Undeniably, the upgrade of our cellular network to 4G has been plagued with service disruptions causing much frustration. Dropped calls, delayed email and failed messenger services, aggravate both technology savvy and infrequent phone users.
But it is of immense importance that The Bahamas upgrades its network to 4G.
We must move past the political banter on the sale of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) to Cable and Wireless, accept its ownership and welcome the upgrade of technology. The transfer of new technology to The Bahamas improves our competitiveness.
Technology increasingly separates the developed and developing world; failure to keep up would severely limit our future growth potential. Our leaders must accept this and work with the private sector to integrate the latest technology with our aging infrastructure across all industries.
Bahamians are embracing telecommunication technology with vigor. The Samsung Galaxy S III launched over the weekend prompted a line of eager consumers in front of BTC’s Bay Street store at 6 a.m. Armed with Blackberrys, Androids, iPhones, the new Galaxy S III, and other smartphones, Bahamians expect and demand access to the same level of service they find in the United States and Europe.
The smartphone is revolutionary and its power to integrate phone, data and location services has yet to be fully recognized here. But the revolution will come. And those unable to adapt will be left fighting for business in a digital world.
Take for example Uber, a taxi service predominately in the United States that allows customers to locate, call and pay for a taxi through an app. In fact, a customer merely opens the app, the closest taxi is located, the driver notified and the passenger watches the taxi approach on the smartphone. No call ever needs to made, no money exchanged and the entire ride is recorded on a smartphone with a credit card receipt emailed.
Uber is responding to the failure in large North American cities for taxis to maintain the level of anticipated service. Uber offers passengers a precise cab location, a safe and recorded ride and ease of payment.
Could Uber come to Nassau? Probably not, though taxis should take note that the app demonstrates the ability for technology to adapt and confront an entire service sector.
Apps have moved past mere entertainment to integrate with services outside the realm of a computer. The Nassau Guardian is moving forward to embrace digital media to allow our listeners seamless access to news and radio via our broadcast divisions.
We look forward to the full launch of 4G and the future potential of smartphone application in The Bahamas and all the change that will result.
Editorial from The Nassau Guardian
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2012