The Channel Islands lie approximately 100 miles from the south of English coast and 20 miles from the French coast with a total population of 163,857. The Channel Islands are English speaking, self-governing, British Crown dependency outside of the EU.
Jersey is the largest island in the Channel Islands, measuring 118.2 square kilometers. Jersey has grown into a world-class financial services hub, managing an astonishing two percent of the world’s wealth and boasting the sixth highest GDP per capita in the world. Jersey Telecom (JT) is the largest telecommunications service provider in Jersey tracing its roots back to the first telephone exchange in 1895. JT is now dedicated to delivering fixed-line, mobile and data hosting services to customers in the Channel Islands as well as provide ICT service globally.
JT launched its first 3G mobile network in Jersey in 2006, and upgraded the network with Super 3G technology in 2009 to enable customers to access the internet at speeds of up to 3.6 Mbps. JT planned a mobile network replacement program to meet growing user needs for mobile bandwidth. JT’s entire 3G network would be taken out and be upgraded to 4G. Since 2013 JT has started strategic cooperation with ZTE. In August 2014, ZTE was chosen by JT as an exclusive strategic partner for its 4G rollout project. JT’s 4G network was launched in Jersey in February 2015 and Guernsey in June 2015. In Guernsey this involved building from scratch and in Jersey replacing all existing mobile equipment.
With smartphone penetration across the Channel Islands at a higher level than most digitally advanced countries, it’s no surprise that JT’s 4G network that offers a tenfold faster connection has seen increased traffic in response to the vast appetite for data amongst islanders. To put this in perspective, the 4G network arrived just in time for some major events in Jersey and supported 11,000 different devices during the XVI Natwest Island Games in July 2015 to download 2.1 Terrabytes (equivalent to 1,024,000 photo uploads or 17,000 hours of music). It was also the 4G network that enabled the live results of the Pepsi ICC Europe Division 1, hosted in Jersey in May 2015, to be broadcast live around the world to thousands of fans and for Jersey Live party-goers to keep connected over the two-day event. Overall the benefits of the new network have already been experienced across the islands. As new technology emerges and smartphone penetration heads closer to one hundred percent, JT has a network that can be upgraded to support future mobile technologies.
The delivery of JT’s 4G mobile network reached conclusion in February 2016 with the official handover of the system to JT by ZTE. Senior representatives from ZTE joined JT in Jersey at a formal ceremony to declare the installation and rigorous 10-month testing phase completed, with the network management being passed in its entirety to JT’s mobility team.
“I’m pleased to announce that our hard work alongside partner ZTE over the last two years to deliver this ambitious and future-proof 4G network has reached this final milestone. The new 4G mobile network they helped us to deliver here in the Channel Islands is now completely under our management. I’d like to thank the team at ZTE for their professionalism throughout ensuring that JT delivers an enviable network ahead of the market, on schedule and on budget. Our long-term partnership with ZTE has brought valuable returns for our customers. By offering a high performance 4G mobile network, we believe JT will benefit Jersey long into the future,”said Graeme Millar, JT’s CEO.
ZTE’s Kenneth Cao said: “It’s a pleasure to be in Jersey to witness the conclusion of this very important 4G network project with JT. Under ZTE’s M-ICT strategy, ZTE is committed to its mission to drive innovations in telecommunications, enterprise computing and consumer devices to help our customers adapt and thrive in the era of intelligent, always-on connectivity. The Channel Islands are a unique location, and we are glad to partner with JT to deliver a high quality network and provide the leading technology to the local community. With mutual respect, I am glad to see the ‘One Team’ spirit is deeply rooted in both ZTE and JT team. It enables us to overcome the challenges and find the best practical solutions together.”