployed 5G speeds in over 54 percent of the sites throughout St. John, St. Croix and St. Thomas, and is currently focused on completing work on 70 percent of the sites by the end of the year. The executive added that Liberty currently has 49 upgrade and expansion projects on schedule, in addition to the 43 that the company completed last year. Liberty also upgraded 19 cell sites with either underground fiber or microwave deployment.
“All of the work that we are currently doing is starting to produce results. We see it in our USVI cell sites, which improved their available capacity by 78 percent. Mean download speeds also improved 20 percent from Q3 2020 to Q1 2021, according to the information we received from Ookla Speedtest©,” Khoury said. “The end result will be a faster, more resilient mobile network that will give customers a better signal, fewer dropped calls and a faster mobile internet.”
Regarding Liberty’s fiber deployment project, Khoury stated that the company has completed 95 percent of the trenching work, pulled 88 percent of the fiber and finished 100 percent of a small temporary portion of aerial installation due to terrain requirements. That represents an 88 percent of total cable distance throughout the entire USVI territory. In St. Thomas, Liberty completed 90 percent of its trenching efforts and pulled 77 percent of the fiber installation for a total of 78 percent of completed cable distance.
As for the underground construction progress in St. Thomas, the executive said that construction at the Estate Ross route and aerial construction at the Crown Mountain to Nana Hill segment were already completed. He added that splicing on both the Estate Ross and Nana Hill routes will take place early this month to migrate the antennas as soon as possible, while construction and fiber installation of the Nana Hill to Charlotte Amalie segment has already been completed. Last mile construction on Flag Hill is pending authorization from the landlord, but construction to Flag Hill from the east has continued. Crews have also begun construction on the Raphune Hill area, one of the last remaining sections needed to complete the ring’s construction.
Regarding mobile offers, the company recently began offering its new Unlimited 50+ mobile rate plan for residents of Puerto Rico and the USVI ages 50 and up. Unlimited 50+ includes unlimited voice, text messages and data in Puerto Rico, USVI, United States, Mexico and Canada for $60 per month for one line, or $40 per month per line, for two lines, for subscribers who enroll in the autopay and electronic bill options. The Unlimited 50+ plan also offers free text messages to over 120 countries and access to AT&T’s 5G network in Puerto Rico, USVI, and the US at no additional cost. The plan offers discounts and mobile fraud security features to new and existing customers. It is also the first exclusive mobile service rate that the company launches since its acquisition of AT&T operations in Puerto Rico and the USVI. Liberty will continue to use the AT&T brand for several months until it phases it out into the Liberty brand.
Liberty Mobile USVI is a sister company of Liberty Communications of Puerto Rico and a subsidiary of Liberty Latin America whose headquarters are in Denver, Colorado and is a leading communications company operating in over 20 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean with renowned brands such as Cable &Wireless, Flow, and BTC, among others.
People in the territory have been mostly complimentary about Liberty Communications since it took over for AT&T last year.
“Shout out to Liberty/AT&T!” Jennifer Keys said on St. Thomas. “Had a great experience there today in store upgrading my phone. It was a quick, painless and very well organized. Thanks also to Ryan, my very knowledgeable sales associate.”
“I had nothing but horrible experiences with Liberty so I’m glad to hear this,” Thomas Burgess said on St. Thomas. “I finally dumped them altogether.”
“Update! Went back to the store again to fix a little problem (which was caused by me not understanding what the sales rep said to me) and received ,once again, quick, professional service with really no waiting!” Jennifer Keys added. “Got right in! I have heard people not loving the phone communication with Liberty, so maybe the best bet at this time is to go into the store if you are comfortable with that. I have had a great experience now twice in a row. They are taking appropriate COVID precautions as well.”
“Let’s hope so because ever since they bought AT&T last October, there has been NO cell service at all in my neighborhood,” Cynthia D. Bailey said on St. Thomas. “Their only explanation is that I can still use Internet calling. But when the power goes out, which is pretty frequently due to our magnificent WAPA there is no Internet.”