GTT yesterday launched free 4G for its subscribers to over 20 educational and news sites and social media platforms Facebook and WhatsApp.
At a joint press conference yesterday with the government, the phone company also unveiled 48 hours free Facebook access to its subscribers who top up their account with $500 or more.
Making the announcement at GTT’s Fogarty’s Store, Chief Commercial Officer Gert Post, explained that all of their mobile customers will have free 4G access to information and knowledge through more than 20 local and international sites from their phones. “Only three weeks ago that we announced our big 4G network and only three weeks later we have a big announcement,” Post said, explaining that he thinks the new initiative will have a major impact on the country.
Every smart phone that is capable of receiving either 4G or 2G data and has a GTT SIM will be able to have free access to local and international sites such as: Wikipedia, the Ministry of Education, the Guyana Learning Channel, Hydromet, Inews Guyana, News Source, Gtvibes, Guyana Chronicle, Kaieteur News, Stabroek News, Guyana Times, Demerara Waves, Yahoo News, News Now, World Health Organisation (WHO), Google.gy, Government Information Agency (GINA), Guyana Tourism Authority, Explore Guyana, Directory.gy, GTT.gy, MMG.gy, My account and a Guyana Telephone Book app which is expected to be launched sometime next month.
“Why would we do this? 4G is spectacular and already there are a lot of people enjoying it but there are still people who cannot afford, let’s say, to pay the 4G data plan on a day-to-day basis and all of the information on the internet is very valuable for kids to do their homework, for the man and woman to check the news and weather and do all kinds of things to enrich their lives,” Post said, stating that the initiative is all part of doing more for the people of Guyana and their customers.
He said that according to the calculations done, about 60-70% of Guyanese have a data capable phone, whether it is a simple smart phone or a high end phone.
In addition to the educational and news sites, Post announced that Facebook and WhatsApp will be “free” and unmetered with all of its data plans. “We looked at what people are using the most and of course in every country everybody is using Facebook the most and WhatsApp and so we thought let’s join them and let’s give access free of charge for every data plan and that means if you buy a data plan the Facebook and WhatsApp is included,” he said, explaining that even if you exceed the amount of data, once the expiration date has not passed for the plan then you will still be able to access WhatsApp and Facebook services.
Post also announced a third initiative that will give everyone who tops up their account with $500 or more, 48 hours free access to Facebook.
When asked about the benefits of the initiatives to the company, Post said that he hopes that the data service can replace the voice service in the future and he believes the trigger is to get the Guyanese public accustomed to the high speed mobile data.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, Permanent Secretary Derrick Cummings lauded the initiatives and explained that they were in line with the Ministry’s goals of bridging the digital divide.
“The easy and affordable access to information and educational materials all goes well for the knowledge, growth and development of a country and Guyana, as you know, one thing that Guyanese are very excited and serious about is education,” he said.