The Obama administration has yet to close Guantanamo Bay, and in the meantime, T-Mobile has now announced plans to extend its coverage to the controversial base. In an announcement on Thursday, T-Mobile noted that it would be expanding its domestic 4G LTE network to cover Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, marking the first time this area has seen 4G LTE data and texting. “To support the 5,500 active duty military, reservists, their families, and staff who reside there … T-Mobile is providing the first LTE coverage to NS Guantanamo Bay through a contract with the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM),” the Un-carrier announced.
Previous to T-Mobile’s coverage expansion, those at NS Guantanamo Bay were only able to access cellular voice service. But now, T-Mobile has introduced 11 cell sites with LTE coverage, granting those at the base the opportunity to text and use data for the first time. In addition to unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data, base residents also have access to unlimited video and music streaming, as well as unlimited data, texting, and flat-rate calls in more than 140 countries and destinations.
“We’re honored to be able to serve those who serve this country with the first high-speed connection to the outside world for the thousands of service men and women and their families at Guantanamo Bay,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “T-Mobile has a long and proud history of supporting our armed forces and that includes a deep commitment to being a great place to work for veterans and military as part of the White House Joining Forces Initiative.”
Captain David Culpepper, the installation’s commanding officer, expressed his gratitude for the new service in a statement of his own. “The new 4G LTE coverage is a huge boon to everyone at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay,” he said. “This gives all of us here a whole new level of access to wireless devices and service—and is the first time a major U.S. wireless operator has actually built cell sites for LTE coverage inside of Guantanamo Bay.”
Those on the base have actually been able to activate T-Mobile service since August, either from a T-Mobile phone or from a compatible device. “Every day we have the honor and privilege to serve our heroes in the military, the reserves and their families. And the No. 1 ask from our military personnel in Guantanamo Bay has been about bringing high-speed wireless service to the base,” said Dan Brettler, chairman and CEO of Wireless Advocates. “Now, with the launch of T-Mobile LTE they’re amazed by the experience! We are proud to bring T-Mobile’s great service and products to Guantanamo Bay.”