Jamaica renews telecoms licences

The Jamaican government has renewed the spectrum licences of national operators Digicel Jamaica and LIME for the next 15 years.

Both companies have also been awarded additional spectrum. The government will reportedly see J$12.6 billion ($115 million) in revenue from the allocations.

Speaking at a press briefing in Jamaica this week, the government’s minister of science, technology, energy and mining, Phillip Paulwell, said: “This is a vivid demonstration by both companies of their commitment to Jamaica’s telecoms sector.”

Digicel has promised an estimated J$9.36 billion ($85 million) for its spectrum, while LIME has pledged J$3.29 billion ($30 million). Both companies made part payments towards the licences on March 31.

The renewal has been completed a year ahead of schedule, largely to facilitate the significant investment strategies of both Digicel and LIME for the coming year, which need licence security.

“A renewed telecoms licence and high-speed data spectrum would pave the way for the introduction of product and services that will facilitate all sorts of innovation and otherwise be a catalyst of economic growth, which we are always interested in being a part of,” said Garfield Sinclair, CEO at LIME.

Paulwell said that the period since Jamaica’s liberalisation has been an exciting one for telecommunications in the country, but stressed that the next phase must be better still.

“The next period must be marked by greater collaboration to ensure that Jamaica’s telecoms infrastructure is first class and Jamaicans are able to access the same cutting edge technology and excellent customer service that is available in more developed countries,” he said.

In October last year LIME signed an agreement to deliver cloud storage to the Jamaican ministry of science, technology, energy and mining (MSTEM).

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