JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The country will see some $12.6 billion (US$115) in revenue as a result of Government’s renewal of the telecoms and spectrum licences of Digicel Jamaica, and LIME, for the next 15 years.
  • The renewal of the licences and award of additional spectrum to both entities, represents some J$9.36 billion (US$85 million) in investment from Digicel, and J$3.29 billion (US$30 million) from LIME.
  • Both companies made part payments on March 31, with Digicel paying J$5.4 billion (US$50 million), and LIME J$1.53 billion (US$14 million).

The country will see some $12.6 billion (US$115) in revenue as a result of Government’s renewal of the telecoms and spectrum licences of Digicel Jamaica, and LIME, for the next 15 years.

The renewal of the licences and award of additional spectrum to both entities, represents some J$9.36 billion (US$85 million) in investment from Digicel, and J$3.29 billion (US$30 million) from LIME.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, informed that both companies made part payments on March 31, with Digicel paying J$5.4 billion (US$50 million), and LIME J$1.53 billion (US$14 million).

Minister Paulwell was speaking at a press briefing on April 2 at his Ministry’s Trafalgar Road offices, where he signed the licences.

“This is a vivid demonstration by both companies of their commitment to Jamaica’s telecoms sector,” Minister Paulwell said.

He explained that the renewal was being done a year early to facilitate the companies, which wished to invest heavily in the country, and need the security provided by the licence to do so.

Minister Paulwell noted that the development is significant for the local telecoms sector, and another decisive move by the government to ensure that Jamaicans have access to broadband services.

The Minister said the period since liberalisation has been the most exciting in the history of Jamaican telecommunications, but that the next phase cannot be business as usual.

“The next period must be marked by greater collaboration to ensure that Jamaica’s telecoms infrastructure is first class and Jamaicans are able to access the same cutting edge technology and excellent customer service that is available in more developed countries,” he said.

LIME’s Chief Executive Officer, Garfield Sinclair, said the licence renewal and acquisition of spectrum, combined with its mobile network upgrade and expansion work, represent a US$100 million (J$11 billion) investment.

“A renewed telecoms license and high speed data spectrum would pave the way for the introduction of product and services that will facilitate all sorts of innovation and otherwise be a catalyst of economic growth which we are always interested in being a part of,” Mr. Sinclair said.

Meanwhile Digicel’s CEO, Barry O’Brien expressed delight at being granted its licence, noting that as a mobile provider, it is the key to business.

“For us, it is the certainty of knowing that we are going to be here for another 15 years, that can enable us to actually invest in Jamaica,” Mr. O’Brien said.