The Government of Jamaica’s Cabinet has given approval for a third telecommunications service provider, Rock Mobile, to be granted a licence to operate locally.
This was disclosed by Minister of Technology, Daryl Vaz, who said the Government sees competition “as the best way to achieve quality service at affordable prices for the consumer”.
In his sectoral presentation to the House of Representatives, Mr. Vaz noted that the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the new provider is in keeping with the Government’s policy objectives to increase broadband access to unserved and underserved areas; promote competition, innovation and diversity in the telecoms industry; and ensure optimum return in the shortest possible time for the spectrum assigned.
Vaz said that the third mobile provider will be required to deploy its network in keeping with the coverage, quality of service, and implementation timing in the bid.
This includes the provision of 95 per cent population coverage at a specified minimum download data rate and 95 per cent population coverage of communities classified as unserved or underserved at a specified minimum download data rate.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inadequacies in the access to broadband connection island-wide. Jamaicans living in rural areas continue to experience challenges with accessing quality telecoms and internet services.
The company, which is entirely Jamaican-owned, is expected to achieve full rollout of the service within two years, with the service launch date to be no more than 12 months after the granting of the licence.