Gordon Swaby

Digicel Jamaica, Doing with the Internet what they did with Mobile

Digicel 4GThe only reason this post has this title is because i had it in my drafts and i couldn’t be bothered to change it. Let’s say if i didn’t start writing this post already while fully knowing about the hell I’d have to go through this morning; the title may have been “Digicel’s Failed 4G Launch”, but anyway; i digress. Initially, the sign up process for Digicel’s Broadband internet service seemed easy ( or so they claimed). According to the message on the website all i needed to do was fill out the relevant information on the website and their sales agent would contact me with relevant information regarding the “delivery” of my modem; delivery in quotes because they don’t actually deliver the modem ( which is misleading) you actually have to pick it up at one of their retail locations. So a couple hours elapse and no call from any Digicel sales agent ( i was expecting a call in an hour or 2).

At about 9:00 AM this morning i got a call from a Digicel sales agent; she was pleasant, thanking me for signing up etc. She confirmed the information i submitted via their website and told me where i could pick up my modem. Because i signed up online i was eligible for a limited edition gift, she told me i had the choice between a USB Pen or a wireless mouse.  I went to the 2  locations closest  to me only to find out that they were not yet set up to sell the devices. You would think that a company would have all this sorted out before they decide to launch the product (Obviously the sales agent who i spoke to had no idea that these locations were either not stocked or ready to sell the devices), but alas.  I decided  to check out the other retail locations in my region on their website by calling them instead of wasting my time to check each location individually only to find out that most were not stocked, and one dealer had no idea what i was talking about, mind you this is a retailer listed ON the Digicel website.

I visited the only location selling the device and after battling with them initially (the wait and other minor annoyances) they finally started giving me some attention. Now i realized that signing up online was useless because 1. They didn’t know that i signed up online and also had no idea that you could and 2. They did not know that i was eligible for a gift and other incentives if i did sign up online even though it is clearly stated on the website.

I told her i would return for my gift in a few days ( She did not deny me the gift, but was honest and said she knew nothing about it, she claimed they have not been trained yet and would be attending a training seminar soon). Not to lay the blame squarely at her feet–i blame Digicel for not training their employees prior to launch…

The Process

To purchase the Digicel 4G Modem  you need 2 recent utility bills and some sort of identification ( Driver’s License, Voters ID etc if not you need a letter that is signed and stamped by a JP). They will make copies of these.  After purchasing the modem they will test it to ensure it’s in full working order by connecting it to a laptop and check for a connection. Once a connection has been established they will direct the browser to the Digicel 4G website where registration of the device is done. You’ll also choose the username and password for your self-care login

Payment Options

Payment for Modems ( You have a choice of a 2. The CPE Wifi Modem (Less Portable) or the USB Dongle Modem ( more portable)) comes in 2 flavors, prepaid and post paid. With prepaid you have the option of paying for 7, 14 or 30 days while with postpaid you pay for 30 days.

I chose the postpaid plan which requires a deposit of $3,000 (Which is all you need to pay, because the modem is free with the postpaid plan) which you get back at the end of the 1 year contract. The first month is free, after which as seen in the image above you pay $2,500 monthly ( 30 day cycle)

Speed

Speed i imagine depends greatly on signal strength, which is measured from 1 to 3).

  1. – The signal is on, but the reception is poor. <- Which i got.
  2. – The signal strength is in the range between 16 and 24 – Good reception
  3. – The signal strength is greater than or equal to 25 dBm – Excellent Reception

The reception can also be checked from your Web Configurator page. Wifi can also be turned on from your web config page; this is explained in depth in the Quick Start Guide that you receive with your modem.

Conclusion

Digicel has a plan, and i may have had a bad experience acquiring my service, but it will inevitably get better. They will soon be offering Laptops with their plans which is good. And for the people that may have a hard time paying for it Digicel has partnered with NCB in offering loans up to $150,000. Not only is this beneficial to Digicel, it is beneficial to Jamaica and will aid in propelling our nation into the future; there’s nothing like access to knowledge and the internet provides that. Prices will also be competitive because they have other networks to contend with ( LIME, Claro and Flow)

If you have any question please feel free to leave a comment.

Written by Gordon Swaby

Gordon Swaby

Founder and CEO of social learning service EduFocal.com. I’m passionate about technology, the internet and the use of technology in education. I am a recipient of Governor General’s Youth Award, the PSOJ’s 50 Under 50 Award, The commonwealth Youth Award and many others.


Lovingly made on Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 at 5:41 pm. Filed under Interesting, Jamaica/Politics, Personal, Tech, Uncategorized, Webology.



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