Broadband wireless licences finally garner some interest

18 Sep 2006

Jamaica Network Access Point (JNAP) is planning to bid for one of two 3.5GHz wireless broadband licences currently being sold by the government, according to local daily the Jamaican Gleaner. If successful, JNAP is expected to use the frequencies to compete directly with Digicel, which already offers a fixed wireless access (FWA) service to businesses in Kingston. The fixed wireless auction was first opened on 20 June with an initial deadline for 19 July, but the Spectrum Management Agency (SMA) extended the deadline by a month to 18 August, to accommodate interested parties. However no bids were received at the closing date, although local press reports suggested that there had been a late bid. The SMA is now reported to be taking a ‘first come, first served’ approach to the new bids. The two licences – one for the metropolitan areas of Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine, St. Ann and St. James and one for rural areas only – allows for the maximum purchase by any one applicant of 2×25MHz; the total available for sale is 2×60MHz.