SMA plans to set 80MHz spectrum cap

19 Aug 2013

Jamaica’s Spectrum Management Authority (SMA) has launched a public consultation on a proposed adjustment to mobile spectrum holding policy, that would establish maximum limits on the aggregate spectrum holdings in the 700MHz, 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz bands. Comments are to be submitted by 6 September 2013. The regulator has raised concerns that competitiveness in the wireless sector may be impacted by the scarcity of available spectrum, by limiting the capabilities of new entrants into the market – a key part of the Jamaican government’s ICT policy. The SMA has proposed a spectrum cap of 80MHz, allowing providers to utilise 2×10MHz spectrum in each of the 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz bands, thereby preserving competition without limiting the capabilities of any service provider. Providers will be allowed to acquire additional spectrum, but will be required to hand back frequencies with similar technical characteristics. The value of the returned airwaves – taking into consideration the remaining validity period for the spectrum – could be offset against the purchase of the additional frequencies.The SMA plans to review the spectrum cap within the next three years.