URCA Issues 700 MHz Spectrum License

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) has issued a 700 MHz spectrum license to the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited (BTC). Issue of a license for the new spectrum bandwidth to Cable Bahamas Limited (CBL) is also expected. This follows a competitive evaluation process initiated this past March 23rd, when URCA issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for the newly opened 700 MHz spectrum band. A total of five applications were received.

The 700 MHz band, with frequency ranging from 698 MHz to 806 Mhz, is considered an especially valuable fixed and mobile broadband network resource, given its suitability for 4G (Fourth Generation) LTE (Long Term Evolution) technologies. URCA made 72 MHz of the 108 MHz band available for this process. Operators were permitted to submit applications for specified blocks within the bandwidth, up to a maximum of 24 MHz, and not including blocks reserved for public health and safety use (12 MHz) and additional mobile services (24 MHz) when BTC’s exclusivity in the mobile market expires in April 2014.

Applications were evaluated on the basis of four core components: applicants’ overall business plan, financial strength, technical capability and the general public interests served by the spectrum’s intended use. Two applications were denied because they did not meet the minimum criteria and one application is pending approvals from other business investment and licensing bodies.

A copy of the full press release is available in PDF document format via the below link