LTE coverage is increasing in Puerto Rico as U.S.-based telecom operator Sprint Nextel announced that it has improved 3G service and expanded LTE in the country with the goal of reaching more customers. Puerto Rico was a pioneer in launching LTE services in 2011 in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
As noted by Jose Otero, president of Signals Telecom Group, in an Analyst Angle column, Puerto Rico’s mobile industry is characterized by a large number of service providers. However, with around 78.2% mobile penetration in June 2012, Puerto Rico lags behind most Latin American and Caribbean countries that boast penetration rates surpassing 100%. Despite the large number of carriers, Puerto Rico’s mobile market is polarized between two operators that control about 70% of all subscribers with the remaining 30% shared among three other mobile carriers.
Sprint Nextel’s LTE launch includes the cities of Aguadilla, Isabela, Cabo Rojo and Mayagüez. These cities are in addition to Ponce, Coamo and Guayama—which have had LTE since 2012. In the United States, Sprint Nextel has launched LTE services across 58 markets, including recent launches across portions of Texas, Indiana and in Boston.
Sprint Nextel said in a statement that it is continuing to make progress on the buildout of its all-new 3G and LTE network as part of its ongoing “Network Vision” upgrade. That upgrade will see the carrier deliver LTE services and provide 3G customers with better wireless signal strength, in-building coverage and fewer dropped/blocked calls.