Jamaican newcomer Rock Mobile expects to conclude its 700MHz network rollout by the end of March, Irie FM reports, citing comments by Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz. The update was given while Mr Vaz was responding to questions from his Opposition counterpart Phillip Paulwell, during parliament’s Standing Finance Committee meeting. Vaz noted that Rock Mobile was granted an extended rollout timeline due to challenges caused by COVID-19 as well as supply chain issues.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in May 2021 Vaz announced that Rock Mobile had been selected to become the country’s third mobile operator. The newcomer was obliged to launch commercial operations within twelve months of the receipt of its licence and be ‘fully operational’ within two years. In January 2022 the company’s mobile rollout plans were cast into doubt, when Rock hired Nokia to deploy an LTE-based fixed wireless access (FWA) network which will cover 95% of the population by 2025. Under the name Rock Connect the newcomer now seeks to provide broadband services in regions where fibre connectivity is not currently available.
Note: the Rock Connect website indicates that the fixed wireless service will go live in ‘mid-to-late 2023’, with B2B plans available from ‘early 2024’.