Days after confirming that Jamaica’s 700MHz tender had been successful, the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz has named domestic operator Rock Mobile as the island nation’s third licensee.
Vaz noted that the Cabinet reached its decision “with lightning speed”, but added that the new player would also need to act swiftly, with a commercial launch expected within one year of receiving its licence. The company is required to be “fully operational” within two years, with coverage reaching 95% of the population.
According to records from Jamaica’s Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), Rock Mobile has held ISP, Carrier, International Service Provider and Domestic Voice Service Provider licences since June 2020. TeleGeography reports that the firm first expressed an interest in obtaining Jamaica’s third licence in January this year.
Bidders for the available 700MHz spectrum were required to submit technical and financial proposals for the concession, with the latter pledged in US dollars. The holding consists of a 2×10MHz block of 4G-ready spectrum, with the concession valid for 15 years.
Owned by former Scotiabank Jamaica head Bruce Bowen – together with his wife – Rock Mobile will fill the vacancy left following the shuttering of Caricel, which operated services using the 700MHz holding between 2016 and 2020.