The picture of thousands of Jamaicans converging on LIME outlets two Saturdays ago to trade in phones from other networks in exchange for high-end Mobile TV phones has refocused the spotlight on Jamaica’s increasing sophistication in the use of technology.
It has also raised the debate on the age old question of whether the media is the message, one that raged at the turn of the century, as media jumped into the modern era of communication, fuelled by technology.
With the advent of LIME Mobile TV, Jamaica has now entered a new era in communication technology, placing the country in a pioneering position among its Caribbean counterparts and on par with markets such as Europe, Asia and the USA.
The historic introduction of this service by the big telecommunications provider has redefined the convenience, flexibility, affordability and mobility of television viewing, the company boasts.
No one is admitting it, but even LIME’s biggest supporters were taken unawares when the country became swept up in a frenzy as Jamaicans from all walks of life converged on LIME’s outlets to swap their old phones for Mobile TV phones, in time to catch the broadcast of Buju Banton’s ‘Before the Dawn’ concert live from Miami, USA.
In no time, LIME outlets ran out of stock, forcing the company to withdraw the offer.
LIME also broadcast the classic roots reggae showcase, Rebel Salute, live from Port Kaiser, St Elizabeth.
“What took place in Jamaica over the past few days was beyond sold-out concerts, it was revolutionary,” said LIME Jamaica Chairman Chris Dehring.
He told the Observer that LIME Mobile TV had ushered in a new era in digital technology and “we selected the best introductory content to showcase our rich Jamaican culture and music and our talented musicians”.
Dehring, who was in Miami for the Buju Banton concert, also noted that “the televising of a concert from overseas on a mobile phone in Jamaica was another defining moment for technology in this country which will long be remembered by many citizens”.
The LIME chairman ranked it alongside other significant technological milestones including the introduction of fixed line telephone service to the island and the launch of mobile telephony by LIME in 1991 when the company was named Cable & Wireless.
“Whenever Jamaicans remember the Buju Banton concert they will always remember that it was televised on their mobile phones,” Dehring said. Technology buff, Ingrid Riley, who took the prize for ‘Best Technology Blog’ at the recent inaugural Jamaica Blog Awards, said LIME had got it right.
“The pairing of the technology with desirable and in-demand content is a winning combination because Jamaica as a brand is huge both locally and globally, but there is currently a shortage of quality local content,” she said. “LIME right now is in an ideal position to capitalise on one of the top five biggest trends for 2011, which is content provision.”
In November 2010, LIME launched the Caribbean’s first mobile television service in Jamaica which offers premium digital channels, including local and international news, sports and entertainment channels.