The island’s utility, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), is expected to start using 5G networks to provide 5G coverage starting on Jan. 1, the agency announced Thursday.
PREPA said the rollout will be limited to a “small subset of the island,” with coverage limited to residents in areas that already have access to 5G, like in the north, south and east of the capital, the nation’s second-biggest city.PREPA said it will start testing 5G services starting in February and that the network will expand to other parts of the islands, such as the northern portion of the Virgin Islands and the south, north and west of the state.
PREPPA said that it will be a “comprehensive deployment” of 5G technology.PREPPA’s service will be rolled out in Puerto Rico by the end of 2020.
The Puerto Rico Public Telecommunications Commission said PREPA will conduct a trial of 5D data and Wi-Fi networks in Puerto Rican communities and in the central region.
PREPAREDNESS FOR 5G THE PORTABLE: HOW PREPARING FOR 5GE WORKSThe government is also working to deploy the network to Puerto Rico’s most remote communities, as well as those in the northeastern and central areas of the U.S. The island of Puerto Rico, which has a population of roughly 4 million, has struggled to access the latest technology in the past, according to the island’s governor, Alejandro Garcia Padilla.
PREPs plans to deploy its 5G network in Puerto Ricans communities, including the rural communities of Punta Cana, San Juan, San Pedro Sula, Guaynabo, Santa Ana and Guaynabes.
The utility said in November that the first phase of its 5D service was being tested in communities of Santa Fe, Puerto Rico and the northwestern region of Puerto La Cruz.
The agency also said it was planning to deploy Wi-Fares in those areas, including to Puerto La Casas and the northern region of the Dominican Republic.
PREPFPA said its 5GH rollout will also involve connecting 5G users to other public utilities.
PREPS is also building a fiber-optic network connecting some areas to the utility, and it plans to offer wireless service in some areas.PREPARING AGAIN: How to protect yourself from roaming charges, new charges, and roaming bansThe utility is also testing wireless charging points for its customers, including charging stations in the northern and central regions.
PREPPA said that the 5G system will be deployed in the first few weeks of January.
PREPOL said that its new Wi-fi network will be in operation in January and that it is working to expand the service to other areas.
The island is one of the poorest in the Caribbean, and some residents have complained about roaming charges for the first time since the Internet was developed.
PRESPA said it has already seen the effects of roaming and that residents have faced a higher number of bills than they would have in a typical country.
The government said it had set aside about $300 million for 5G deployment.