Jamaica set for 700MHz player following successful tender

Jamaica set for 700MHz player following successful tender

Jamaica’s Spectrum Management Authority (SMA) has reportedly received multiple offers in its recent 700MHz spectrum tender, and is in the process of deciding a winner.

Under the terms of the tender, the winning bidder will be obliged to invest more than JMD2.25 billion (US$14.75 million) in building out their 4G network infrastructure. The new player will replace Caricel, which provided services over the 700MHz band between 2016 and 2020.

As reported by CommsUpdate, the vacant 4G-ready 700MHz spectrum consists of a 2x10MHz block, with the concession valid for 15 years. Interested parties were asked to submit both a technical and financial proposal, with the latter pledged in US dollars.

SMA managing director Maria Myers-Hamilton was quoted in the Jamaica Gleaner as saying: “The good news is that the auction was successful, and we now have in front of the [technology] minister a recommendation for a possible third player in the market.”

In addition to the possible new entrant, Technology Minister Daryl Vaz is also reviewing requests for additional spectrum from incumbent mobile providers Digicel and Flow. The operators argue that they need to increase capacity on their oversubscribed networks.

Commenting on the requests, Myers-Hamilton noted: “A full analysis of the application has to be done. The fact is, yes, there is a deficit in terms of the spectrum and, yes, we recognise it, and we are working in a collaborative mode with all stakeholders to ensure we get a win-win.”