Technology Minister Hails Spectrum Management Authority

Photo: Donald De la Haye Spectrum Management Authority (SMA) employees Kwan Wilson (left) and Afiba Huie, cut the SMA’s 15th anniversary cake during the entity’s awards dinner at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday, November 23. Mr. Wilson and Ms. Huie, who have been with the SMA since its inception in 2001, were among 24 employees recognised by the entity.

Story Highlights

  • Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, has lauded the role of the Spectrum Management Authority (SMA) in advancing Jamaica’s telecommunications and broadband landscape over the past 15 years.
  • Minister Wheatley said the SMA, which is the national regulator for the radio frequency spectrum, has facilitated expansion in a number of entities.
  • These, the Minister outlined, includes more than 20 radio stations, three local free-to-air television stations and a number of agencies offering cable channels and Internet capabilities, among other services.

Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, has lauded the role of the Spectrum Management Authority (SMA) in advancing Jamaica’s telecommunications and broadband landscape over the past 15 years.

He said the SMA, which is the national regulator for the radio frequency spectrum, has facilitated expansion in a number of entities.

These, the Minister outlined, includes more than 20 radio stations, three local free-to-air television stations and a number of agencies offering cable channels and Internet capabilities, among other services.

“The SMA has singlehandedly kept us connected. This is indeed a tremendous responsibility, and on behalf of the Government of Jamaica and the Ministry, I commend the SMA for the tremendous service that you have been giving to this country,” Dr. Wheatley said.

He was speaking at the SMA’s 15th Anniversary Awards Dinner at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday (November 23).

Dr. Wheatley said the Government and other stakeholders have a responsibility to effectively and efficiently utilise the spectrum “so that we are able to deliver the quality services that Jamaicans deserve”.

He said the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) estimates that radio spectrum will continue to play an even more vital role in accommodating the unrelenting growth in public demand for broadband services, which, along with wireless data, will be an integral part of the future.

“The race is now on to utilise spectrum as best as possible to meet the increased demand through regulatory frameworks by providing the necessary support,” he noted.

Dr. Wheatley said the Administration is cognisant of the SMA’s role in this regard, adding that, “rest assured, you will be called upon… to provide even more service”.

SMA Managing Director, Dr. David McBean, saluted the past and current staff and directors, who he said have displayed professionalism and integrity in carrying out their tasks.

He said the job of the SMA is to maximise the economic value of spectrum by providing a fair and level playing field, thereby assuring competitors that they can safely use state-of-the-art equipment with very minimal interference.

He indicated that the entity will be embarking on “a very ambitious upgrade” of its monitoring and management systems. “We have to maximise the benefits to the Government of Jamaica, and we look forward to carrying out that role,” Dr. McBean added.

For his part, SMA Chairman, Trevor Forrest, noted that radio spectrum is one of Jamaica’s most valuable assets, facilitating liberalisation of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in such a way that has resulted in a plethora of wireless and associated outputs.

Mr. Forrest pointed out that the SMA’s vision is to create the environment where radio frequency spectrum becomes the “preferred medium of communication”.

During the function, the SMA honoured 24 members of staff for between five and 15 years of service.

Established in 2001, the SMA serves as an advisory body to the Minister.

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