Bluesky expands its 4G network
Bluesky Samoa has doubled the number of 4G sites around Samoa as they work to increase communications coverage around the country.
In 2017 Samoa had just 20 sites.
But Bluesky Country Manager, Alex Abraham, told the Samoa Observer the telecommunication company has been working quietly in recent months to complete the expensive exercise to increase 4G sites by another 20.
“We’ve also just completed 20 new 4G sites, we’ve upgraded that. We’ve spent a significant amount of money to do that and that was just completed the end of early August.”
“We’ve just been quietly doing that but the team has been working very hard to get coverage and put these things in place. We’ve got one scheduled for Vaitele and some sites in Savaii like Letui,” he said.
Mr. Abraham says they are gradually gaining ground on full and quality coverage around the island, from the most populated areas to the remote villages.
“It costs up quarter of a million to half a million dollars to put in a new site, so it’s an investment and you’ve got to be very careful how you choose the sites and it comes down to how many people are in the area. After that we look at where is the area with most growth, and then once you go past fixing those areas, we look at the gaps and how we can cover them.”
“For community-based communication areas in Savai’i, who are now on 4G and 3G and some of those villages never had communications before, now they are able to get connected and talk to their families. Hopefully that brings more interaction between their village and the rest of Samoa, but also the rest of the world,” he added.
In terms of data cost, the public has to wait to see prices of internet services drop further but until then, Mr. Abraham insists that there are more steps to follow in creating a stable and high quality telecommunications environment for that to become a reality in the near future.
“It’s going to get better, Samoa is not increasing subscriptions overall, there are only 100,000 people here using mobile services data. So unless there’s an increase of population, we’re working off a certain base because only a certain amount of people can afford those services.”
“We still have to run a business, there’s shareholders that we have to give return back to, so we’re just trying to find that balance in giving the best deal that we can and obviously try meet our financial commitments to our investors,” he said.
In the meantime, Bluesky intends to continue introducing more corporate and residential bundles that will give more value for money. They currently have a project underway to install fibre for businesses and Mr. Abraham says that will be happening closer towards the end of the year.
“So things are happening, again we are just trying to manage our resources. I think better deals will always come, we are not going sit still.”