The Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities (CICRA) has announced that it has engaged with the governments of Guernsey and Jersey, as well as key stakeholders, to develop a framework for the introduction of new licences and spectrum for 5G. The agency says the move forms part of its plan to ensure that the Channel Islands ‘can harness the future power of 5G for the benefit of all’,
In a press release regarding the matter, the CICRA said it had already held discussions with UK telecoms regulator Ofcom, which manages spectrum allocations on the Channel Islands’ behalf, to ensure the appropriate spectrum will be available to local operators. In line with this, it has been confirmed that trial spectrum and licences are now available for the Channel Islands, with these ‘allowing operators and software developers to pioneer new applications and services’ in the Islands ahead of the introduction of any commercial 5G services, which the regulator has suggested could be launched in 2020/21. Commenting on these new trial licences, Tim Ringsdore, Director at the CICRA, said: ‘We have worked very closely with Ofcom to ensure the Channel Islands have the right amount of spectrum to enable 5G services in the future. The announcement today of a formal process agreed by Ofcom and CICRA for operators to acquire innovation/test spectrum and licenses should provide a clear message to the outside world that the Channel Islands is open for new business and we will encourage developers from all over the world to come to the Islands and work with Digital Jersey, Greenhouse Guernsey and local operators to develop new world class solutions.’
Meanwhile, the CICRA has also confirmed that it will conduct a 5G summit on 26 November 2018 in Guernsey to provide public information regarding all aspects of 5G and, specifically, how stakeholders will work together to ensure the Islands gain the most from the technology.