By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
Aliv's top executive says it has increased the data capacity of its network by 35 percent compared to pre-COVID-19 levels to meet the increased demand for home learning and working.
Damian Blackburn told Tribune Business that the mobile operator was monitoring the issue "every day and week", with engineers looking at each of its 246 sites to ensure there was sufficient bandwidth throughout The Bahamas.
"We have deployed about 35 percent more data capacity in the network than previously," he said. "We're still continuing to invest in the network, but the investment compared to what we were doing is now in the millions as opposed to the tens of millions. We can make quite large capacity improvements spending millions as opposed to tens of millions."
The Aliv chief added that August's lockdown and associated COVID-19 restrictions had caused a 10 percent month-on-month drop in the operator's pre-paid plan sales as the closure of top-up points made it more difficult for consumers to acquire them.
"Demand has been considerable enough and relatively strong," Mr Blackburn added. "It did have an impact, as it does on all businesses, when there is a lockdown because there are more stores that are closed that sell our plans and top-up. There's less opportunity for people to buy our products.
"The main impact is on our pre-paid business. In August we were around 10 percent down month-on-month, but it was less than we experienced in April. When we counted it up, sales in April were down around 15-20 percent. That was on the pre-paid side. But we are seeing normal levels of demand from the market in September."