Tue | Apr 13, 2021

Global interest in 700 MHZ band licence

Published:Friday | February 26, 2021 | 9:31 AM
Managing Director, Spectrum Management Authority (SMA), Dr Maria Myers-Hamilton (second left) is part of Jamaica's delegation at the 2019 World Radio Communications Conference in Egypt. The other team members (from left) are Director of Post and Telecommunications, Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Cecil McCain; Manager of Band Planning, SMA, Mahlangu Lawson; and Telecommunications Engineer, SMA, Tai-Shan Tracey - Contributed photo.

Managing Director of the Spectrum Management Authority, Dr Maria Myers-Hamilton, says the Request for Proposal for licence in the 700 MHz spectrum (Band 13) has garnered global interest.

The document was published on February 9.

Myers-Hamilton told JIS News that through this band “we are trying to achieve increased competition in the mobile (telecommunication) space but most importantly, bring coverage to the unserved and the underserved citizens.”

“The 700 MHz band is important because it has a wider reach and it is more penetrative, so we thought it best to tap into it now during the pandemic because of the higher demand for bandwidth,” she noted.

Myers-Hamilton said that while broadband connectivity in Jamaica is being met through fibre-optic cables, there are communities that do not benefit from this type of service due to the topography of the land.

As such, the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, through the authority, found it appropriate to invite industry players to apply for the 700 MHz spectrum band licence.

“While not restricted to telecommunication providers, we expect to see primary interest from the telecommunication industry. Once all bidders have satisfied the criteria for proposals, a recommendation will be made by the SMA to Portfolio Minister, Daryl Vaz, who will grant a licence for the 700 MHz band to the most eligible entity,” Myers-Hamilton told JIS News.

She said that the licence is valid for 15 years and the spectrum is owned by the Government and people of Jamaica.

All documents can be found on the SMA’s website, www.sma.gov.jm under the title ‘Request for Proposal (700 MHz)’.

Myers-Hamilton is advising interested persons to pay special attention to the amendments.

The deadline for submission is March 9, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. eastern standard time.

Entities seeking more information can contact the SMA at (876)948-7800 or (876)618-1901 or send an email to rfp700frequency@sma.gov.jm.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.