RAB issues new ICOL licences to Paradise and Wave; puts temporary stop on 5G

26 Aug 2020

The Regulatory Authority of Bermuda (RAB) has approved the issuance of Integrated Communication Operating Licences (ICOLs) to two new recipients – Paradise Mobile and Horizon Communications (Wave Bermuda) – to establish, construct, operate one or more electronic communication network(s) and provide services on an integrated basis in Bermuda. In addition, it has awarded a Submarine Communication Operating Licence (SubCol) to Cable & Wireless Network Services (C&W) to connect submarine cables(s) to the network(s) of domestic ICOL operators to provide international connectivity services. However, in the press release dated 24 August, the regulator said: ‘In acknowledgement of the various concerns raised about the deployment of 5G mobile technology (5G), the RAB will mandate a temporary moratorium on the deployment of 5G for all ICOL and COL holders, (existing and new licensees), pending the completion of a Radio Frequency Study (RF Study) and the issuance of a final determination … As previously stated, the RF Study will include the opportunity for the public to provide their input to the RA prior to making its final determination.’

TeleGeography notes that 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’. 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 the Liberty Latin America (LLA) 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.

Bermuda, Horizon Communications (Wave Bermuda), Paradise Mobile, Regulatory Authority (RA)