Bringing ‘Gigabit’ home entertainment to life

Islanders can now see how a combination of the latest TV technology and the world’s fastest broadband will transform their home entertainment experience, as JT’s Gigabit broadband connection is being used by Samsung UK to demonstrate their new Integrated Digital Televisions (iDTV)

Samsung UK has been demonstrating the new iDTVs at JT’s Queen Street shop as part of a training programme with local retailer Fortuna.

iDTVs offer a wide variety of features which include ultra-real picture technology to rival the cinema screen, web connection including access to social media and Skype while watching TV and synchronisation with other home devices.

Colin Rogers, head of sales for Samsung UK said “We are delighted that JT’s gigabit connection has been made available to us for these demonstrations. Our innovative Smart TV multimedia experience was launched to the world earlier this year in Las Vegas and JT’s ultra fast broadband link provides the ideal environment to showcase its capabilities over here. We invite islanders to see for themselves the benefits of accessing the internet in high definition through their home entertainment system.”

John Dingle, CEO of local retailer Fortuna, said: “We are excited to work alongside JT to demonstrate the latest in Smart TV technology. Samsung has put YouTube, Skype, social networking sites and other applications at people’s fingertips and with a whole new in-home experience for all the family, never before has there been such seamless integration between mobile, internet tablets, television and broadband connection.”

Tim Ringsdore, MD of JT, said: “This is another opportunity for us to bring ‘tomorrow’s world’ to Jersey and we are pleased to be able to work with Samsung UK to show also bring to life our ‘Gigabit-isles’ initiative. We have invested £11m in improving broadband speeds and this is an ideal opportunity for us to show how the speeds of the future will make a difference to the internet and home entertainment experience.”

JT launched 1Gb broadband at the Castle Quay development at the end of last year. This speed is 50 times faster than the next quickest speed of 20Mb which will be available to more than 30% of Island households by the end of this year.

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Largest provider of data hostings

The JT Group has opened a new data centre at Rue des Pres, making it the largest provider of data hosting services in the Channel Islands.

The new facility was officially opened by the Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Senator Paul Routier. It is the JT Group’s sixth data centre in the Channel Islands and is an important step in the Group’s plans to make the Channel Islands the primary telecommunications hub for Europe.

The new data centre is based at Rue des Pres trading estate and covers just under 7,000 square feet. It has capacity to house over 140 server racks, bringing the total provided by the JT Group to circa 700 racks. In total the JT Group has invested £15m in the data hosting sector.

“State of the art data centres such as this one enable the Island to offer disaster recovery and data hosting services to a broad range of industries across the globe”, says the JT Managing Director, Tim Ringsdore. “It will also enable the Island to make the most of the e-gaming market which was worth £50m to Guernsey alone last year. The States of Jersey have now passed the necessary regulations to open up that market, and our investment in data centres and infrastructure means the JT Group is well poised to support this flourishing industry”.

JT’s data centres provide resilient and highly secure environments for customers’ essential computer equipment, including the powerful computer servers that run business critical systems. The data centre at Rue Des Pres can be completely self-sufficient in terms of power generation; it also has diverse data connections using fibre-optic cabling, the latest environmental controls and fire prevention technology.

“Becoming the largest provider of data hosting services in the Channel Islands is a key part of our strategic growth plans, and is crucial in enabling Jersey to develop a digital economy, which will be of great benefit to businesses and individual residents alike”.

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JT doubles mobile broadband speeds

JT has now doubled the quickest mobile broadband speeds available in the Island from 7.2 Megabits (Mb) per second to 14.4 Mb. This puts the Island ahead of many areas in the UK. 14.4 Mb is available via JT’s mobile network and makes it even smoother and quicker to use the internet on a mobile device; so for anyone who wants to check e-mails with large attachments, download music/tv/films, use social networking sites, take part in online gaming, or make a video call using a webcam, the experience will now be even better.

Mobile broadband is particularly useful in areas of the Island where JT is working to improve the fixed broadband speed. With a device called a dongle, customers can connect their computer to the internet using the mobile network instead, and remove the need to use underground cabling. JT is midway through an £11m network upgrading program which will see more than 50% of Island homes receiving between 15 & 20Mb fixed broadband speeds by Easter 2012. Similarly, it has announced plans to invest £40m to upgrade the copper cable network to fibre-optic cabling over the next five years. Fibre-optic cabling allows customers to access speeds in excess of 1Gb (1024 Mb). But while that program is running, 14.4Mb Mobile Broadband is another option for customers wanting quicker speeds on the move.

Graeme Millar, Chief Executive Officer at JT said: “We have a firm commitment to provide the world’s fastest broadband speeds to local customers under our Gigabit Isles strategy. Doubling the mobile broadband speed to 14.4Mb is an important part of that, making it quicker and smoother to download pictures, video and music on your laptop or mobile, make a video call, use social media sites, take part in online gaming or just open e-mail attachments.

Being able to support our customers with these very quick mobile broadband speeds allows them to make full use of the very latest devices such as the HTC Desire HD, which is one of very few capable of handling speeds of up to 14.4Mb.

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JT completes significant new acquisition

The JT Group has just completed a significant new acquisition which will triple the sales revenue from outside of the Channel Islands, and make a major contribution to the overall growth of the Group. It will also allow JT to substantially reduce roaming charges for local customers by early 2012.

JT has bought a company called, Inc. (known as ‘ekit’) for an undisclosed sum. ekit employs up to 40 staff spread across offices in London, Boston and Melbourne. The current operation in all three offices will continue, with just the CEO, John Diamond, moving to live in Jersey.

ekit uses advanced technology to reduce mobile roaming charges for customers around the world, which means that a JT customer travelling to the UK or US wouldn’t incur extra roaming charges. It is planned that this saving will be available to local customers by early next year, and if the right agreements with other mobile operators can be put in place, it can then also be extended to other countries.

The acquisition is the first under the Group’s new five year strategy, which sets out how JT plans to achieve substantial growth by 2016. ekit has more than 150,000 customers worldwide, and so the purchase allows JT to triple its base of mobile customers.

“Just a few months ago we set out the five year growth strategy for the JT Group, part of which was to make the right acquisitions outside of the Channel Islands”, says Graeme Millar, CEO of the JT Group. “I’m delighted to now be able to announce the first of those acquisitions, which we see as being highly significant for JT, for our customers and for the local economy. By early 2012, we will start to be able to provide direct benefits for our local customers, such as removing roaming charges for the UK and the US, and working on agreements to extend that to other countries as well”.

“ekit is a complementary business to JT. Its acquisition will allow us to substantially build our customer base outside of the Channel Islands and in doing so provide new opportunities for our staff, bring income into the local economy, and support our return to the States of Jersey – all without putting an extra burden on local resources. For those reasons we believe this deal is good news both for JT and for the Island as a whole”.

ekit’s CEO, John Diamond commented: “I’m delighted this deal has been completed, and am looking forward to the opportunities which it will bring. The JT Group has extensive experience in international roaming, and when you put that together with the ekit technology, there’s a really strong fit between the two businesses. By bringing the two businesses together we see real benefits both for our staff and for customers across the world.”

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