Bermudan fixed telecoms provider North Rock Communications has submitted a request to the country’s new Regulatory Authority (RA), seeking a licence and spectrum to provide a new mobile service in the country. The company is understood to be considering plans to launch a new island-wide mobile network in Bermuda, which it says will ‘significantly improve’ telecoms services there. The Royal Gazette quotes North Rock general manager Vicki Coelho as saying that the company is currently waiting to hear from the RA regarding its application for frequency spectrum, adding, ‘We believe there is a need for additional competition in Bermuda for cellular service and high speed data.’
The written request reads as follows: ‘Bermuda is badly in need of additional competition. The market is not particularly price sensitive today but the lack of competition is most noticeable in the lack of innovative services, customer service levels and availability of high quality mobile data services.’
To support the application, Ms Coelho confirmed that its request details provision for a substantial upfront investment in the rollout, which she says ‘reflects [its] ambitious plans to provide a high quality network both in terms of coverage and capacity/data rates.’ North Rock hopes to make use of what is known as the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) band in North America, which it says has been allocated for mobile cellular services since being auctioned in the US in 2006 and Canada in 2008. The official notes that this type of spectrum is currently being employed in a number of markets – including the US and Chile – to provide 3.5G high speed packet access (HSPA and HSPA+) based services, and is now being re-farmed for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) by some US operators. ‘We do not believe this spectrum is currently used/allocated in Bermuda,’ she added. As such, the company is looking to deploy LTE in the country using a radio access solution based on Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) technology.