NewCo on the block; Bahamian cellco hits first coverage target, begins ‘soft launch’ phase

5 Oct 2016

NewCo2015, the Cable Bahamas Ltd (CBL)-backed newcomer to the Bahamas’ mobile sector, has completed the first stage of its rollout and has invited customers to apply to use its service during what it calls its ‘soft launch’ phase. Under the terms of its concession, NewCo has a strict timeline for its two-year network rollout period, including covering 99% of the population of six largest islands (New Providence, Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, Abaco, Bimini and Exuma) within eight months of it receiving its licence (i.e. by 1 February 2017). The first of its obligations required the cellco’s footprint to cover 99% of the population of New Providence and 80% of Grand Bahama by 1 October 2016. NewCo claims to have achieved this goal, having installed a total of 73 sites across the two islands, but sector watchdog the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) says it will take four weeks to verify the claim.

Commenting on the operator’s progress, CEO Damian Blackburn said: ‘This week several calls have been placed, we have now issued phones and NewCo SIMs to staff members and they are actively using the service to call each other, send SMS and browse the internet with impressive speeds … Our progress to date highlights our clear focus on delivering for the people. Now that we have achieved this milestone, we have our sights clearly set on our full commercial launch and the reveal of our exciting new brand.’

During its soft launch phase – from 1 October until its as-yet unspecified commercial launch date – the cellco is offering a single mobile plan for BSD500 (USD497.7) per month. The offering, dubbed REVmobile and available via CBL’s website, includes unlimited calls to any fixed or mobile number in the Bahamas, the US or Canada, unlimited SMS to any Bahamian number and uncapped downloads. Following the testing period, however, the cellco will offer a range of tariffs, starting at BSD5 per month.