Gilbert “Artie” Darrell, the founder of would-be Bermudan newcomer Horizon Communications (Wave Bermuda), backed by the Bermuda Infrastructure Fund (BIF), has said his firm is ready to take on the old guard and can effectively compete both in terms of prices and service quality. The Royal Gazette cites Darrell as saying that, having been approved as a ‘qualified applicant’ by the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda (RAB) for an Integrated Communications Operating Licence (ICOL), it hopes to be given the ‘green light to operate’ in July 2020 and that if all goes to plan, it should be in a position to launch services on a commercial basis in October, and be ‘at full speed’ by early 2021.
The paper notes that BIF was established in 2018 and has so far attracted about USD88 million in funds from ‘sources including international companies and the Bermuda government, to help finance infrastructure-related projects’. Although Darrell declined to reveal how much BIF was allocating Horizon, he suggested it was in the ‘many millions of dollars’. However, BIF is expected to become Horizon’s main investor once the company had acquired the ICOL. Only then will the company be in a position to import and test equipment and hire staff, he said.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month the RAB received licence applications from three companies seeking to launch services in the local market. Two firms, Horizon and Paradise Mobile, have applied for an 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.
Darrell claims that Horizon has ‘built a highly detailed technical plan with a team that has extensive experience in technology and telecommunications’, and hopes to deploy broadband internet services, IPTV and VoIP to residential and business customers via a fixed-wireless and mobile network.