RAB receives licence applications from three would-be entrants

1 May 2020

The Regulatory Authority of Bermuda (RAB) has received licence applications from three companies seeking to launch services in the local market, The Royal Gazette reports. Two firms, Horizon Communications and Paradise Mobile, have applied for an Integrated Communications Operating Licence (ICOL), allowing them to offer integrated telecoms services, while Cable & Wireless Network Services (C&W) has applied for a new type of sub-licence – a SubCol – which would enable it to provide capacity from submarine cables to the island. It is understood that all three applicants have qualified ‘according to its criteria’ and the RAB is now inviting comments from the public and other industry players on or before 29 May 2020. ‘The RA proposes to grant ICOL’s to both Horizon and Paradise. In light of C&W’s request, the RA also proposes to grant a more limited COL, in the form of a SubCOL, to C&W,’ it confirmed in a statement. The regulator hopes to publish its final report and issue licences by 8 July 2020.

Horizon Communications, which will operate under the banner Wave Bermuda, is a start-up fronted by Gilbert Darrell which claims to have ‘built a highly detailed technical plan with a team that has extensive experience in technology and telecommunications’. With Darrell looking for a fast-track from the RAB it aims to provide broadband internet services, IPTV and VoIP to residential and business customers via a fixed-wireless and mobile network. Meanwhile Paradise Mobile – whose directors are listed as Ontario, Canada-based entrepreneurs Kareem Bikhit, Houssam Tabbara and Zlatko Zahirovic – seeks to establish a mobile network offering a range of pre-paid and monthly contract service plans. Finally, C&W – which as part of a group operates an extensive fibre-optic submarine cable network in the Caribbean – is looking to provide Bermudan ICOL licensees with high-bandwidth leased services, IP capacity and Ethernet.